Jan 16, 2015

"the vegetarian flavor bible" giveaway + karen page

I am very pleased to be a part of Karen Page's blog tour for "The Vegetarian Flavor Bible." I purchased this book based on Robin Robertson's recommendation and couldn't have been happier about its contents! 

The book contains a brief run-down of the history of food with special attention to vegetarian and vegan food, but the bulk of the book is of flavor profiles - which flavors go best together. These are tried and true flavor profiles that will make any cook into a chef!

You simply choose an ingredient, find it in the alphabetical listing and check out what other ingredients are best with it. Then you get in the kitchen and make some magic. Consider the book a road map to successful flavor combinations. 

Karen has offered to write a guest post for Zsu's Vegan Pantry and it really is the best way to show you what this book has to offer. Thank you, Karen, for such an amazing reference book for everyone!

Don't take my word for it, though. Enter to win a copy of your very own. The Rafflecopter giveaway, open to U.S. residents, is right below Karen's blog post. This is a huge, hardcover, full-color volume. Contest ends Monday, January 26. Good luck!

Around the World in 80 Dishes:
A Sampling of Flavors from Restaurants Featuring Plant-Strong Global Cuisines
by Karen Page

When I mentioned to friends who have known me as a lifelong omnivore that I had stopped eating meat and had embraced a plant-strong diet, their reactions often suggested that they felt badly for what I was missing out on.  I honestly feel no sense of deprivation whatsoever.  Instead, I’m thrilled about the new ingredients and flavor affinities I’ve been discovering through a wider range of cuisines than I ever imagined possible.

I’ve enjoyed Ethiopian cuisine since college, but I love it even more now as a fun way
of eating vegan. Because of the culture’s traditional periods of fasting and avoiding
meat, eggs, and dairy, every Ethiopian restaurant I know has a vegan combination option that includes the spongy pancakes called injera, which are used to scoop up bites of various braised legumes, greens, and other vegetables.  I love the all-vegan Bunna Café in Queens (pictured ahove), as well as the vegan combination platter at Injera restaurant in Manhattan.

Ethiopian Flavor Affinities:

berbere + garlic + onions
collard greens + garlic + ginger

Pastas and pizzas have long been vegetarian staples, but restaurants like Brooklyn’s
Paulie Gee’s (pictured, above) and Portland’s Portobello Vegan Trattoria are doing their part to make pizza a vegan staple, too. Paulie Gee’s, which is right around the corner from Kickstarter’s international headquarters is worth getting there right when it opens to avoid the otherwise ever-present lines out the door.

Paulie Gee’s Vegan Pizzas Flavor Affinities:

arugula + lemon juice + nutritional yeast + olive oil
arugula + cashew ricotta + olive oil + pickled red onions
chile + garlic + olive oiil + sea salt + spinach

Enthusiasts of Japanese cuisine welcomed Manhattan’s vegan Michelin-starred restaurant
Kajitsu, which specializes in dinnertime tasting menus showcasing seasonal ingredients
such as matsutake mushrooms (which are as prized in Japanese cuisine as white truffl es are
in Italian). Lunchtime is a great value; a composed tray might feature a main dish of ramen
noodles seasoned with three different kinds of miso, or rice topped with bamboo shoots,
alongside seasonal vegetable accents and perhaps a spring roll or yuba (tofu skin) filled with
seasoned rice. Manhattan’s popular Beyond Sushi (pictured above) creates vegan sushi from ingredients such as “mighty mushrooms” served on a six-grain blend.
Beyond Sushi Flavor Affinities:

barley + black rice + brown rice + pearl barley + red rice + rye berries  (six-grain blend)
cashews + enoki mushrooms + ginger + hot pepper paste + romaine

I’ve been a fan of Manhattan’s oldest Mexican restaurant, El Parador Café, for two
decades of its fifty-five years in business. (How can you not love a restaurant whose motto
is “The answer is yes. What’s your question?”) And I discovered a year or two ago that it
offers vegan salsa upon request (its standard warm salsa is not vegetarian), along with an excellent vegetarian / vegan menu. After two decades of loving one of America’s most renowned Mexican restaurants — Chicago’s Frontera Grill — and later its sister restaurant,
Topolobampo, I was surprised to discover that the latter, too, offers a veg menu. It
blew me away — especially chef Andres Padilla’s extraordinary chayote dish, the best I’ve
ever tasted.

Mexican Flavor Affinities:

acorn squash + chayote + mole verde + pumpkin seeds
avocado + cumin + lime
cilantro + corn + cumin + onions
chocolate + cinnamon + nuts + orange + vanilla

Once you know a few flavor affinities (featured at length in THE VEGETARIAN FLAVOR BIBLE), you can use them to inspire your own experimentation in the kitchen.  Enjoy the journey!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. This book would be a most welcome addition to my library. I would love to win!

  2. I love making up recipes and this book would definitely up my recipe creation game and be so inspiring!

  3. I took this book out of the library and find it fascinating...would love to actually own a copy! Wish I had had this one a long time ago!

  4. This book looks like a great addition to a vegan kitchen arsenal. I, like many vegetarians, search for the holy grail: umami. I hope I win and this will be an excellent resource. Good luck for everyone.
    pepitajobo At icloud D O T c o m

  5. I am on the waiting list at the public library. I would love to have a copy of my own

  6. I own the original Flavor Bible and it's a much used resource. Excellent!

  7. Thanks for the giveaway! Would love to have this!

  8. The original Flavor Bible has been a much loved resource for me for years. It's been the centerpiece of my cookbook collection until I brought it to work to inspire my co-cooks at our natural grocery's cafe. Now is it much loved by all of them :-) I was so excited to see a vegetarian Flavor Bible coming out! Can't wait to check it out :-)

  9. I've recently been trying to be more vegetarian, less than one meat meal a day. As a teenager I find this hard because whatever buy or make is what I'm required to eat. Hopefully this book would be some inspiration for cheapish vegetarian meals or with foods we already have!

  10. You had me at injera...Ethiopian is one of my favorite cuisines! I would love to get this book and learn even more about flavorful vegetarian dishes!

  11. What a great resource! Being vegan is in itself rewarding, but I get so excited about recreating flavors in my own kitchen that I love and can share with my non-vegan family and friends.

  12. I have been looking at this book for a while now, looks amazing! Thanks for the opportunity!

  13. This cookbook looks awesome! I would love to try it:)

  14. This book looks amazing. I'm terrible with flavor combinations, so I can't wait to use this book.

  15. I love the concept behind this book and can't wait to see it!

  16. Sounds like a great book -- I'd love to win a copy!

  17. I have been coveting this book since I first learned of it! I would love to get my hands on a copy--I've suggested it to my library for acquisition.

  18. Would love to win this one! I'm sure a book like this will teach me new ways of combining ingredients to bring out the best flavors out of them

  19. thanks fora chance to win this!!!!

  20. Will love to have this book in my collection, will love learn and teach others about flavor combinations.
    Thanks again!!

  21. I loved the original Flavor Bible, this would be an amazing addition!


Thanks for your comment! I'll check if it's spam and post if it is not. I appreciate your time and effort for commenting! ~ Zsu