Saturday, 29 October 2011

VeganMoFo 2011 #29: 'Appetite For Reduction'

Appetite for Reduction
Isa Chandra Moskowitz, De Capo Press, 2011

Appetite For Reduction

Pretty much anything that comes out from Isa, I buy. There have been other low fat vegan cookbooks around that I haven't ever really considered buying, but it was a no brainer that this one would find its way to my bookshelves. I don't really think of Appetite for Reduction a a 'diet' cookbook, as it is a book bursting with delicious, fresh and healthy recipes that everyone will love. I certainly have loved cooking from this book - everything is so packed with flavour, and you certainly don't feel like you are on any sort of restricted eating. This book is full of noms!

The book is a paperback with a middle section of glossy colour photos of some of the recipes. The front cover has that lovely matte feel like Vegan Brunch did. I'll list the chapters in a moment, but I will point out that there is no dessert chapter. Some people have felt this to be a gross omission. However, there are a trillion vegan dessert books available (Isa herself has written many of them!) so turn to those or just have some fruit if you need something sweet to end with. There is no menu list, as such, in the book, but there are lots of suggestions throughout for recipes to combine. The chapters that are in this book include:

*Introduction/Metric Conversion Chart/Mission: Nutrition/About the Icons
*Full-On Salads
*Totally Stuffed Sides
*Rub-Your-Tummy Veggies
*Main Event Beans
*Sink-Your-Teeth-Into Tofu and Tempeh
*Talk Pasta To Me (& Noodles)
*Soul-Satisfying Soups
*Comfort Curries, Chili, & Stews
*The Elements of a Bowl (fun suggestions for putting together delicious bowl meals)
*The Importance of Eating Sandwich (fun suggestions to putting together great sandwiches and wraps)
*Appendix: Recipes by Icon (Gluten-Free, Soy-Free, 30 minutes or under, Downtime)

I've blogged a lot from this book, and I have more photos awaiting upload than I could fit in this post. So I am going to put up some of the best things I have made but haven't blogged yet, and I'll list the other five-star recipes that don't have photos today at the end. I'm going to kick off with some of the menu suggestions. I'll often eat more than what is considered one serve here, so I'll mention how many servings I got from each if they differ from the book.

Chickpea Piccata and Broccopots

Chickpea Piccata; Broccopots

This is a delicious combination. I chose the broccopots for something different.
The piccata is great, that delicious, rich, tangy sauce that I have come to crave. I got 3 servings, instead of 4. 4 stars.
Broccopots is the green version of the famous and fantastic caulipots. This variation, with broccoli mashed into the potato instead of the cauliflower, is one of my favourite variations. I find the caulipot recipe makes a huge amount! Probably 5 serves, rather than 4. 5 stars.

Veggie Pot Pie Stew with Sweet Potato Drop Biscuits

Veggie Potpie Stew; Sweet Potato Drop Biscuits

The stew is very satisfying. I did find that the base of the stew needed a bit more flavour, so I would increase the amount of stock powder I used to make the stock next time (but this will vary depending on the strength of your stock). I got 4 servings, rather than 6. 4 stars.
The biscuits are great with the stew but also very nice as a snack. I only got 8 biscuits, rather than 10, so I must have made them a bit too big. As a result, I needed to bake them for a bit longer. 4 stars.

Tofu Chimichurri with Chipotle Caulipots

Tofu Chimichurri; Chipotle Caulipots

Chimicurri is one of my favourite sauces and marinades, but often has a lot of oil. This is full of flavour and completely oil free. 5 stars.
The chipotle caulipots call on the old favourite of chipotles in adobe to lend a smoky heat. I didn't use the full four chipotles called, I probably used only one or two. 4 stars.
Served with a salad.

Apple-Miso Tofu, Scallion Potato Pancakes, and Orange-Scented Broccoli

Apple-Miso Tofu; Scallion Potato Pancakes; Orange-Scented Broccoli

The tofu is an unusual but very addictive flavour. The marinade ended up more of a thick paste, rather than a liquid like most marinades, so it clings to the tofu and apples perfectly. 4 stars.
Orange-Scented Broccoli sounds delicious, and is very nice. Quick to make, it is a nice way to dress up broccoli. 4 stars.
The scallion pancakes were tasty, though didn't brown as much as I would have liked in the oven. Using 1/4 cup for each, I got 11 rather than 12. They are yummy cold taken for snacks at work the next day. 4 stars.

