janet @ the taste space

Vegetarian Flavor Bible Review & Giveaway

In Book Review on November 27, 2014 at 7:48 AM

Vegetarian Flavor Bible Review & Giveaway

As you know, I love cookbooks and this is one of my first non-cookbook reviews that I am super excited to tell you about. Granted, it may not be a cookbook but it is still all about the food: The Vegetarian Flavor Bible.

Does the name sound familiar to you? Karen Page also wrote the classic (original) The Flavor Bible. Both books describe the flavour of various food ingredients including basic preparation methods and tips and then has itemized lists of food pairings. In the The Vegetarian Flavor Bible, she tackles vegetarian combinations.

Sounds weird? Let me explain by example, because truly this is a magnificent compendium for anyone interested in being creative in the kitchen or simply eating good food. Below is a screenshot from the Amazon preview. Whereas The Flavor Bible had 5 pages dedicated to all the beans (notably black beans, cannellini, fava, flageolet, green beans, kidney, lima, navy, pinto, red, white) plus another page for chickpeas, The Vegetarian Flavor Bible has 15 pages for all the beans (in addition to the above, it also includes adzuki beans, anasazi, cranberry/borlotti, fermented black beans, gigante, french green beans, long beans, mung beans, soy beans/edamame) and chickpeas have almost 2 pages now. This is a veritable treasure trove. More common suggestions are capitalized, italicized or bolded.

Vegetarian Flavor Bible Review

I also really like the suggested flavour affinities, which are basically mini recipe suggestions. This is what she suggests for black beans:

The Vegetarian Flavor Bible

Obviously, I jumped right into the meatpotatoes of the book, but there is also nice introduction to the importance of consuming a variety of foods, especially of the plant-based variety. For those new to vegetarianism or veganism, she also has tips on how to craft great meals. Have cravings for meat or fish? She has you covered:

The Vegetarian Flavor Bible

Speaking of capers, if you ever needed proof of her authority in flavour, take note of this. Under capers, her tip: Rinse, or soak for up to 24 hours before using to quiet their flavor. Consider crisping for a minute or two in very hot oil before using them to garnish salads. Um, YES!! That was my latest cooking revelation, too. Crispy capers are marvelous! I need to read through this to uncover more gems.

Lastly, to quote her again: If you master a single recipe, you’ll learn how to cook a single dish. If you master the dynamics of flavor, you can make anything taste better.

Thankfully, the publisher allowed me to giveaway the cookbook to three readers living in the United States or Canada. To be entered in the random draw for the book, please leave a comment below telling me about your favourite vegetarian ingredient and its flavour affinity (ie., what you like to pair it with). The winner will be selected at random on December 5, 2014. Good luck!

  1. Butternut squash + cayenne pepper + maple

  2. I’m a huge fan of parsnips and love to pair them with coconut oil!

  3. love black beans paired with cilantro and chipotle pepper!

  4. Lately, I’ve been craving cumin and curry spices, so I’m alternating between tofu scrambles and bean dishes.

  5. pumpkin with cinnamon and maple syrup. but its also great with curry and coconut milk. versatile and oh so good for you

  6. Apple cider Vinegar in my plant-based smoothie. Brightens the flavor here as it does in so many pairings.

  7. Sweet potato with lime and cumin.

  8. lemon cashew cream + ketchup + spicy hot mustard = my go-to salad dressing

  9. Amazing! I have the original Flavor Bible and love it! My favourite pairing these days: roasted butternut squash + tahini + zaatar (thanks, Ottolenghi!)

  10. I love sauerkraut and was surprised by how well it pairs with sesame oil, cilantro, kale and brown rice for one of my favorite bowls.

  11. Love chickpeas with tomatoes! Thanks for offering a great giveaway.

  12. Oh, I truly hope I win this one, I’d LOVE to expand my taste palate. I L.O.V.E. chocolate and blueberry. it just ‘goes’ in away you’d never imagine, because you’d always go “strawberry and chocolate”. but blueberry and chocolate (and abanana and almond milk): delicious, earthy, smoothie (or if you add afresh banana: chocolate blueberry pudding!)

  13. What a wonderful giveaway! Thanks for hosting.
    Wow, it’s hard to narrow down ‘a’ favorite. I love the symphony created by combining a fridge-ful of wonderful foods. A favorite for my boys is roasted sweet potato paired with home-canned apple butter and chopped walnuts or pecans.

  14. Oh man, I would love to win this book and I appreciate that the draw is available for us Canadians too! My favourite vegetarian ingredient is fermented tofu. It takes my tofu scrambles to another dimension, adds flavour, saltiness and umami to sauces and vegan cheeses. My favourite dessert pairing: hazelnuts and rasbperries. Even better than chocolate!

