Saturday, 2 April 2011

Recipe Round-Up: Appetite For Reduction (and some exciting news)

Wow... four weeks since my last post, where has the time gone? I have no idea. I did get some pretty exciting news a few weeks ago, which has been taking up a lot of my time. More on that later.

To make up for the long post hiatus, here is a super post round up of Appetite For Reduction. I am still loving this book. The food in it is so easy and fresh, I love the way Isa manages to combine so many vegetables into the dinners. Here is what I have been making over the last long while...

Potato-Spinach Curry (p 232) with Tamarind Quinoa (p 84) and Masala Baked Tofu (p 146).
I loved the quinoa here, so delicious! Though in future I would add a bit more tamarind paste to bring out a stronger flavour - I love tamarind! The curry goes really well with it, the frozen spinach really cooks down it delicious soft mush (in a good way!). For the tofu, I was using my marinade on its second run, and it was just as delicious as the first time.

Eggplant-Chickpea Curry (p 230) with Cranberry-Cashew Biryani (p 67).
My family was thrilled when this was served, back when my brother was still here over summer. It was a fantastic combination! The biryani was really nice and chewy, and the flavours of both dishes just really work. I think I served this with some baby spinach leaves, for a bit of green.

Red Wine & Kalamata Tempeh (p 157) with Garlic-Herb Caulipots (p 54).
Red wine and olives? Hell yeah! This is a very strong marinade, but it will knock your socks off. You will be slathering the extra sauce over your caulipots. This was my first time making the caulipots, and I am a devoted fan. Steamed broccoli just fits so well here... including the delicious stems, of course!

Curried Scrambled Tofu with Wilted Arugula (p 156) with Brussels Sprout-Potato Hash (p 65). Brinner time! The tofu scramble recipe says four serves, but my happy little belly would make two or three serves out of it. Granted, I don't have to worry about portion sizes too much. The hash was tasty. The introduction to the recipe suggests serving with the chickpea gravy, which I think would also be a great combination. In this case, I served my brinner with some salad greens and some avocado on sourdough toast.

Curried Green Onion Hummus (p 138).
A worktime snack. I think my curry powder might be stronger than the type Isa uses (or maybe she has awesome powers of curry), so I used the lesser option of two teaspoons.

Mango BBQ Beans (p 133) with Fresh Corn & Scallion Corn Bread (p 244) and Jerk Asparagus (p 91).
I had read a lot about these beans on the PPK Forums, and it certainly did not steer me wrong. The mango does not make it overly sweet, it just adds another dimension. It was a great way to use up some of summer's beautiful mangoes! I did find the cornbread quite sweet, so next time I would add less agave nectar. The addition of fresh corn kernels really elevates the cornbread in a way that frozen corn kernels just never could. The asparagus was also very nice, though in a family of asparagus lovers I didn't have any left for my left overs!

Caesar Salad with Eggplant Bacon (p 42).
Hello Eggplant Bacon, and where have you been all my life? It was lucky any of it made it to the salad and I didn't just snack on it all. The Caesar Chavez Dressing was thick and delicious - also great on sandwiches (more on that soon). I added the optional chickpeas to bulk it out a bit. This is something you want to assemble on an as needed basis, and the eggplant bacon is definitely best eaten soon after it is made, so it is not the best thing to make for lunches for the week. Fresh is best here!

Breakfast Sandwich (p 269).
This used up a few leftovers - Curry Scrambled Tofy with Wilted Arugula, Caesar Chavez Dressing and Eggplant Bacon all on a freshly made english muffin (from Isa's Vegan Brunch). It was very satisfying!

Eggplant Provencal (p 260) with Herb-Roasted Cauliflower & Bread Crumbs (p 108).
The provencal is a great warming stew, and is bulked out nicely by the potatoes in it. The recipe suggests serving with bread or rice, but I found with the potatoes in it the rice I made was a bit superfluous. The cauliflower is also highly addictive.

2nd Avenue Vegetable Korma (p 226).
This is super quick and very tasty dinner, served over brown rice, and the leftovers go really well in a wrap.

Ginger Bok Choy & Soba (p 176).
This is pretty self explanatory. I added the optional adzuki beans to bulk it out, and used shoyu soy sauce for an extra depth of flavour.

Kidney Bean & Butternut Jamba Stew (p 256).
I cut the pumpkin a bit big for this, and I also had only taken the peel off fairly thinly, so the pumpkin didn't get as smooshy as I would have liked, but that is totally my own fault. I subbed peas for green capsicum. The left overs were great either reheated with some nooch mixed in or in a wrap with some greens.

