Meat LoverTHE TAKEAWAY. Maybe it’s just me, but no matter how comfortable I get with meatlessness in everyday life, a special kind of low-grade, persistent panic creeps in every time I volunteer to feed a festive crowd without a roast at the center of the table. This book is ideally organized to talk you off the ledge in that situation. Whether you’re a confirmed vegetarian feeding carnivorous guests or an omnivore catering to a crowd that includes some veg-heads, The Meat Lover’s Meatless Celebrations will help you feed them with abundance, variety, and balance. You can mix and match recipes or follow the suggested menus to the letter, whichever suits your comfort level. Usually a hashtag hater, I’ve been dropping little #VegetarianThanksgiving bombs all over the internet these past few weeks in an effort to help more people feel comfortable with a meatless Thanksgiving feast. If I had a bigger budget, I’d be sponsoring airdrops of this book instead.

THE DIRTY DETAILS. The book is organized by season, with recipes grouped into holiday menus ranging from just-for-fun (“Warming Up to Winter Wingding”) to traditional (Thanksgiving) to functional-yet-fun (Preserving Party). There’s also advice on stocking a meatless pantry, and a key showing which recipes are kid-friendly, gluten-free, dairy-optional, and vegan. Some of the menus feature a centerpiece dish, which might work best for guests used to a meat-and-two-veg approach to dinner. Others come together more like a buffet or a full-on vegetarian feast. And, of course, there’s always something sweet at the end.

THE LOVELY AUTHOR. Kim O’Donnel probably needs no introduction to many of you. She’s a widely read and much-loved food writer and chef who’s been offering us ways to eat deliciously with less meat for years. This book follows The Meat Lover’s Meatless Cookbook, which, incidentally, would make a lovely and colorful holiday gift pack alongside this book.

YOU HAD ME AT… “My quest for a ‘feast without the beast’ put me back in the kitchen, where I’ve cooked up more than two dozen ways to eat and be merry for all kinds of occasions. You won’t find faux turkey or simulated hot dogs here but seasonal produce, legumes, whole grains — and plenty of ‘delicious first.’”

HOW TO GET IT. Both books are available in soft-cover and Kindle edition from the usual retailers and are, in my humble opinion, easily worth the small investment.

Carolyn xx


Serious Eats Juice and Smoothie GuidesWell, it’s officially autumn (or should I say “otter-m,” as only my kid from the British nursery school with the animal class names could think it’s called). This season we’ve been delightfully busy with all manner of old and new activities. More on all of that, plus vegetarian Thanksgiving and winter holiday inspiration,  in the weeks to come. Today I want to give you a long-overdue peek at a couple of posts I wrote for Serious Eats with some pro tips for making really good fresh juices and smoothies without recipes. You can find the Juicing Guide here and the Smoothie Guide here. See you soon.

Carolyn xx


Now on Serious Eats: making the most of cherry season. Do it for breakfast! Recipe here on Serious Eats.


Getting my morning coffee at Starbucks is a real gamble these days, not so much because of what’s in the cup as what’s on it. Europe does not seem to recognize the name Carolyn as distinct from Caroline, so I’ve gotten used to parading around town with someone else’s name Sharpied onto my personal belongings. This morning, though, the barista took things to a whole ‘notha level and opted for the rare silent-K spelling of Carolyn, which also apparently involves a U. Knuline — or is that Kwalint? It’s hard to tell.

Either way, I’m pretty sure the universe is trying to tell me something. Knuline, it’s saying, what the heck are you doing at Starbucks? You live in Europe, where a good cup of coffee does not need to have any Sharpie on it at all. Kwalint, show some self respect, girl. And maybe save some of your awkward-drink social capital for those pink juices you seem to like so much. Like Rhubarb Juice. Or Watermelon and Cucumber Juice. Click through the links to find the recipes on Serious Eats.


This week I’m over at Food52 with ideas about how to turn one pot of quinoa into five whole dinners. It’s part of a great weekly series called Halfway to Dinner that features one ingredient or base recipe — and one writer — each week and feeds you all week long. Check it out right here on Food52.


  • Lois Szydlowski

    please put me on your email list; thanksReplyCancel

  • Love this! I will definitely use this next week. :)ReplyCancel

  • Love this shot!!!
    I”ll check out this fun series….ReplyCancel

  • martha poole

    pls add me to email. thanks!ReplyCancel

  • I’m so chuffed that I found your blog. You have the most amazing writing style and your photos and recipes are to die for.ReplyCancel

  • ps is there a way to subscribe to instant emails when you post?ReplyCancel

  • Steven Wolf

    Hey! Umami Girl. Tried your “best gravy” last night over brown rice with grilled vegies. WOW! Poured a little in a cup to savor for desert. Thanks.ReplyCancel

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