The Vegetarian Flavor Bible: A Book Review

 

VEG FLVRBIBLE #2Disclosure: I  received a signed copy of  The Vegetarian Flavor Bible to review and share with my readers. I was not  financially compensated to write this post. Opinions are my own.

Flavor. That’s Karen Page’s answer to the question,

Why go vegetarian?

In her latest book, The Vegetarian Flavor Bible, she is compelling.

 The book includes Karen’s personal story,   a history of vegetarianism, and insights from some of the country’s leading chefs, including  techniques they use to enhance flavor and texture in American’s most impressive vegetable-centric restaurants.  But the heart and soul is  dedicated to flavor matchmaking!  I ‘m madly in love with  the  a to z listing of hundreds of healthful, nutrient dense ingredients (vegetables, fruits, legumes, grains, nuts and seeds) along with their: flavor profiles, peak seasons, botanical relatives, possible substitutes, nutritional profiles, serving suggestions and cooking tips.  Yep, this book is the boss!!!

Who should own this book?

Millennials asking the question, Is it time I bought a cookbook?  You’ve been putting off buying one because you look everything up on the internet.  Well, this exhaustive collection of flavor profiles is NOWHERE TO BE FOUND, except in this book. From the familiar, like broccoli and quinoa, to the not so familiar, like fenugreek or nutritional yeast, you ‘ll find an explosion of ideas about preparing a plant based meal or diet.

Seasoned cooks and culinary experts who have cookbooks to spare. Don’t see how any additional cookbooks can be of value? This one is different. I usually find one or two incredible recipes from every cookbook in my collection of over umpteen books. This  is one resource I am now using on a daily basis, either for creating new dishes  (like  my creamy polenta with oranges & almonds), or  helping my  patients learn to make healthy foods more flavorful.

Food bloggers,  this one  is a no brainer.  It’s a culinary classic that serves as an indispensable resource for combining foods, developing recipes, making healthy substitutions and inspiring creativity in the kitchen. Yes, it’s worth the $40 you spend,  and remember, it’s a business expense for you.

Moms and dads, use this as a resource to begin early introduction of the healthiest foods to your children. Learn how  to pack vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, seeds, and grains with flavor, so your kids will  learn to love the foods you want them to eat.

Omnivores aiming to decrease meat consumption will find practical ways to boost vegetable consumption and useful tips that make eating less meat an easy lifestyle change.

Vegetarians and Vegans,  you will find this book a champion for the lifestyle you choose. With as many as 84% of vegetarians and vegans  going back to eating meat and other animal products (some within one year) and 43% reporting they have a hard time sticking to a ‘pure’ diet,  some words of wisdom are in order. Page delivers with understanding and enlightening advice  “…you don’t have to be a full-time vegetarian to reap the benefits” .

 Where do you fit?

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Return to Spring Cleaning via Creamy Polenta with Oranges & Almonds

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Seems like everyone’s captivated with decluttering their lives. I too have jumped on the let’s simplify life  bandwagon.  But  lately, everytime I take one step forward,  I take several backwards.

My latest upset…

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Lightning strikes again! Needless to say, simplifying life will have to wait, and  I can hardly believe it’s my day for the Recipe Redux. (Time flys when your having fun, lol).

 But here’s the good news! This month’s theme  is helping me get back on track with Spring cleaning: Today we’re giving  love to ingredients that have been hanging out for awhile in the  pantry, refrigerator or freezer.

Admittedly, I found two unopened bags of cornmeal sitting in on a shelf in my pantry  waiting for attention;  surely there are ways to enjoy cornmeal other than the occasional loaf of cornbread?!  Enter my signed copy of  the Vegetarian Flavor Bible which is  the inspiration behind this harmonious combination of ingredients (stay tuned for my upcoming book review) …IMG_1561.6

Ta da!   Yes, this porridge  tastes as good as it looks and  one serving provides: 294 calories, 10 grams of protein, 4 grams of fiber and is a good source of vitamin C.  For me, it’s the new alternative to oatmeal. Make this delicious  breakfast in 15 minutes any day of the week,  and/or be the hostess with the mostest the next time you have visitors over a long weekend.