Cheezy 'Pots (p 54), Sweet & Salty Maple Baby Carrots (p 105), Silky Chickpea Gravy (p 56) and Basic Baked Tofu (p 144).
The ultimate in comfort food, after this photo was taken I added a lot more gravy! The Cheezy 'Pots are my favourite variation of Caulipots thus far, why is it that nooch makes everything better? For the carrots, I couldn't find any baby carrots so I just cut regular carrots in half and then on a thick diagonal. Next time I will add a pinch more salt, I think. Basic Baked Tofu is basic and easy, but so versatile and you can imagine it in many a ways. The marinade makes enough for two 500g blocks of tofu and another half batch. Finally, the gravy is sublime. Smother it over everything, eat it with a spoon. I did have to spend several minutes with my handheld blender to get it smooth. I finished it up with some steamed broccoli.

Jalapeno-Cilantro Hummus (p 139).
This is one of my favourite hummus flavours ever. I can't really describe it, so just go ahead and make it and prepare for your taste buds to be blown away.

Quinoa Puttanesca (p 75) with Basic Baked Tofu (p 144).
Juicy, saucy, salty and just a little bit spicy, this quinoa will not let you down. Although quinoa is a little powerhouse of protein, I also added some baked tofu and some steamed broccoli, thus elevating this to one satisfying dindins.

Moroccan Chickpeas & Zucchini (p 249).
I took Isa's suggestion and served this with cous cous, which was a perfect combination. I used three zucchinis instead of two (because you can always have more vegetables) and some regular carrots thickly sliced on the diagonal in place of baby carrots. The recipe called for 25 ounces of tinned chickpeas. I used two 400g tins, but next time I would probably add one and a half tins next time, as I found it almost a bit too full of chickpeas. I know, I didn't think it was possible either.

Eggplant Kibbeh (p 82) with Baked Falafel (p 121) and Shabby Sheik Hummus (p 138).
The kibbeh was a bit watery, because I accidentally followed the instructions on the bulgur packet and not Isa's instructions, which call for a lot less water. The falafels are adorable, and really easy to make. They hold together perfectly, which is something I always worry about with patties (I'm sure we all know the anguish of balls or patties that don't stick). The hummus went really well with this combination.

Arabian Lentil & Rice Soup (p 206).
There was murmurs on the PPK boards about this soup being a delicious surprise, and I was not let down. Maybe it is the lemon in it? I don't know. But what looks like it would be a fairly straight forward flavour profile ends up as something magical. I served it with some little pitas and some salad leaves. Make it.

Sauteed Kasha & Mushrooms with Dill (p 73) and Basic Baked Tempeh (p 145).
I love how the dill flavour lingers long after dinner has finished. This is only my second time using kasha, and I am a fan. This is earthy goodness at its best. The tempeh is baked in the same marinade as the tofu recipe, and is juicy and a great accompaniment. It doesn't mask much of the tempeh flavour, so keep it for those you know enjoy tempeh without needing lots of strong flavours. Some steamed broccoli finished it off.

Now for my news! Those who follow me on Twitter would already know, but I have been accepted for a short oral presentation at the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine Forum in June, in Denver, in the USA! My talk is about the research I am doing for my masters, and is called Diabetic Cats in Remission Have Impaired Glucose Tolerance... exciting stuff. ;) Public speaking aside (which fills me with dread and terror), I am having three weeks of holidays to spend in America, a place I have never been. The conference is in Denver, and then I am heading off to Seattle, Portland and San Francisco. And I am going to eat! Yay!!

Cute Kitty Photo of the Post

Check out that larynx! Sahara takes a big yawn.


  1. Whoa, that's an impressive amount of food pr0n! And a lovely kitty. I might need to acquire A4R for making some nice winter not-too-stodgy stodge.

  2. Oh, and I should have added: yay, exciting presentation and trip to America! Mmm, tasty Portland.

  3. Yum! I've been cooking from AFR loads recently too. I love the Potato Spinach Curry & the Caulipots (I always make the nooch version) but I really need to make the MAsala Baked Tofu, it looks delicious.

  4. thanks for all the pics, very inspiring - I've just got AFR but not cooked from it yet. And, congratulations on your trip to the states. I went to Portland last October and loved it. Ooh, all that fantastic vegan food to look forward too!

  5. Well, now I know which recipes to try ASAP. Excellent write up! I can't wait to dive into that book. (I admit, I've had it for a couple of months now, but have only made 1 recipe - Polenta Stuffing - which was yummy.)

    Congrats on your upcoming adventure to the US! You're going to LOVE all the vegan eats in every single one of those cities. If you have transportation, check out Boulder (not far from Denver at all). It's very green and hippie and Bohemian and veg-tastic. You'll love it!

  6. Wow, impressive! Appetite for Reduction rocks and I think you picked the best recipes.

  7. Woah, you've been cooking up a storm! It all looks so good. I'm especially intrigued by eggplant bacon.

  8. Yay! When you go to Denver you *have* to have someone take you to Rocky Mountain National Park! The mountains, the mountain goats, the elk, the views! You have to go!

    And now you have me really long for Appetite for Reduction. It doesn't seem to be too soy heavy, does it? *WIN*