Saturday, September 12, 2015

VeganMoFo Day 12: My Favorite Cookbook "Appetite for Reduction"

Today's MoFo Prompt: "Tell us about your favorite cookbook"

My favorite cookbook, without a doubt, is Appetite for Reduction. I have many beloved cookbooks, but for general purposes, AfR is my go-to for sure. I have given this cookbook to so many people over the years (vegans, non-vegans, and aspiring vegans), and recommended it to even more people. In fact, I have already done two entire blog posts in previous years devoted entirely to this book (see them here and here

#1 Fan Girl
What if they actually made Appetite for Reduction knee-high socks? I would buy them.

Why am I such a fan? 
1. The recipes are generally easy to make. 
Almost every recipe in this book is relatively quick, easy to make, and is comprised of easy-to-procure ingredients. For that reason, I think this is a very friendly book for newer vegans or non-vegans who may want to occasionally cook for vegan friends and family. Although I absolutely love having a fridge and pantry stocked full with vegan specialty ingredients, I know that's not for everyone... and AfR certainly doesn't require it.

2. The meals are healthy.
Most of the time, I aim for a healthy dinner that's got some good protein and is packed full with veggies. Obviously, the recipes in this book are aimed at low-calorie diets. But even if that's not your objective, they are very healthy meals. You could always add a little more oil, or just double the serving size (ahem, I do this all the time) if you're not looking to lose weight. That said, you'll feel good eating such balanced meals full of flavors and veggies and nutrition.

3. The meals are delicious! 
Even with a focus on easy-to-make and healthy-to-eat meals, the recipes in AfR don't skimp on flavor at all. The book also contains such a huge variety of meals and flavors and veggies - the selection of recipes is very diverse... so, even if there are a few recipes that don't appeal to you, there are many others that certainly will. These recipes are also so reliable, so even new-to-you recipes are likely to immediately become new faves.

our most recent Appetite for Reduction dinner: Hoisin Tofu Lettuce Cups & Potato Scallion Pancakes

Here are some pics of a few of our favorite recipes from Appetite for Reduction
Hottie Black-Eyed Peas & Greens

 Caldo Verde with Crumbled Tempeh

 Chipotle Chili with Sweet Potatoes & Brussels Sprouts

 Summer Lovin' Curried Corn Chowder

 Curried Scrambled Tofu with Wilted Arugula

  Spinach Lasagna with Roasted Cauliflower Ricotta & Spinach

 Mango BBQ Beans (plus Scallion Corn Bread)

Goddess Nicoise Salad with Green Goddess Garlic Dressing

Thai Roasted Root Vegetable Curry

It's interesting to see that I have never even blogged about many of the meals that I've made from this book. For example, I couldn't even find pictures of the Arabian Lentil & Rice Soup or the Sushi Roll Edamame Salad with Green Onion-Miso Vinaigrette, both of which I've made many times. I think part of the reason for that is probably just that this is the book I go to weeknight meals when I want something reliable, healthy and easy... not necessarily for blog-worthy meals. I've made more recipes from this book than from any other cookbook in my collection, and there are still a few more in there awaiting my discovery. I'll try to blog about my future creations with more regularity!

Honorable Mentions:

Best Cookbook for Reading & Exploring

Silk Road Cooking: A Vegetarian Journey: I just love reading through this beautiful and evocative book. If you have wanderlust and are dreaming of a far off land, this is the book for you. If you are in a rut and need inspiration for flavors and ingredients you don't use every day, this book will cure what ails you. The photos are absolutely stunning, and the writings throughout are thought-provoking and moving.

Best Cookbook for Dinner Parties

Voluptuous Vegan: This book came out a long while back and isn't very popular anymore, but I really love it. If I'm in the mood to cook up a nice feast with multiple harmonious elements, this is the first place I go. I love how the recipes are clustered in menus, and you can just prepare as many or as few of the constituent parts as you want. 

Anything Else by Isa Chandra Moskowitz

Vegan Brunch, Veganomicon, Isa Does It, Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, etc etc. Isa's books are just so reliable. All of these books get a lot of play at our house - with consistent results. Isa's recipes are the kinds of recipes that you can make for the very first time even when you have company coming over, because you just know they will work every time. So few duds, so many lifetime favorites. 

I am one of those vegans with a million cookbooks, so I'm really looking forward to reading all of your posts about your favorite books - and hopefully get inspired to use some of my lesser-used books! 


  1. I've seen Appetite For Reduction popping up quite a few times today and it's fab to see pictures of dishes that I haven't got round to making he t. When I moved year and had to put my stuff in storage I had to live in temporary accommodation for a couple of months and just took three cookery books with me. This was one of them. I've gone with an Isa book too for my overall favourite.

  2. I really like this cookbook as well! I haven't made most of the recipes that you mention, though. One of my favorite veggies from there are the brussel sprouts. I am not a fan of brussel sprouts, but I try to eat them once a month or so as they are so healthy. Her recipe is my favorite - sliced thinly and saut\'e9ed with garlic. I put gravy on top. I have two make her falafel again, I think I tried those once and then forgot about them. We always eat them with salad.
    It is hard for me to choose a favorite cookbook, but I guess I would say that Oh She Glows definitely is a top contender! Great flavors, beautiful photos, healthy ingredients.

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  4. I love this one, too! I always up the fat content a little because I don't need to lose weight, but everything is so good even without doing that. I really like the Arabian Lentil & Rice Soup... it's rainy in Maryland today, and it's sounding mighty appealing right now!

  5. I love this cookbook too & I genuinely miss it enough that next time I have a proper kitchen I might even take it outa storage! Everything is so easy and delicious & your pic's reminded me of some of my fave's - the mango bbq beans, the lasagne and the hoisin lettuce cups were all go-to's back in Brighton. Also, I looooove the Mac & Trees.

  6. Isa forever!
    I've actually only ever made the garlicky kale with mushrooms from AFR...I think. Unless I've made things from The PPK that are in AFR. I don't have the book, only used Google Books to take a sneak peak a few times. I should pick it up, I guess :] Great post.

  7. I have Appetite for Reduction and really need to make more from it. Isa's recipes are always so reliable!

  8. ARF is getting a lot of support in the favourite cookbook category today! It certainly is a great book, I love cooking from it. Your recipes all look so pretty.

  9. Excellent choice!!! I love AFR and need to dust it off again very soon!

  10. I loved hanging out with you and your cookbook shelf, and I tend to love a lot of the underdogs you do as well. Especially Voluptuous Vegan (and the two Healthy Hedonist books too!). Your cookbook recommendations are always infinitely reliable--like that Peter Berley book: I had no idea! <3

  11. Oh wow. I'm a very visual person so when a recipe doesn't have an accompanying picture I'm less likely to try it. Your pictures really make me want to get Appetite for Reduction out again and get cooking - especially the lasagna and Chipotle Chili. It's also nice to hear I wouldn't be alone on doubling the serving sizes ...

  12. Everything looks fabulous!

  13. Anonymous11:29 AM

    I'm really pleased to see AFR is so popular today! I used it loads when I first bought it, but it's fallen by the wayside a little now and I need to get back into it. I really love the baked falafel and mango BBQ beans.

  14. Everyone seems to like AFR so much... I should really dig back into it... maybe I've just too often been unlucky with my choices?

  15. Great picks! Some I see I need to get and others I need to revisit :)

  16. I really love AFR too - my non-veg mum loved the recipes I made for her from it so much that I bought her a copy too :)


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