Please check out the links at the bottom of this post to see how spring cleaning is inspiring my  friends and colleagues.

How are you simplifying life?

What ingredients have you been neglecting?

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Creamy Polenta with Oranges & Almonds; serves 4

cooking time: 5 minutes

Prep time : 10 minutes

by Diane Boyd

Ingredients

  • 1 orange
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cup skim milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3/4 cup stone ground yellow cornmeal, made with whole grain corn
  • 1/2 cup low fat Greek yogurt
  • 6 Tablespoons organic agave nectar, divided
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted

Instructions

1. Zest the orange; you will need 2 teaspoons of orange zest. Set aside.

2. Peel orange and break into segments. Cut segments into thirds. Set aside.

3.Combine Greek yogurt, 1 1/2 teaspoon agave nectar and 1/2 teaspoon orange zest. Set aside.

4. Combine water, milk, and salt in a large sauce pan. Bring to a boil.

5. Add corn meal in a thin stream stirring continuously.

6. Cook while stirring until corn meal  thickens and separates from the sides of the pan. (May take anywhere from 1 minute to 5 minutes.)

7. Remove from heat. Add 1 1/2 tablespoons agave nectar and 1/2 teaspoon orange zest. Divide between 4 bowls.

8. Top each bowl with yogurt mixture , orange segments and toasted almonds.

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Post Resistance Recovery Snack: Pineapple Greek Yogurt with Granola

Stop working harder. Start working smarter and seeing results. In my last post, Get in Shape: No Additional Time Required, I discuss the  the concept of living healthier by making small changes or swaps that add up to permanent change and real results. This post is for you if you’d like maximize training gains after a bout of resistance/strength training.  Muscle protein synthesis can be upregulated  by paying attention to three factors: time of recovery, amount of protein and type of protein.  So 30 minutes after a series of strength exercises like this 

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This lunge with rotation is one of a series of strength exercises I perform with a medicine ball in my garage that doubles as a gym.

I aim to get  20-30 grams of (high branch chain a.a.) protein  in a snack like thisIMG_1529.1

IMG_1527I hope you will join me with this  recovery snack after your next bout of strength training!

Pineapple Yogurt Parfait with Coconut Mango Granola

by Diane Boyd

makes 1 yogurt parfait with granola to spare

Ingredients 

    for the granola

    • 1/2 cup old fashioned oats, (GF look for gluten free label)
    • 2 tablespoons quinoa, rinsed
    • 1/4 cup peanuts
    • 1/4 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
    • 1 egg white
    • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
    • 1/2 teaspoon lime juice
    • 1Tablespoon honey
    • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon lime zest
    • 1/3 cup chopped dried mango

    for the yogurt

    • 6 ounces low fat vanilla Greek yogurt
    • 1/2 cup canned crushed pineapple, packed in its own juice

    Instructions

    for the granola

    1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.

    2. Place ingredients oats through sea salt in a small bowl and stir to combine.

    3. Pour onto a foil or parchment paper lined baking sheet and bake for 20 to 30 minute or until golden, stirring every 10 minutes.

    4. Allow to cool. Add lime zest and dried mango. Store in an air tight container.

    to assemble parfait

    1. Layer three ounces of yogurt, pineapple and remaining yogurt in a parfait glass. Top with 2 tablepoons of granola.

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    Get in Better Shape: No Additional Time Required

    Are you doing aerobic exercise (such as running) at least 5 days a week, but still not seeing the physical results you desire? Wouldn’t it be nice to improve your conditioning (including trimming and toning) without spending any additional time?  You can! The idea is to train smarter, not harder. Consider this:

    A growing body of clinical evidence shows that the healthiest bodies are those that reflect the hard work of a varied exercise rountine, including resistance training. Current fitness recommendations from The American College of  Sports Medicine are for adults to  strength train twice a week (three times is optimal).