  15. Thanks for this wonderful giveaway 🙂 It sounds really interesting this book. Hummm…my favorite combination of ingredient would probably be celery, tomatoes & oignon braised with vegetable broth and lots of thym. Miummm !!! Anything with these ingredient for me would be a success.

  16. Avocado, lime and smoked salt.

  17. avocado + chipotle + lime + cilantro mmmmm

  18. Chickpea flour + zaatar make for a fantastic (albeit totally untraditional) socca!
    I just know my love would spend hours with such a book! He tends to geek out on that kind of information. He loves experimenting in the kitchen but doesn’t always feel totally confident in his insticts for flavor pairings, so this book would help by providing him with inspiration and validation…

  19. Black beans and mango!

  20. Purple Stokes Sweet Potatoes and cinnamon…can’t beat it!

  21. Mine is pretty classic. Cilantro. Pairs beautifully with black beans, cumin and lime. Another favourite is combining it with garlic, ginger and coconut. Or with chinese long coriander (recao), onions and garlic for Puertorrican Sofrito.

    When growing up I used to be a cilantro hater. Now I can’t get enough of it. 🙂

  22. One of my newest finds is adding mashed avocado to basil pesto. It gives more creaminess than nuts for better mouth-feel and you can skips the nuts if you want/need to. It makes the pesto go further, which is a big hit, especially if I have run out of my own and have to buy basil.

  23. One of my favorites is kidney beans and butternut squash with coconut, curry, and cinnamon. So tasty.

  24. Black beans, kale and squash…… Delish

  25. My cooking skills are fairly basic – give me anything with both onions and potatoes, and I’m a happy girl. It would be amazing to have a resource like this to expand my knowledge & abilities!

  26. […] autumn recipes to gingerbread and chocolate mint creations for the holidays, I was inspired by The Vegetarian Flavor Bible, to share ideas how to use blackstrap molasses. I have talked about blackstrap molasses before. […]

  27. I like to add cardamom to baked goods that also have cinnamon or nutmeg. It gives it a more sophisticated flavor.

  28. These days, my favorite weekend indulgence is roasted potatoes, caramelized onions, rosemary and garlic…love, love, love!

  29. I don’t have one favorite, but I like cilantro with black beans, cumin, and lime

  30. holy crap, what an epic and practical concept for a cookbook. all about ideas! flavor combinations! possibilities! i love that.

    i’m the worst at picking favorites, but i’ve been really into turmeric lately and pairing it with savory and sweet things like strawberry/mango/pineapple smoothies. ah!

  31. Garlic and cumin and black beans. I want this book. Thanks for sponsoring the giveaway!

  32. So many. I’ll add cumin to just about anything. I had never had liquid smoke before going vegan and have found it really takes care of that umami craving and have since made bacon almonds and bacon jackfruit. Another new find is smoked paprika that really kicks up the flavor of so many dishes.

  33. Almost too hard to choose just one… I love “exotics” like cardamom (paired with cinnamon – try it in an Asian inspired broth for something a bit different) or in a mix like garam masala. Anything spicy (hot curry, chipotle chile, smoked Hungarian paprika) tastes so good on roasted veggies!

  34. I love lentils with garam masala, coconut milk and tomatoes!

  35. Mango + cardamom + rosewater is a brilliant combination!

  36. Cilantro with so many things! But beans if I had to pick one.

  37. I love lentils and kale

  38. I like to add cinnamon to oatmeal. =)

  39. Hello love crimini mushrooms sautéed with onions in a creamy sage spinach cream sauce poured over penne pasta then drizzled with truffle oil topped with mozzarella cheese crisped in a 350 oven.
    Its all about truffle oil and mushrooms, an earthy delight!!

  40. This sounds like an amazing book! One of my favourite ingredients right now is sweet potatoes, and I love pairing them with some spiciness, such as smoked paprika, black pepper, and cayenne!

  41. peanut butter and ginger, yum!

  42. I like to carmelize fennel in good quality olive oil, salt, pepper, and thyme.

  43. One of my favorite vegetarian(it’s vegan actually) dishes is Moroccan vegetable stew over Cous Cous. It’s amazing.

  44. black beans and salsa made into a patty and broiled

  45. […] had a good run of giveaways there. I was considering whether I could do an entire month of giveaways but quickly […]

  46. […] included (not necessarily vegan, just so you know).  I think this is an excellent companion to The Vegetarian Flavor Bible as it will expand how to pick the best produce. For those who enjoy gardening, it is also a neat […]

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