Hi!  I’m Emily.  I guess I have a bit of an advantage when it comes to food, since I have a Master’s in nutrition, and now I’m working on a PhD in food policy.  Or maybe it’s actually kind of a disadvantage!  I got into nutrition because I love food and the way food gives us an outlet to create. I do not want to worry about what I’m eating and exactly how many extra minutes it will add or subtract from my lifespan. And, I don’t think we should have to. People survived for centuries without fretting over nutrient content because they were guided by traditions and what they had available. Of course, what was available used to be real food, not food that has had the heck processed out of it.

I don’t adhere to any particular diet with a name.  I’m not a vegetarian or vegan, paleo or primal.  Every one of us needs to eat for sustenance, so food is something that should unite not divide us into self-defensive camps.  From my years of studying and research, I’ve come to believe strongly that everyone is individual and their dietary needs are too, based on genetics and the environment that they’ve developed in.  The one thing I can say for certain is that everyone does better the less processed food (in particular foods high in sugars, refined carbohydrates, and plant oils (corn, canola, and soy)) they have in their diet.  But for that, you need to be able to cook.

It has been said before, and it is a strategy that I generally agree with: don’t buy food that has more than 5 ingredients listed on the food label. The number 5 isn’t hard and fast, of course, it’s just a stand in for the concept that it is best to buy foods in the form that is closest to the way they are found in nature. These are the foods that give you the opportunity to combine them in creative ways, throw in some spices, and get cooking! This, in fact, is where the name for this blog comes from, five (foods with no more than 5 ingredients already in them when you buy them) plus spices!

So, who am I really, and why do I write this blog? For a complete answer, check out my introductory post. But in sum, I am a lazy iron chef; food policy wonk; renegade nutritionist; and cream and butter lover. It took me a number of years of cooking from recipes, playing around with foods, and trying to figure out what to do with the hodge-podge of ingredients I had lying around on any given day to discover how much liberty you can actually take when cooking.  I want to share my discoveries with others!  To bring basics, traditions, a spirit of adventure and improvisation but also every-day-ness back to the art of cooking. I want this blog to convey how much fun I find real food and cooking with real food to be, to tell the stories of joy and friendship that cooking and eating are really about, and maybe even inspire people to go experiment in the kitchen. That last goal is up to you. Be bold! Be audacious! Be messy (and try wearing an apron – I find everything turns out better if you wear an apron, no matter who you are)!

So, welcome!  I hope you stay awhile and look around, and please feel free to leave a comment, share a story of your own, or just say hello.  I absolutely love to hear from you!

If you have any questions about the blog or just want to say hi, feel free to contact me at fiveandspice[at]gmail[dot]com.  I love (like, crazy love) hearing from you!

Something worth noting:  Since, technically, I’m a nutritionist (though I have to admit, I don’t think of myself that way), as you look through this site, you may be wondering why you’re not seeing more whole grains, and beans, and lentils and tofu and all those kinds of things generally considered wholesome by the nutrition establishment.  It’s not that I don’t like them, I actually do (okay, I’ll admit I don’t really like white beans, and I really don’t think that TVP should even be considered a food!).  It’s just that I have an autoimmune condition that makes my intestines react to an enzyme found in the outer layer of most legumes and whole grains – I’ll spare you the details – so I actually can’t eat them.  I can only eat them in their non-whole or else sprouted forms.  It was a funny irony to discover this while I was in nutrition school.  But, I’m over it now.  I try to make up for it by eating lots of extra vegetables and sometimes sprouted grains when I can.  I’ll try to make recommendations in some of the recipes about how you could add such things, but know you can do so at your liberty with most any recipe.  Though, if I’m going to make a dessert, you’d better believe that most of the time I’m going to make it with straight up white flour and white sugar.  I just won’t make it often (hopefully).


§ 73 Responses to About

  • P. Joshua "Griff" Griffin says:

    butter IS a health food!

  • Karen Sorensen says:

    As an “inveterate butter enthusiast”, you might appreciate this excerpt from the promotional review of “Julie & Julia”, appearing in the (Eaglehawk, Victoria, Australia) Star Cinema program notes: “Based on two true stories intertwining the lives of two women who, though separated by time and space, are both at loose ends – until they discover that with the right combination of passion, fearlessness and butter, anything is possible.”

