Monday, January 17, 2011

Appetite for Reduction!

Ok, so as some of you (or none of you?) know, I got my copy of Appetite for Reduction as a Christmas gift from my wonderful husband. If you don't have your copy yet, stop reading this silly blog right this instant and buy a copy! Hey, I'll even give ya a link HERE! You can even "look inside" most of the book there. But stop being cheap, just buy it.

Anyway....I've made a few recipes and thought I'd report back here. Why? I don't know. It's just what I do. 

The very first recipe I made was the Black Beans in Red Velvet Mole:

Good photograph...probably not. Good food? Yep! Can you believe I've never had mole before? I didn't know what I'd be looking for as far as taste, but thankfully La Liz was here with me at the time and she said, "yep, this is mole alright!". I made some basmati rice with it...why not, right? The only thing I left out were the aniseeds, because I didn't have any...hell, I've never had those in my house. Oh, and the recipe calls for a 24-ounce can of black beans, but I just used two 15-ounce can's worth and it was perfect. And it makes plenty for leftovers! 

Next up: Irish Stew with Potatoes and Seitan
I'm a sucker for most dishes with seitan and potatoes in it. This one was pretty good! I don't know if it looks like a heavy sort of meal to you, but it really wasn't. I had it with rice the first night, with a piece of whole wheat toast the night after, and with farfalle pasta the final night. By that time I was a little stewed out! Overall I think I enjoyed it with the farfalle the most. Oh...and I swore I had green beans in my freezer, but alas it was a bag of peas. So, I subbed.

And tonight's meal was Braised Cabbage with Seitan:
Yes this probably could have used some color for presentation, but I was tired and hungry and not picky...don't judge me. I really liked this for two reasons. One, it was quite delicious although the photo may not reflect that. Two, it was so easy to throw together. In fact, I threw some potatoes in the oven right before I started on this, and it all came together at the same time. That's a roasted potato you see in the bottom right there. I highly recommend doing that! It went well with the cabbage/seitan goodness, and I was able to clean up while everything was cooking. It's the simple things in life that make me happy, really. 

Out of these three dishes, I'm torn between the mole and the cabbage/seitan as far as a favorite. They're both so different, I guess it would just depend on what kind of mood you're in! 

For the record, I have also made the Sweet & Salty Maple Baby Carrots and the Broiled Blackened Tofu. The baby carrots were SO easy and tasty...but I didn't take a photo! Sorry. But if you can just close your eyes and imagine a pan full of baby carrots, that was pretty much the gist. 
The blackened tofu was "ok", but that is nothing against Isa's recipe by any means. If I can confess something to you, it's that...well...I don't If there's a vegan hell, am I going to it? Probably. But I'll fill my pockets with seitan and hope for the best. I keep giving tofu chance after chance, but it's just not working out between us. Oddly enough though, I like the tofu that I get at a few of my fave restaurants around here, but that's probably because they deep-fry it! C'est la vie I guess. 

So, who's got their copy already? What have you made so far, and what are your thoughts?

Song of the day: "Tigerlily" by La Roux


  1. Nice post. I got AFR too & made the mole right away. I didn't have the anise seeds either :o) But even without anise, I thought that mole was incredibly tasty! I made the Carrot Ginger dressing this weekend & was astounded (I think it was the toasted sesame oil that helped!) by the fabulous taste! Nice to meet you - I'm following your blog & look forward to more vegan discoveries :o)

  2. The seitan recipes look really good! Thank you for the review.

  3. I've yet to purchase this book, but it sounds delightful!

  4. Thank you for your brave confession regarding your dislike of tofu. But don't worry. People don't go to vegan hell just because they don't like tofu. They only go there if they don't like nutritional yeast flakes. ;)

    It's fun to see what you've made from Appetite for Reduction. I can't wait to try the mole recipe! I had it in a restaurant a long time ago, but I've never made it myself. I'm just getting started on AFR, and so far I've made Bhutanese Pineapple Rice, which was quite good, and Ye'abesha Gomen, which was good but not amazing. Truthfully, I keep hoping I'll find a recipe for Ethiopian collard greens that compares to the ones at my favorite restaurant, Rahel. Maybe it's an impossible dream.

  5. @beadmobile: Thanks for reading!
    @seitanismymotor: I take it seitan is your fave too, maybe? It's mine, for sure!
    @aimee: Yes, you should purchase this book by all means, it's great!
    @cadry: At least I love nooch, right?? :) Kind of a bummer to hear about the Ye'abesha Gomen...that was on my "to make" list, but now I'm not so sure! My guess is that it's not as oily as the OG stuff? Just a guess. I love me some Ethiopian food though. Have you tried the Ethiopian Seitan from Vegan With A Vengeance? So yummy!!

  6. i love this cookbook! i am making mac & trees today. that irish stew is on my must-try list, for sure! and i bet my kids will love the maple carrots.

  7. @BunzOfCinnamon: The Ye'abesha Gomen didn't have a particular "Ethiopian" quality to me. There were a lot of onions and garlic and some ginger. To me, it reminded me of Southern greens more than Ethiopian greens. I love soul food, and so that's not necessarily a bad thing. It just wasn't what I was hoping to make. Next time I might just embrace it and add some vinegar and/or hot sauce. I haven't made the Ethiopian Seitan in VWAV. I'm intrigued! I have some seitan left over from Viva Vegan. I think it may be in my future!

  8. Haha your comment about "vegan hell" made me laugh! I feel the same way... only with beans. I hate beans, and I feel like something is wrong with me. Beans are so good for you too! I'm a new comer to your blog and I stumbled across, and I'm looking forward to your new posts!

  9. Everybody and their mom is talking about the Braised Seitan and Cabbage. I'm gonna have to make it soon.

  10. Man, people keep raving about this, I'm not sure for how much longer I'll be able to resist (money's tight)! All of the dishes you made look like they'd be really comforting, but that mole is really calling my name.