The Vegetarian Flavor Bible Book Tour & A Giveaway!

Ω March 5th, 2015 Ω Tagged , , , , , , , , Ω 17 Comments

Vegetarian Flavor Bible

There comes a time in a dietitian’s and food blogger’s life when the culinary stars align, and you find yourself staring at an email in disbelief. For me, that moment came a few weeks ago when I opened an invitation to be on the virtual book tour for The Vegetarian Flavor Bible, a new book by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg. This tour celebrates registered dietitians and National Nutrition Month.

Vegetarian Flavor Bible cover

Guys. My jaw dropped.

As long-time readers of this blog know, I’ve been a Karen-and-Andrew fan for years. Their book The Flavor Bible made the list of my five most influential cookbooks and served as the main inspiration in my contest-winning recipe for the the National Honey Board. Needless to say, I’ve treasured our dog-eared copy of The Flavor Bible.

I received a copy of The Vegetarian Flavor Bible to review–Christmas in February, indeed. The moment when I stacked my copy of The Flavor Bible and The Vegetarian Flavor Bible next to each other sent shivers down my spine.

Ooh, baby.

Ooh, baby.

And when I opened The Vegetarian Flavor Bible for the first time, I squealed like a fangirl.

Vegetarian Flavor Bible 3

Karen and Andrew were kind enough to let me cartoonize them for this post. In retrospect, I’m not sure they would have agreed to be PowerPoint-ed if they had known what they were getting into (crazy-haired chef, anyone?). Yet I cackled like a mad scientist as I drew was given free rein, and below is the result. This, of course, is how I imagine them at work:

Andrew and Karen Vegetarian Flavor Bible

Clearly I’m obsessed with their books.

Those of you who clicked here while searching for a review of The Vegetarian Flavor Bible are probably wondering where it is (and possibly wondering what is wrong with the author of this post). Fear not! This book is incredibly informative and packed with inventive flavor pairings that just work.

Years of using The Flavor Bible has taught me to be creative with food, to step outside the confines of a recipe and go wild in the kitchen. As a registered dietitian, I love The Vegetarian Flavor Bible‘s emphasis on the flavors of a plant-based diet through pairing for vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, seeds, and more. I’m not a vegetarian (and my time as a Kansas City BBQ Society judge would certainly shatter that impression), but I appreciate how this book offers ideas for how to include more produce in your diet in a light-handed way.

I couldn’t wait to try out a pairing. I decided to go from zero to 60 and try a pairing for a food that’s the only entry on my one-item “Foods With Which I’d Rather Stand Up in Front of an Audience and Give a Speech Naked Than Eat” list.

Vegetarian Flavor Bible 4

Yup, folks. I went for celery.

That smile is a grimace of pain.

That smile is a grimace of pain.

Vegetarian Flavor Bible Celery

According to The Vegetarian Flavor Bible, celery goes well with a multitude of flavors, including onions, apples, and walnuts. I read these pairing and was like, “wait, I love ALL of those flavors.” Why not add celery?

Vegetarian Flavor Bible celery

Vegetarian Flavor Bible celery 2

I decided to dust off an old THIH recipe and cook up some apples ‘n’ onions, Flavor Bible-style.

Vegetarian Flavor Bible 5

Topped with toasted almonds, this apples ‘n’ onions ‘n’ celery dish was delicious. Sauteing chopped celery with apples and onions somehow softened the celery flavor and turned it into a fantastic complement for the rest of the dish. The toasted walnuts added crunch, while the honey gave the dish a little sweetness. Use maple syrup for a vegan version of this dish.

Honey Apples & Celery with Toasted Walnuts

  Prep Time: 10 minutes

  Cook Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients (4 servings)

  • 1/4 cup walnut pieces
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 small onions, peeled and chopped
  • 1 large apple, cored and chopped
  • 1 large stalk celery, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup


Preheat oven to 200 degrees F. Spread walnut pieces on baking sheet and toast in oven, stirring every five minutes, for 20 minutes, or until walnuts are light brown and fragrant.

While walnuts are toasting, heat olive oil in medium saute pan over medium heat. Add onion and cook, for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add apple and celery and cook for an additional five minutes. Remove from heat and stir in honey or maple syrup. Serve immediately.

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Finally, the moment you’ve been waiting for: the giveaway! Karen is kindly offering a copy of The Vegetarian Flavor Bible to one lucky THIH reader!

To enter, leave a comment with your favorite fruit or vegetable. That’s it! Contest runs until next Thursday, March 12th at 9am PDT. Contest open to U.S. residents.

Healthfully yours, dear reader.

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» Filed under Cartoon, Favorites, Recipes » 17 Comments

Self-Care and the Power of the Lentil

Ω March 2nd, 2015 Ω Tagged , , , , , , , , , Ω 7 Comments


We’re experiencing spring in February.


All around us, flowers are bursting into bloom, showing off their pink and yellow blossoms with as much enthusiasm as they can muster. I hear regular reports from Peter’s parents and Courtney about the below freezing temperatures and mountainous snowdrifts in the northeast US, and I count us lucky that we can walk with Maddie through soft meadows fragrant with new grass and freshly-turned earth.



Since writing this post about reclaiming the old Jessie, I’ve made a conscious effort to make time for the important things in life. Not papers and case analyses — oh, no. The important things in life are things like knitting and cooking and the aforementioned walks with Peter and Maddie.

That’s where the title of this post comes in. It’s funny how we sometimes need to be reminded to take care of ourselves. Goodness knows I do.

(And yes, the title of this post belongs on the cover of a self-help book recommending meditation with lentils among other impossibly specific and seemingly random life lessons.


Told ya.)

For me, part of taking care of myself is eating properly. You’d think that would be a no-brainer for a registered dietitian. And yet, during the first semester of my MBA program this past fall, I lost nearly ten pounds. No, I’m NOT kidding. I was shocked when I stepped on the scale last December.

How did this unexpected weight loss come about? When I thought back on the prior months, I remembered many times when I was so busy, I either skipped meals or grabbed some crackers. Seriously. Needless to say, last fall was tough. I did not live life; I survived.

This spring, I’ve taken a different path. I’m busier than ever, but school does not come first. Family and friends and my own health are foremost. I’ve still struggled, but keeping my priorities straight gets easier every day. For example, I’ve been packing the following meal for my daily lunch.

There's that darn napkin again.

There’s that darn napkin again.

Quinoa, lentils, hummus, guacamole, and veggie salad with cranberries and pumpkin seeds.



As a dietitian, I know how important healthy eating is to general well-being, but sometimes I need to remind myself of this fact. Chowing down on lentils, for example, is a smart way to pack in the protein. I cook lentils and quinoa in bulk, then portion out daily servings of lentils and salad on Sundays.

(I’m staying away from red lentils, however. Too many questionable memories.)


This post serves as a talisman against the times when I rationalize away healthy living in the name of completing one more assignment. No go, MOE. Jessie’s living the healthy life.

Have a lovely week, dear reader.

P.S. So sorry, East Coast and Midwestern US. #youhavemysympathies

Weekend beach trip.

Weekend beach trip.

Windblown pup.

Windblown pup.

Yours truly, scaling the dunes.

Yours truly, scaling the dunes.

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