  • kara salmela says:

    Hi Emily!
    I found your blog off of Margaret harstead’s blog of all the crazy connections. I love what you are doing and have been intriqued since I found out you were at Tuft’s University getting your PHD. I used to subscribe to their Nutrition letter back in the day when I was trying to cleanse and get rid of some of my health problems and become a better athlete. Anyway I am thinking about going back to school for nutririon and would love to talk to you about what I should do and where I should go. You may not know necessarily where but it would be fun to chat. I have been salivating over most of your recipes and will be trying them soon.

    Hope to hear from you soon! Kara

  • Anna says:

    hello! I’m another nutrition grad student wannabe 🙂 I’ve been considering Tufts’ Nutrition/Sustainable Ag/Food Policy degree, and looking around for other nutrition graduate programs. I’d love to hear any words of wisdom you might have for me!

    Thanks 🙂

  • Tammy says:

    I just stumbled upon your site after seeing your Minestrone soup on Tastespotting and I believe I will now be stopping by your site quite often. My one question though is, what it the delicious looking pie pictured on your banner? It looks just so inviting!

  • Karin says:

    I found your site while searching for lefse recipes on the web (it’s Christmas, after all, and the Norwegian in me is coming out). I love it! Thank you for some terrific recipes as well as a fascinating, superbly written blog.

    • Emily (Kuross) Vikre says:

      Thanks so much Karin! I’m glad you’re enjoying it. And, I’m planning on posting a lefse recipe soon!

  • Mirabella says:

    Hi Emily, I just discovered your blog today and wanted to say how much I love it! Your recipes are so accessible, creative, and unique (not to mention mouthwatering!) and your approach toward to food and nutrition is totally refreshing 😀

  • GroundCherry says:

    Thrilled to have stumbled upon your blog– can we meet up to talk your experience with the PhD program at Friedman and food photography? I pretty much work a standard schedule, but maybe late afternoon tea one day?

    Stephanie Bostic

  • […] trump Miss Charlotte’s whimsies).  Take a little trip to Five and Spice and visit Emily.  She’s fun, talented, and a girl who knows food!  Bon […]

  • My daughter & I have just discovered your blog – we are looking forward to trying some of your recipes out.

    • Emily (Kuross) Vikre says:

      That’s so kind of you. Feel free to let me know what you think of anything you try!

  • Samantha Nam-Krane says:

    Hi Emily-
    I love your blog! I found you through food52, and while I haven’t actually tried any of your recipes, you seem to be quite an active participant there, not to mention your photography and site design is beautiful.

    So two things- where did you go for your nutrition master’s? I’m a biology student (undergrad) right now but I’m considering either switching or going for a master’s in nutrition after I graduate. Do you have a Bachelor’s in nutrition? I’m really at a point now where I’m questioning what I want to do and I’m seeking advice from absolutely everyone! I like studying biology but my real “passion” is food and nutrition.

    The second thing is that I saw on food52 that you’re hosting a book launch party in Boston. I live in Jamaica Plain and I was wondering if you could send me some information about when/where the party might be?

    Feel free to use my email address to reply to all of this.


  • Hi Emily,
    Found your through Food52 and your delicious raspberry muffins. Love your approach to food – very similar to mine!

  • I nominated you for The Versatile Blogger Award. Here are the details: http://photographerwilltravel.wordpress.com/2011/12/14/the-versatile-blogger/

    Thank you for creating an entertaining blog!

  • Kaho says:

    I recently discovered your blog through Pinterest. Many people pin your photos from your blog and your photos are lovely. I enjoyed reading about you as well!!

  • Sev Goldstein says:

    Your food is sooooooo amazing just the way I love food.
    Thank you

  • Gudrun Witrak says:

    Emily!! I can’t wait to serve the Coconut and Thai Curry Soup when Peter and Andrew come home in April.
    You are amazing and I LOVE your blog.
    See you this summer?

  • mollyspring says:

    I found your blog through pinterest and i love its clean, elegant style. i look forward to being inspired by some of your recipes!

  • gkm2011 says:

    Hi Emily – I nominated you for a Liebster Award as I’ve followed you for a while now and your recipes really are great. You can check out my post below for details:

    Best – gkm2011

    • Emily (Kuross) Vikre says:

      Thank you. That’s very kind of you! I’m not at all qualified number-wise, and I have no idea who to pass it on to – I’m that person who always broke chain letters… But, I’m so flattered and grateful!

