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Monday, March 28, 2011

Cookbook Club 2.7 and Appetite for Reduction Review

Sunday was the last day for making anything from Appetite for Reduction before getting the reviews up, so I made one last dish: Herb-Roasted Cauliflower with Breadcrumbs.
There were mixed reviews about this dish, but I had all the ingredients and it seemed easy enough, so I threw it together as a lunch side. Jessica at Vegetabull pointed out that Isa Moskowitz has quite the talent for "reconfiguring cauliflower" and I'd totally agree. Since buying AfR I've taken to buying cauliflower with no real plans in mind just because I've learned how awesomely versatile it is.


Anyway, I thought the dish was great! (That's them on the right. The leftermost side is forthcoming wonderment!) There is one confusing typo in that the directions say to drizzle oil into the bread cumbs, but no oil is called for in the ingredients. Did anyone else notice that? I did add a very small drizzle olive oil and some lemon juice to the mix, but otherwise the bread cumb/spice mixture sticks to the cauliflower just from having washed the florets. It was super easy to make and very delicious.

As for the rest of the cookbook, I loved it. These are the recipes I made:
Smoky Split Pea Soup
Sweet Potato Biscuits
Goddess Nicoise Salad
Jerk Asparagus
Baked Falafel
Balsamic Vinaigrette
and this here Roasted Cauliflower

I think my favorite of these was the Goddess Nicoise, but the sweet potato biscuits were amazing as well. Let that be my one complaint with the cookbook: healthy baking CAN be delicious, but these biscuits are the one baked good recipe in the whole book. Personally, I love baking but am constantly having to alter recipes to healthify them. It can be disheartening to flip through a book and see a dessert section or even a baked goods - breads, muffins, etc. - completely omitted. Some people might think they have to completely give these things up when they begin cooking vegan or low-fat and just pass over the book. Anyway, that's my spiel.
Otherwise, this was a very consistent cookbook with a good amount of recipes that I bookmarked to try. Isa relies on global cuisine, bringing in spices and flavor pairing that excite the palate without added fats. It's really relieving to be able to pick anything at random to make and not have to alter ingredient amounts to suit your lower-fat tastes.
In not having to alter amounts, and following recipes more to the letter, I was able to get a good approximation of the intended result, and everything tasted great. The directions were easy to follow and there seemed to be fewer typos than in Veganomicon. Other than a few specialty items, most ingredients are widely available and most people should have all the necessary tools to make the recipes.
The tone of the book, though a bit more grown-up than Isa's previous books, is still light and fun. A nutritionist was consulted in the writing of the book and provides dietary information, making the book a bit more educational than others. This is something I really appreciate.
There is a fair selection photographs in the middle of the book, which is a big selling point for me, though the recipes sound enticing enough on their own for me to make even if there weren't any photographs.
All around, I couldn't recommend this book any more highly. It is a great informative guide for non-vegans looking to cook more healthfully as well as an amazing cookbook up to par with anything else vegans are already acquainted with. In the period of time allotted for the Cookbook Club, I wasn't able to make everything I originally wanted to but I will certainly continue through the book, and return to specific recipes.

6 comments:

  1. Meh. So far you haven't sold me on it.

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  2. The more I read about this book, the more I want it. The cauliflower sounds delicious, as do the rest of the things you've made. Not altering ingredients would be a new experience for me. :)

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  3. ha (shen) i want this book! but now that i know that there isnt any baking recipes...thats disheartening:( im sick of wasting food/time because i try to make recipes healthier on my own.it still sounds like a great book though. im surprised Andrea doesnt have it yet!

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  4. Very nicely done. You did a great job covering several points. I think you brought up a good one with the baking issue. I also think breakfasts get the short end of the stick in many cookbooks and even veg restaurants. If I'm ever fortunate enough to have my own cookbook, I'm going to include bunches of those! :-) The cauliflower does look delish; I've never met a cauliflower I didn't want to eat.

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  5. That cauliflower looks delish. You make me want to go out and buy cauliflower right now. :o)
    You did a great job reviewing the book. It's still one that I want to add to my collection.

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  6. Shen, come on. Everyone else is doing it.

    Andrea, there is definitely a lot to be happy about in this book.

    Michelle, you should try to healthify these healthy recipes! So much health! I wonder if anyone could make them raw, or completely oil free...

    Blessed Mama, thank you. Good point about breakfast foods. I hope you make a cookbook and show us how to feast for breakfast!

    Michelle, I bought the cauliflower to make "raw potatoes" but ate too much of it before I could!

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