Prior to the release of Appetite for Reduction, I worked up my appetite for Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s new vegan cookbook by making one of the sneak peek recipes off her website. The Baked Onion Rings turned out fantastic and upped my anticipation for the cookbook by 100%.
The first recipe that I tried from the actual cookbook pages were the Chipotle Lentil Burgers. They are spicy and delicious. One of the big problems with vegetable burgers is that they do not hold together well. Even if they taste great, but fall apart while cooking or while eating, they get a failing grade from me. Moskowitz’s burgers held up to cooking, despite begin flipped numerous times, and while begin squeezed between two halves of a whole wheat bun. The recipe made 6 well-sized burgers and 1 each was all EPC and I needed, along-side our roasted vegetables, to be satisfied. In addition the burgers are darn easy to make – another plus.
Now I had to decide what to make next.
I had a couple of ripe mangos in the fridge which prompted me to make Mango BBQ Beans and the suggested accompaniment, Fresh Corn and Scallion Corn Bread. Both were good; however, EPC couldn’t get enough of the corn bread and for me the beans stole the show. You know that rhyme that ends “and betwixt the both of them they licked the platter clean”, or something to that effect, well in the end it worked out well: neither of us fought over the leftovers. The recipe also prompted me to purchase my first bottle of liquid smoke. I put in half of what the recipe asked for, because I was a little apprehensive of “smoking out” the beans, but I think Ms. Moskowitz got it right.
Sigh – I should have known better.
Finally, and best of all, the beans and the corn bread were both dead easy to make!
Her falafel recipe is fantastic too and best of all (like the onion rings) does not rely on a deep fryer for flavour. The falafel came together in no time flat and I took her suggestion and served them atop organic greens, tomatoes, grated carrots and cucumber. I probably took away the intended low-fat component to this recipe by topping the falafel patties and greens with a tahini sauce, but I can’t have falafel without tahini! Oh yes, I realized half way through my meal that I had forgotten to take a photo – I guess I was just too excited to get down to eating!
Next on my list was an easy choice: Curry Laksa. You can never go wrong with coconut milk, veggies and curry! And this recipe is oh so right! The red curry paste, lime juice, ginger and garnish of cilantro quickly add flavour and pizzaz to this time saving meal. I am a huge fan of coconut noodle soups and this is one of my favourites. It is delicious and very quick to make. Both EPC and I absolutely loved it. I think the author is right when she says that this dish may not be authentic, but with the speed and flavour the lack of authenticity hardly matters.
Now that I have sufficiantly raved about the recipes I should talk a little bit about the overall content of the cookbook. Appetite for Reduction contains 125 recipes divided into 8 sections: salads, sides, vegetables, beans, tofu and temeph, pasta, soups, and stews. She also includes a special section on sandwiches and bowls. In addition, the recipes are reviewed by a registered dietitian who also writes a introductory segment on vegan nutrition, containing info on vitamins and minerals and the scoop on good and bad fats. Moskowitz also makes choosing a recipe easier for us by using icons with each recipe to identify it as soy or gluten-free and indicate whether the recipe can be made in 30 minutes and under and whether or not the recipe has “downtime”. She also includes useful information and tips throughout its pages. Best of all, the cookbook is written in Moskowitz’s standard cheerful and witty banter.
All and all I think this cookbook is fantastic. I am not going to include any recipes because the cookbook was just released and I think you should pick up a copy for yourself or a as gift for a friend (and then borrow it!) If you do want to give some recipes from Appetite for Reduction a try take a look at the website. I think the Chickpea Picatta looks divine!