March 1, 2011

Book Review - Appetite for Reduction

For Your Consideration...
Bhutanese Pineapple Rice and Hoisin Mustard Lettuce Wraps
So did everyone watch the Oscars? What did you think? I surprised myself by seeing every Best Picture nominee this year with the exception of Winter's Bone, which I will have to check out soon. My favorite nominated movie was True Grit, I'm just a sucker for those Coens. My favorite category ended up being Best Documentary (feature length). I thought Exit Through the Gift Shop, Gasland, and Inside Job were definitely some of the best movies last year... yet another sign that I am becoming a hippie I guess. 

I thought this year's awards were a bit slow. I am a huge James Franco fan, but he seriously seemed stoned or exhausted during the show. Somehow his chemistry with Anne Hathaway was a lot better during the promos leading up to the Oscars, but totally fizzled on Sunday night. And the big award winners were very predictable, so that also made things a bit boring. The biggest shocker of the night was that I didn't cry once! Usually, someone's acceptance speech makes me blubber like a baby, but it just wasn't happening this year. (I did shed a few tears during Oprah's Oscar show yesterday, though. Those damn PS 22 kids are just so cute!)

Growing up, the Oscars were always such a big deal in my family. We'd always cook a fancy dinner and gather around the TV to root for our favorites. I like to keep the tradition alive and cook a nice dinner for the big night. This year, I decided to make a few recipes from a new cookbook I ordered. It's called Appetite for Reduction (Guns 'N Roses reference - sweet!) by Isa Chandra Moskowitz. For those not familiar with her, she's a bit of a goddess in the vegan community. She used to broadcast a cooking show called The Post Punk Kitchen from her tiny apartment in Brooklyn with Terry Hope Romero. The two of them wrote several cookbooks together, such as Veganomicon and Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World.

Appetite for Reduction is a great book, because it focuses on low-fat, healthy vegan recipes. Sometimes vegan cookbooks can be all about taste and pay little or no attention to calorie and fat content. So far, every recipe I have tried from this book has been a success, so I highly recommend picking up a copy! My favorites are the Ginger Mashed Sweet Potatoes and Apples (woah!), Hottie Black Eyed Peas and Greens, and Black Beans in Red Velvet Mole. For Oscars night, I made the Hoisin Mustard Tofu Lettuce Wraps and the Bhutanese Pineapple Rice recipes (though I couldn't find Bhutanese red rice, so I just used brown jasmine). The lettuce wraps were awesome, I have never used yellow mustard in an Asian dish before, but the taste was surprisingly good! And pineapple with rice... it's hard to go wrong there.

Sadly, Johnny's schedule is all messed up because he was working on a big show for school, so he slept clear through dinner and did not get a chance to test out the food. But he's definitely been a fan of other recipes from this book, so I think it would get his stamp o' approval! If you want to try a few of Isa's recipes before you buy one of her books, head on over to The Post Punk Kitchen's site, there are tons of recipes and lots of helpful veganriffic info there. Enjoy!


  1. I basically agree with everything you said about the Oscars! I saw all the movies as well, less Winter's Bone. The hosts were unfortunate, but it was an entertaining show because this is first time that I've basically seen all of the movies.

    Excellent selections from Appetite for Reduction. I've only made a few of the dressings, it's about time I try some of the entrees. The lettuce wraps are super tempting!

  2. I am in love with Appetite for Reduction, I totally need to try some of the dressings. The lettuce wraps are delish, I highly recommend them!

  3. Hmm, you have me intrigued, though I'm not much of a mustard fan so the wraps might have been a dud with me. Let me know if there's a recipe that my ugly brother just loves. We have similar tastes (both skeptical omnivores:), so chances are I will love it too! Fun blog Hally. --Mary

  4. I like the food porn. :)

    Do you find yourself paying more attention to the plating when you're going to photograph it? Your plates always look so nicely arranged!

  5. Mary - I think the mustard could be omitted and it would still taste good. Your handsome bro has loved a few recipes, we are going to have a "Johnny Rating System" debut soon to let everyone know how he really feels about each dish. Thanks for perusing my blog! :-)

    Jen - I definitely pay more attention to plating now, thanks for noticing! I need to work on my photography skills so I can get the kind of pics I want. There are some blogs where the photos could seriously be in Food & Wine Magazine!