    Get in better shape: No Additional Time Required

    Unconventional resistance training with Gorilla wrestling throwing dummy.

    Here’s how to put this principle to work if your exercise routine is an aerobic activity everyday, (or 5 days a week ). Simply swap out 2 days of  aerobics  for 2 days of reisitance/strength training. You don’t have to add any additional time to your training,  just mix it up. When I strength train, I generally perform about 5-6 exercises (each challenging enough to do 10-12 reps) and I do 5 sets of each. Moving quickly from one exercise to the next, without a break, helps keeps my heart rate up and provides for a more intense level of training (more fat burn and muscle enhancement).

    Stop thinking you  have to work harder to get healthier. I love this concept of living healthier by making small changes or swaps that add up to permanent change and real results. Please check out Simple Tweaks for a Healthier Life by fitness blogger Anne Mauney, MPH, RD for more ideas to make fitness, food and  healthy living more manageable. And if you are interested in maximizing training gains after strength training, you won’t want to miss my next post!

    Do you have fit tips to mix it up or simple tweaks for better health?

     

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    Eat Smart: Granola as a flavor ingredient

    Mango Curry Granola is the perfect salad topper for cukes and ricotta!There’s somethin’ about spring that’s motivating. I don’t know if it’s the sight of  trees budding, the warmth of  sun on my face, or the liberating feeling  of running  bare legged, but it brings out the best in me. This week, I have completed ‘the task’ I’ve been dodging for over seven months.   I am happy to report reorganizing my study is like a breathe of fresh air…

    organizing my workspace   In addition to some obligatory spring cleaning, I ‘ve also been busy with one of my favorite spring activies,  transitioning menus to reflect the  fresh flavors of spring and summer.  It started with  Mango Curry Granola and the third  smart way to eat this delicious and nutritious fruit, nut and oat combination:  use it as an ingredient in other foods to easily and consitently  keep the granola portion size in check. There’s no limit to the foods that pair with granola for  high impact flavor. Today it’s  the topping on a cool cucumber salad (which btw can also top 2 slices of bread for an easy vegetarian sandwich). This is the salad that’s the perfect afternoon snack, providing some simple and complex carbohydrates, protein, and produce.  Here ‘s how simple it is to make: Spoon ricotta cheese onto a plate. Toss sliced cucumber with lemon juice and arrange on top of ricotta cheese.  Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with a tablespoon of granola. Detailed recipe below.

    How is spring motivating you?

    Cucumber & Ricotta Salad with Mango Curry GranolaCucumber Ricotta Salad with Mango Curry Granola

    by Diane Boyd

    Ingredients (serves 4)

    • 1 English cucumber, thinnly sliced into rounds
    • 1 1/2 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
    • 1 1/2 Tablespoon olive oil+ more for drizzleing
    • Maldon sea salt
    • Freshly ground black pepper
    • 2 cups low fat ricotta cheese

    for the Mango Curry Granola

    • 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
    • 2 tablespoons quinoa, rinsed
    • 1/4 cup peanuts
    • 1/4 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
    • 1 egg white
    • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
    • 1/2 teaspoon lime juice
    • 1Tablespoon honey
    • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground curry
    • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
    • 1/2 teaspoon lime zest
    • 1/3 cup chopped dried mango

    Instructions

    for the Mango Curry Granola

    1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.

    2. Place ingredients oats through red pepper flakes in a small bowl and stir to combine.

    3. Pour onto a foil or parchment paper lined baking sheet and bake for 20 to 30 minute or until golden, stirring every 10 minutes.

    4. Allow to cool. Add lime zest and dried mango.

    to assemble salad

    1. In a small bowl toss cucumber, with lemon juic and olive oil.

    2. In a small bowl whisk ricotta until smooth and season with salt and pepper.

    3. Spoon ricotta onto plates and top with cucumber. Sprinkle some of the granola on the cucumbers and garnish with a drizzle of olive oil and several tablespoons of granola. Serve right away.

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