Tamarind BBQ Tempeh & Sweet Potatoes, Shaved Brussels Sprouts, and Polenta Stuffing

Tamarind BBQ Tempeh & Sweet Potatoes; Shaved Brussels Sprouts; Polenta Stuffing

Thanksgiving isn't an Australian tradition, but I have read a lot about what people eat on blogs. This is kind of what I imagine a healthy Thanksgiving in a bowl would be like. Served with Cranberry Sauce (from Eat, Drink & Be vegan).
Tempeh and Sweet Potatoes have a lovely tamarind BBQ sauce coating them. Make the time to marinate well, because the flavours are great. 4 stars.
The Brussels sprouts have a great texture. It takes a little bit of time to slice them so thinly, but it isn't that long and it is work it. 4 stars.
I've mentioned that I love polenta, and this stuffing is seriously addictive. 5 stars.

Mushroom & Cannellini Paprikas with Scarlet Barley

Mushroom & Cannellini Paprikas; Scarlet Barley

The paprikash is delicious, and is amazingly creamy without a drop of sour cream. I love dill, and this has lots. 4 stars.
Scarlet Barley is a stunning, colourful dish thanks to grated beetroot. It makes the plate look fantastic. I had to simmer the barley at a medium-high temperature, rather than on low, to get the water to absorb in time. 4 stars.

Upside-Down Lentil Shepherd's Pie (with Garden Variety Caulipots)

Upside-Down Lentil Shepherd's Pie (w/ Garden Variety Caulipots)

I think this dish is the talk or the town, everyone I know who has made it is in love with it. It is so tasty. The shiitake mushrooms and the Worcestershire sauce make this something special. 5 stars.
This recipe also calls for caulipots (hence the upside down part). I chose Garden Variety Caulipots, which have chives and parsley. 4 stars.

Pasta Con Broccoli

Pasta con Broccoli

This is so simple, but so delicious. Pasta and broccoli in a white wine sauce. I added white beans for protein. Sprinkle nooch on top! I got three serves out of this, rather than four. 5 stars.

Caldo Verde with Crumbled Tempeh

Caldo Verde with Crumbled Tempeh

I have recently discovered that I love Caldo Verde! This version uses silverbeet (chard) for the greens, and delicious chunks of sauteed tempeh. Make sure to brown the tempeh well. 4 stars.

Classic Black Bean & Veggie Chili

Classic Black Bean & Veggie Chili

This chili is fresh tasting and packed full of veggies. A great taste! 5 stars.

Other 5 star recipes:
Peanut-Lime Dragon Dressing
Eggplant Bacon
Cheezy Pots
Creamed Corn
Eggplant Dengaku
Baked Falafel
Forty-Clove Chickpeas & Broccoli
Jalapeno-Cilantro Hummus
Arabian Lentil & Rice Soup

Do you have a favourite Isa cookbook? Can you choose?

Cute Kitty Photo of the Post

Maryanne Oliver's Gizmo

The last of my paintings by Maryanne Oliver. This time a little bit of punk creeps in with my lovely girl Gizmo. I love how Maryanne paints cats, and I love how Maryanne paints her red-haired girls.


  1. I love Appetite For Reduction but I could never pick a favourite Isa cookbook! They're awesome. That stew with the sweet potato drop biscuits is one of my favourite recipes from the book & I keep going back to some of the soups over & over again.

  2. I haven't got all of Isa's books (yet..haha) but Appetite for Reduction is definately my most used. Nearly everything I've made this week has been from it. I made the Portobello Pepper Steak Stew (pg 247) the other night and I'm so annoyed my camera charger hasn't arrived in the mail yet because I COULD EAT IT ALL DAY FOR EVER. I served it on pasta which was awesome, but I think all the gluten mixed together was a bit much on my stomach. It'd be so easy to make gluten free though, which I might try soon.

  3. I only have just the Appetite For Reduction , which so far is my favorite cookbook. The chili looked awesome , I am going to have to make that soon.