  • What a seriously lovely, crisp, and thoughtful space you have — it’s a delight to stumble over here from FP today. I’m currently looking into holistic nutrition programs here in the Netherlands, and it’s always encouraging to find people who are a few steps ahead of me. (:

  • You blog is AMAZING and mouth watering. I am sitting in college getting distracted by the delicious food pictures.

  • Great blog! Love, love, love the pics & recipes.

  • getPHYT says:

    Hello! I have nominated you for the Versatile blogger award. Please, visit http://getphyt.org/2012/05/07/versatile-blogger-award/ to see the other nominees and the rules of this blog award. Happy blogging! And please check out http://www.getPHYT.org

    getPHYT, Exercise Your Mind

  • mymidlifemusing says:

    Love your blog! Thoroughly enjoyed reading “getting back to basics” and the spinach & goat cheese galette recipe! Can’t wait to try it.

  • I am completely sold on your philosophy Emily! A long list of ingredients on a packet is the best way to make me feel a little bit queasy.

    Great blog.

  • chelsea lee says:

    You’ve been nominated for the One Lovely Blog award!

    Here are the steps for the award:

    Name the blogger who awarded you this fantastic award
    List 7 random facts about yourself
    Award 15 other bloggers this award

    • Emily (Kuross) Vikre says:

      Thanks so very, very much for the award! I’m super grateful. However, I don’t really do these types of blog awards just because I can’t keep up with them, and when it comes down to it, I’m that person who always broke the chain letter back in grade school because I somehow always buckle under the pressure of passing something on. But, I really, really appreciate it!

  • You are a great cook and writer. I have to admit that this isn’t usually the type of blog I follow however I love food and I love to cook and I can’t seem to get away from your blog! Thanks for sharing and providing many photos of your creation. I am going to try some of them this summer. 🙂

  • Lisa says:

    This is exactly the sort of food blog I have been looking for. Thoughtful, inspiring recipes (that aren’t solely vegetarian) using real, seasonal, healthful ingredients! The fact that you have a nutrition / food policy background is just icing on the cake–you write from a prespective that I simply couldn’t agree more with. The world did need another food blog, this one. So thank you!

  • Hi Emily,
    I have nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award as I enjoy reading your blog!
    If you’d like to read and repost the award, here’s the link: http://midihideaways.wordpress.com/2012/06/01/flowers-flowers-everywhere/
    Look forward to reading more of your posts,

  • saraincucina says:

    Hello Emily! Come and have a look at my last post. I like your blog, so I have just nominated you for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award and the One Lovely Blog Award!

  • I love your blog. Such beautiful pictures also!

  • sweetcraving says:

    Your blog looks lovely and your photo’s are always so clear and bright. Im about to buy a new camera and I was just wondering what one you use. Thank you 🙂

    • Emily (Kuross) Vikre says:

      Thank you! For a very long time I used a Canon Rebel T1i, which is a pretty basic DSLR and really treated me well. Because I’ve been doing so much photography though, I recently upgraded to a Canon 5d mark II. I mostly shoot using a 24-70mm f2.8 zoom lens, though on occasion I also use my 50mm f1.5 macro lens. Hope that helps! Good luck with your camera search.

  • at350degrees says:

    I’ve nominated you for the One Lovely Blog Award! Congrats! http://at350degrees.wordpress.com/2012/07/08/one-lovely-blog-award/

  • Jeannette Cushway says:

    Hello Emily! I stumbled onto your blog through a random tumblr site of recipes and I am hooked. We have the same view on food and I love meeting people who feel that way! I was wondering, what is your job or career? (if that’s not to personal). I am studying dietetics in college and plan to move on to get a masters in nutrition but I can’t seem to focus in on what I want to do with them once I am out of school. Your insight, words or wisdom, or just conversation would be greatly appreciated!! (: Thanks so much.


    • Emily (Kuross) Vikre says:

      I’m so happy you came it to check it out! I’ll send an email with a little more info about my studies and work.

  • Hi Emily! I found your blog because WordPress recommended yours among other food blogs, and what a lovely Friday afternoon find!

    Very clear and natural photos, makes me want to reach into your photos and grab the food.

