Monday, January 3, 2011

Cookbook Review: Appetite for Reduction by Isa Chandra Moskowitz

I have been a big fan of Isa Chandra Moskowitz for a long time now.  Shortly after I became vegan, I bought a copy of Vegan with a Vengeance.  I loved this book from the start.  Since then, she has published many more excellent vegan cookbooks.  Her list of cookbooks include:

I don’t think I have ever made a recipe that I did not like.  Every recipe has been a hit.  Also, many of her recipes are “crowd pleasers.”  These are the recipes I choose to make when we have non-veg*n friends over for dinner.  Her Blackeyed Pea Quinoa Croquettes and mushroom gravy recipe from Vegan with a Vengeance has made its way on to our dinner table many evenings when trying to please the pickiest of our omni friends.  Her recipes are always a hit.  What I love the most about Isa’s recipes is that they are never boring.  There is always a ton of flavor in her cooking but it’s never too complicated.  So many vegan recipes can be boring and lack flavor and then others can be too complicated with hard to find ingredients.  That’s never the case with Isa’s cooking. 

I have been on my weight loss journey for over 1 ½ years now.  This means that I have to be very selective about the recipes I choose to make now.  I also have to modify recipes quite a bit now.  If there’s too much oil, margarine, sugar, etc., I have to cut it way down if not eliminate it from the recipe all together.  This can be a hassle and it can also compromise the taste of the recipe.  However, I have still been able to cook with Vegan with a Vengeance, Veganomicon and Vegan Brunch without too much difficulty.  I am so thankful for this because I love Isa’s recipes too much.  But when I found out that she would be publishing a low fat vegan cookbook, I was super excited!  At first, I thought it was just a rumor.  I didn’t want to get my hopes up and then for it to not be true.  (Yes, I am a nerd.)  But then I found out it was true!  It felt like I had to wait forever for the book to be published.  So, needless to say, I was very excited to receive my copy at the beginning of December. 

I have been working my way through different recipes, and everything I have tried has been excellent.  Full of flavor, as always.  Plus, it’s so nice to cook with recipes that call for 1-2 teaspoons of oil (if any at all) instead of 2 tablespoons.  I don’t have to modify ingredients due to them being fattening and the nutritional information is even included for each recipe.  If you watch what you eat and you are trying to make better food choices, I highly recommend Appetite for Reduction.  I can’t wait to cook more recipes from it!  Below are the recipes I have made from Appetite for Reduction.  If I have any notes on the recipes, I will include them. 

Recipes cooked:

OMG Oven-Baked Onion Rings-We have made these twice now.  They are great!  I would make sure to follow all of Isa's directions for preparing the onion rings.  Also, we use less salt and more bread crumbs than what the recipe calls for. 

Butternut Coconut Rice-Lots of flavor-this made an excellent side dish for the jerk asparagus and broiled blackened tofu. 

Jerk Asparagus-A great way to cook asparagus.  It was nice to mix it up a bit-we tend to cook our asparagus the same way every time. 

Broiled Blackened Tofu-This turned out pretty spicy.  If you can't handle much spice, I might modify the spices in the recipe a little bit. 

Tempeh Helper-We made this back when it was just a recipe posted on the Post Punk Kitchen website.  I made it without the cheesy sauce.  It still turned out delicious-very much a comfort food!

Spinach Linguine with Edamame Pesto-We also started making this recipe back when it was just posted on the Post Punk Kitchen website.  We have made this countless times.  In fact, we had basil growing in our garden this summer and decided to make several batches of this pesto and freeze it.  We still have a few batches left in the freezer and it's always a treat to eat this! 

Quinoa, White Bean and Kale Stew-This was a delicious, wintery stew.  It also makes a lot of left overs so it's a good recipe to make over the weekend and you will have it for the week ahead.  I had a bunch of collards that needed to be used, so I used collards instead of kale in this recipe. 

Smoky Tempeh & Greens Stew-I made this recipe just yesterday.  This was the first time I used smoked paprika because I was just recently able to find it.  It's been one of those spices I have been trying to find for awhile now and finally did on my trip home over the holidays.  This was a very filling stew with a lot of great flavor.  I loved it!


  1. I made the oven baked onion rings based on your review...they were great! Thanks for tip.

  2. sounds like a great book! I may have to invest in that some day. I'm not a real cook, though. I'm more into the fast, easy, aproach to veganism most days. (open a can of beans, mix with some cooked rice and veggies, etc.)

    I just reviewed my xmas present on my blog, "PETA's Vegan College Cookbook". It's awesome so far. Would you say that Appetite for Reduction has recipes in it that are fairly easy? Ingredients all easy to find?

    Thanks for the review, I will be checking this book out.

  3. I love the cookbook too, as well as her others. Great blog post. I really like your blog :)

  4. Leah-I would say that most of the recipes have ingredients that are pretty easy to find and not too complicated. I also recently bought the Supermarket Vegan and it has very easy to find ingredients. I have only tried one recipe though and it was pretty good. I will check out your blog about the PETA cookbook-I have always seen that at stores and on the internet but I don't own it.

  5. The kale, quinoa and white bean stew is so far the only thing I've made - I've got it for lunch today! Thanks for the recommendations on the others. I haven't found a recipe in this book that doesn't sound appealing!

  6. Katie! Your new header looks like you were making a collage! Is that so? I still have to glue mine down. A little ambivalence, me thinks

  7. It looks like we are in the same boat there, Maddy! I am making a collage and I also need to get mine glued down. I have the idea worked out in my head, I just have to get it down. I am not sure why I am putting it off!