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Appetite for Reduction week!

January 18, 2011

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?

 

sizzlesizzle

 

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!

 

burger me

 

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:

 

omg indeed

 

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.

 

shroom city

 

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:

 

bread that works

 

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.

 

yes please

 

Gah!  So yum!

 

hm.

 

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.

 

meal saver

 

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.

 

winter food

 

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.

 

party pleaser

 

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.

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11 Comments leave one →
  1. January 18, 2011 6:38 pm

    Sweet mother of all that’s good and pure! Onion rings! So crispy! So brown! WANT! I love that they’re baked. We were thinking about buying a deep fryer, but then we remembered that we’re a couple of clumsy buffoons and we should not be allowed near massive amounts of boiling oil.

    • January 18, 2011 7:21 pm

      i splash oil onto myself when i just saute things. i can’t even imagine trying to deep fry. well, ok, i’ve done it before and was terrified for my life the entire time. it’s just not for me!

  2. January 18, 2011 7:06 pm

    Good GOD, you’ve been at it. That is a LOT of deliciou food. How do you find the time?! My omnivore boyfriend would also love those burgers and onion rings – but then again, who wouldn’t?

    • January 18, 2011 7:20 pm

      ahhhaha, i work 30 hours a week, am finished with school, and don’t have kids. i appreciate the chunk of time it’s been taking – keeps me occupied!

  3. January 18, 2011 8:21 pm

    Stop it. You are absolutely killing me with all of this amazing food!

    *drool*

    I love it!

  4. January 18, 2011 10:10 pm

    looks nommy! I’ve made the mashed sweet potatoes and apples, hottie blackeyed peas and collards, and some other stuff. HLM has herbed stuffing breadcrumbs that are vegan.

  5. January 19, 2011 4:29 am

    Oh yum! These pics all look amazing! That mushroom recipe would probably also be good over wide pasta noodles, like a stroganoff… can’t wait to get this cookbook!

  6. lazysmurf permalink
    January 19, 2011 11:37 am

    I have to make those burgers they look fantastic and the onion rings. I guess I just don’t believe that you can bake onion rings even thousand people have said they are wonderful. I have to make the plunge. I want to make that tempeh too, it could have been your tempeh was overly bitter, that has happened to me before.

  7. January 20, 2011 1:42 pm

    Wow, all your dishes look amazing. You’ve convinced to try the onion ring recipe. I used to love onion rings before my vegan days…oh how I miss them.

  8. January 21, 2011 3:14 pm

    i meant to try those burgers and onion rings when i was testing for the cookbook, but after i moved into my sister’s house (with her kitchen) i got extremely lazy in the cooking department.
    i’m still living with her, but i’m more comfortable in her kitchen. and i clean it often so things (pots, pans, etc) would be clean to cook with.

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