    Thanks for being a great inspiration for my new food blog!


  • You have a beautiful blog. I have been wandering from one post to the other and immensely enjoying the way you present your food and how you prepare them. Very original. I’m sure you know how great of a job you are doing here but I also know it feels great to hear it again! I am enjoying your blog, thank you.

    • Emily (Kuross) Vikre says:

      You’re right! It always feels great to get a positive comment, and I value them so, so much. So, thank you!

  • Locaholic says:

    Just came across your blog and I love your recipes and your take on food! Your comment about always wearing an apron really hit home for me. I am in complete agreement, and I find that wearing an apron I love (my current one has ruffles and zebra stripes!) is as inspiring in the kitchen as a beautiful notebook inspires me to write.

  • Hi, Emily — I have nominated you for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award. For badge and info, please check out: https://myfoodjournalblog.wordpress.com/2012/11/02/very-inspiring-blogger-award/

    • Emily (Kuross) Vikre says:

      Hi! Thank you so very much. I’m always ridiculously flattered by these awards, however, as I’ve had to tell others, I can’t pass them on because I’d get swamped by them. But definitely a huge thank you.

  • blowingoffsteamandmore says:

    Great pics, great recipes! Thank you so much for sharing!

  • Hi there!

    I’m an Associate Editor for the Taste and Food sections of The Huffington Post.

    We’re doing a roundup of chili recipes, and would love to feature yours! We will include a photo from your blog, and a link to your recipe, but not the recipe itself. Please let me know if this is okay with you!



  • Nice to meet you. My name is Kenzo.
    I am developing iPhone / iPad applications in Japan.

    Actually, I am contacting you because I was thinking of putting an image sample in the application that I will be putting out soon, and I wanted to use an image and some words that were contained on your blog.Both your pictures and your words are very amazing and beautiful, and I was moved.

    Could I please use them? You will, of course, be clearly credited in the application, which is called thinking tool, and please be assured that neither your picture nor your words will be used elsewhere. I await your response.

    • Emily (Kuross) Vikre says:

      Hello Kenzo, thank you for asking. I’m glad you enjoy my photos and writing. I’m generally open to people using my images on the internet with a credit and a direct link back to the post from which it came. However, I feel that an iphone/ipad app is a different situation, and I don’t think it would be fair to use any of my images without paying for it, as you would for a stock photo. So, I’m afraid I must say no.

  • shellee says:

    I just found this website and it is everything I’ve been searching for. These are the only recipes that I would say have consistently been following the theme of the foods and spices I want to eat and believe are the healthiest for you. I haven’t found any other website like it or any other person that I agree with so much about the philosophy of how foods should be cooked and what foods you should eat.

  • Hey, Just to let you know I nominated you for a versatile blogger award! See details here: http://louslabyrinth.wordpress.com/2013/03/06/2-versatile-blogger-awards/

  • acrusteaten says:

    I just wanted to let you know that I’ve nominated you for the Super Sweet Blogger Award because I’ve really enjoyed reading your blog over the past couple months! You don’t necessarily need to do anything, but you can view my post to see the rules and nominate blogs you like!

    • Emily (Kuross) Vikre says:

      Thank you so much! As I’ve mentioned to others, I don’t usually do the things required by most of these awards (and I see you say that I don’t have to. Thanks! 🙂 ), but I do really deeply appreciate them, and am thrilled to hear you’ve been enjoying my blog!

  • [rowelt] says:

    Your cookin is so clean and recipes are cool. We are vegs and we apreciate that. Sorry about the english 🙂

  • I just found your blog and LOVE IT! Can’t wait to try out some recipes!!!

  • Oh, love the bit about not dividing ourselves “into self-defensive camps”. Well put!

  • Hi Emily!
    I nominated your blog for a few awards. Check it out here:
    You don’t have to do anything if you choose, but sit back and bask in the glory, but if you like, you can write a post that links back to mine:
    http://serifandspice.wordpress.com and post the ‘badges’ — either in a post or in your sidebar. And nominate a few blogs you like too!

    I really enjoy your blog and wanted to let you know!

  • Emily, I love your blog! We have the share you philosophy about uniting and celebrating around food rather than dividing into self-defensive camps. Thanks for the great recipes and beautiful photos. Look forward to following your work here! Rachel (http://chefrachelz.com)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: