Appetite for Reduction week!
What up, guys? So far this whole meal planning thing is still working for me. I think I might actually have too many leftovers in my fridge right now, but I won’t be complaining come Friday and Saturday, when I’m at work all evening with my delicious homemade food. I’ve actually sort of spoiled myself…either that, or Papa John’s seriously screwed up a pizza for the first time in the history of my love affair with them. No more takeout grossness for me! I’ve got my own awesome stuff, thanks.
Speaking of awesomeness, I cooked last week from Appetite for Reduction, the new low-fat cookbook from Isa Chandra Moskowitz. It’s probably the healthiest I’ve eaten in months. (Therefore, this week I’m splurging on lots of fatty meals out of Veganomicon, the next book in the cookbook challenge I’m participating in.) Enough chat, more food, eh?
This is the chipotle lentil burgers, cooking in the cast iron skillet. With the exception of the fact that I had to make my own bread crumbs because vegan breadcrumbs do not exist for me in this town (panko wouldn’t work), this was really easy to toss together. And good gracious, delicious!
The only thing I would change about these is that I would rather bake than fry them, only because the texture was a mite mushy and I think baking them would dry them out a tad. Oh, I also didn’t use canned lentils because one can cost more than a pound of dried lentils, and I’m not rich. I served them with the OMG baked onion rings:
These were fabulous. Since so many onion rings have milk in the batter, I don’t often get to eat them out…and no way am I deep-frying anything at my house. I’d burn it down. So these were right up my alley! The flavor was perfect, and they didn’t leave me feeling queasy like fried o-rings do. As if you need any more convincing to go make this meal asap, let me also say that the omnivore boyfriend was a bit gaga over all of this, especially the burgers. He even requested that I make them again sometime for lunches, which, like, never happens. So yeah.
For our date night that week, the OB and I made the creamy mushroom fettucine, and it was totally awesome. It reminded me a bit of stroganoff or something. I think. It’s been approximately 6 thousand years since I’ve tasted stroganoff, so I might be thinking of something different. Anyway, creamy and mushroomy it was. I had to use linguine because I couldn’t find whole wheat fettucine, but other than that I followed the recipe exactly. We did both add a bunch of salt to it, though. That bread you see in the background is this:
It’s the garlic whole wheat baguette from 500 Vegan Recipes. This pasta needed bread. It cried out for it. So I made some. And it actually rose and was quite decent and yummy. I used regular old active dry yeast instead of the bread machine yeast it calls for, because, again, I’m not some richie that’s just going to go buy bread machine yeast when I can just proof the yeast I already have. It worked just fine.
Gah! So yum!
Red wine kalamata tempeh, I did not love. I did not hate…but…I found the marinade to be bitter. Maybe the wine I used was off or something. Anyway, it got better the next day, when I wrapped it up with some hummus and greens for lunch. The hummus mellowed the flavor a bit, I think.
This garlicky mushrooms and kale recipe was great, though! It’s pretty basic, but that doesn’t mean it’s no good. Lots of garlic, lots of mushrooms, lots of kale. What’s not to love? I ended up adding some crushed red peppers to my leftovers of this, and it got even better.
The smoky tempeh & greens stew is ideal for a cold, blustery night when you just want to curl up with your cats and a few episodes of the X-files. The smokiness is warming, without being overly spicy (not that I’d mind that), and it’s just generally really filling. But I didn’t feel weighed down afterwards. I would change one thing (I know, I know). I’d steam the tempeh before pan frying it, and then I’d add it to the stew sooner, so that it absorbs more flavor. It still had that bitterness that tempeh just…has…without doing those things. I also squeezed a lemon wedge onto individual portions, which made everything pop nicely. Oh! And call me a skeptic, but I totally thought you couldn’t eat kale stems. Color me wrong.
I made this quinoa black bean salad with toasted cumin seeds for a healthy ladies’ lunch that my friend Allison hosted, and it was a hit! I personally thought it needed more salt, but I’m a salt whore. I also added some minced fresh cilantro, which added to the general tex-mex flavor it had going. I’ll definitely make this a bunch this summer, when tomatoes are in season. I just love grain salads. Swoon.
That’s it for my Appetite for Reduction adventure. Don’t doubt that I’ve already gained back what poundage I might have lost over the course of a single Veganomicon meal.