Appetite for Reduction: 125 Fast and Filling Low-Fat Vegan Recipes is the latest vegan cookbook from Isa Chandra Moskowitz. The recipes are nearly all under 400 calories and many are under 200, while still being filling and nutritious. I recommend this cookbook for anyone, vegan or not.
Isa Chandra Moskowitz is the author of several vegan cookbooks, including Veganomicon, Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, (those two co-authored with Terry Hope Romero) and Vegan with a Vengeance. In Appetite for Reduction, she has put together 125 recipes that are under 400 calories – perfect for that New Year’s resolution to lose weight – and are packed with nutrients – perfect for that New Year’s resolution to eat healthier.
Chapter Titles and Recipes
Chapters are: Full-On Salads, Totally Stuffed Sides, Rub-Your-Tummy Veggies, Main Event Beans, Sink-Your-Teeth-Into Tofu and Tempeh, Talk Pasta To Me (and Noodles!), Soul-Satisfying Soups, and Comfort Curries, Chili, and Stews.
Don’t be fooled by the chapter titles, though. The salads chapter contains green salads, but also potato salad, taco salad, pasta salad, and so forth. Each salad is paired with a complementary dressing or two (recipes in the book). Likewise, the curry, chili, and stew chapter also contains recipes for cornbread and biscuits – necessary for any meal with chili or stew.
Each recipe has nutrition information to the side calculated per serving. The serving sizes are reasonable. As an example, her hummus recipe is ¼ cup per serving because, as she says, “who eats just a tablespoon of hummus?” She also includes variations on the master hummus recipe, adding the nutrition information for each variation.
For those short on time, the cookbook includes fifty-nine recipes that can be prepared in under thirty minutes and another twelve quick recipes for dressings (71 total quick recipes). Most of the recipes don’t take much longer than that. Every recipe has the active time and total time needed to prepare it so that the home cook can budget time effectively.
Recipes with more than twenty minutes of downtime are marked with a special label. This is something I really like. On nights when my daughter has a lot of homework, I can plan a recipe that will give me a chunk of time to sit with her.
Recipes are also labeled as to whether they are gluten-free or soy-free. Some recipes have notes about ingredients that you might need to check the label for, such as soy sauce – some commercial soy sauces contain gluten, for instance.
There are tips for many recipes that range from help finding ingredients to nutrition tips, how to “shave” brussels sprouts, and when to use fresh or canned ingredients.
Even niftier, there are two indexes. One index is the traditional cookbook index, where you can look for a recipe to use up those black-eyed peas or tomatoes.
The other index is arranged by the labels (gluten-free, soy-free, 30 minutes or less, and downtime) and further broken down by chapter. So if I feel like eating stew on a chilly winter’s eve, but I don’t have much time to cook, I can quickly find out that my choices are 2nd avenue vegetable korma, curried chickpeas and greens, and portobello pepper steak stew.
Isa Chandra Moskowitz consulted with Matt Ruscigno to be absolutely certain that her recipes were as nutritious as she thought they were. Ruscigno’s chapter is full of general information on nutrition for vegans. It’s short, but very informative.