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Book Review: Appetite for Reduction

I have a ton of vegan cookbooks and all of Isa’s but this one will most likely never sit on the shelf. Honestly, I look at most of the cookbooks I have as resources for ideas or starting-off points and then I go my own way and do my own thing and the finished dish NEVER resembles anything in the cookbook. So many of my cookbooks don’t get used at all but they look pretty on the shelves. Not true for this one. I’ve read this cookbook everyday since I got it and I actually make the recipes as written (which is unusual for me).

Appetite for Reduction by Isa Chandra Moskowitz is the first vegan cookbook to approach plant-based food in a way beneficial to people who want to lose weight or just eat a lower-fat, whole food, healthier diet.

The book is packed with useful information from cover to cover. There are metric conversion charts which I always find helpful, everything you need to know about vitamins, minerals, fiber, sodium, and good fats vs. bad fats. Then come the delicious recipes. A chapter filled with creative salads and homemade dressings that make you look at salad as a meal in itself rather than the default “diet food.” There are healthier versions of side dishes like Oven-Baked Onion Rings, Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes and Unfried Fried Rice. Then come chapters on veggies and beans that once again bring those foods often thought of as side dishes to the center of the table.

Broiled Blackened Tofu

The recipes for tofu and tempeh are incredible. My favorites are the Buffalo Tempeh and the Broiled Blackened Tofu. There is also a chapter for noodle lovers that will satisfy your taste whether it’s for Italian (Spinach Lasagna with Roasted Cauliflower Ricotta and Spinach), Asian (Ginger Bok Choy and Soba), or just good ol’ Mac and Trees. For those days when you need a warm bowl of comfort, there are chapters of amazing soups, curries, chili and stews. And just when you think you’re done with the recipes, there are more chapters on how to build delicious “bowls” and sandwiches using recipes from the book. The color pictures make your mouth drool and your stomach rumble.

Buffalo Tempeh

There is also nutritional information for every recipe so you know exactly what you are eating and how to fit it into your personal food plan.

As usual, reading one of Isa’s cookbooks is like cooking with a friend in the kitchen. Every page is filled with her personality, her wit, her helpful tips and her voice which all of her fans have come to know and love.

This book is beneficial to more people than those who just want to cut calories. Many of the recipes are soy-free, most of them are gluten-free (or can easily be made gluten-free with a swap or two), they use pretty common ingredients but also introduce you to a few new items to spice up your pantry and most of the dishes don’t take long to make at all.

This is not a book for people who want vegan cookies and cupcakes (Isa has already written those), processed mock meats or cheese substitutes. The recipes all use whole-foods with minimal oil but you never feel deprived or bored.

I was honored to be a tester for this cookbook and I had so much fun testing out the recipes and posting my results on the Post-Punk Kitchen forums. Unfortunately, my name got left out of the book but Isa has promised to make sure I’m included in the 2nd printing and send me my copy then. Still, I couldn’t wait and bought a copy right away.

Vegan. Healthy. Delicious. Isa. What more could you want? This book is worth every penny and more!

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One Response to Book Review: Appetite for Reduction

  1. Bunny McBones November 17, 2011 at 1:26 pm #

    I love Isa! I have several of her books and they are my favorite. I haven’t looked at this one, but now I’m excited to. Mmm!

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