appetite for reduction

All posts tagged appetite for reduction

AFR Tamarind BBQ, Roasted Brussel Sprouts and our move to SEATTLE!

Published September 28, 2012 by Vegan Derby Cat Party

This is something I made months ago! I’ve been ridiculously behind on blog posts, but I think it really all worked out, because October is VEGANMOFOVegan Month of Food, and I have plenty to blog about! October is always the darling of this household’s calendar because of things like pumpkin beers and pie, and of course, Halloween, but this year it’s going to be an extra bit hectic because we will also be preparing for our MOVE TO SEATTLE! I’m flying out to Seattle on October 30th with Ganon (our kitty) and as much clothing as possible, and then coming back in 2 weeks to do the drive with Thomas. We’re very excited, and that extra long road trip will be packed with vegan goodness as we travel from south Florida to New Orleans, Austin, San Diego, LA, San Francisco, and finally Seattle. We’ll even get to spend Thanksgiving in Santa Monica/ LA, which will be VERY cool! 🙂

This is definitely one of my favorite dishes from Appetite for Reduction. I served it over some brown rice, and tossed in some roasted brussel sprouts for an awesome, easy meal that all cooks at the same time! The rice cooks while the other two bake up together. I just swapped their positions halfway to ensure even baking.

The full recipe for the sprouts is in my recipe tab at the top of the page, but I’ll post the simple version here for you too. This lovely, warm, comforting meal was just SO good!

Simple Oven Roasted Brussel sprouts

small to medium brussel sprouts
extra virgin olive oil
sea salt & fresh ground pepper to taste, I used smoked pepper


1. Pre-heat oven according to directions for AFR dish, and prepare a cookie sheet.

2. Wash sprouts and trim off the brown ends. Remove any yellow or unappealing looking leaves, and cut in half if medium to large in size. Little ones are fine left whole.

2. Place sprouts in a bowl and spray or drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss with hands to coat.

3. Bake right along with tempeh. Don’t forget to switch the positions of the trays halfway! They should be nicely browned and just starting to blacken on top; this is the where the toasty sweet flavor comes from, but keep an eye on them so they don’t burn up!





Ipad Cookbooking & Mac n Trees

Published July 11, 2012 by Vegan Derby Cat Party


Here’s a good example of what I’ve been up to in the kitchen. So ipad cookbooking is actually pretty convenient, if you have the means. I still use my cook book holder to prop it up, but I no longer worry about it flipping shut. The kindle app works really well on the ipad too, b/c you can click on the links for recipes that require two recipes, and flipping back & forth is easy. (My actual kindle device can’t do all that, so I thought it was worth mentioning.) Another bonus is that you can zoom in and read it from further away.

The Mac n Trees recipe from AFR has sort of morphed into one of my own easy, go to meals. I like to make it with double the pasta and/or an entire bag of frozen veggies, since it makes so much sauce. I’ve also changed the seasonings a bit to suit our taste, most notably with the use of regular and smoked paprikas. It takes no knife work and you have dinner before you know it, not to mention that Thomas loves it! Just make sure you always have a nice stash of nooch (nutritional yeast) on hand! 😀

Appetite for Reduction’s Chili-Lime-Rubbed Tofu, Mashed Yuca & Kale Salad

Published April 24, 2012 by Vegan Derby Cat Party

Well, by the end of this past weekend I finally had unpacked and organized all of my remaining kitchen items. (A few things had to be returned to their owners or donated.) I made out a meal plan for the week, for what seemed like the first time in ages, and headed to the store. I’ve been favoring AFR lately in an attempt to make my cooking life a little simpler and leaner. And I even managed to make a couple of dishes from it in the midst of being half unpacked the last few weeks.

This ended up being 3 courses of mixed latin fusion inspired goodness.

The Kale salad was of my own invention to use up some ripe mango and avocado I got from my mother. I used kale because I’m addicted to it and crave it all the time, but I snuck in a little chiffonade of basil since I had just bought it and it smelled so good. It made for a very nice, fresh contrast. I added black beans and some super fresh corn to give it a sort of mexi vibe, and dressed it very lightly with lime juice, a tiny mist of olive oil, a pinch of salt, and some fresh ground smoked black pepper.

Mango, Avocado, Kale salad

1 bunch of kale, stems removed, ripped or chopped into tiny pieces
10 basil leaves, cut into chiffonade or chopped finely, optional
1 mango, small dice
1 avocado, small dice
1 can of black beans, well rinsed
1 tbsp. of red onion, chopped finely
fresh corn cut from one ear
lime juice, to taste
olive oil, optional
salt & pepper


I was going to try Isa’s suggested Mashed Yuca with Cilantro & Lime, but both stores I went to were curiously out of cilantro. I was already planning on buying the Goya frozen yuca instead of buying fresh, since that’s all I’ve ever seen my family use, and it was easier. That’s what’s in that pot there below on the right, 2 small bags worth. I had a little red onion left from the salad, so that’s the pink you’ll surely notice in my final result. I used this and 2 big cloves of garlic to make a quickie mojo, because I just can’t imagine eating yuca without it. So I’ll put my little version here as well. It sure tasted good. But honestly, just the yuca straight out of the salted water tasted amazing. I love yuca. I had never made it before. I did use Isa’s suggestion for reserving a cup of the cooking water to mash with.


So I made a double batch of the tofu, because Thomas is a tofu eating machine, and I wanted some leftovers to eat with the leftover salad for lunch the next day. (PS- I did, and they were extremely delicious together!) So that’s me putting fork holes in two bricks of sprouted, prepressed tofu. The only thing I didn’t double in the marinade was the oil. I stuck with just the 1 tsp. and I used less salt in the rub, and not quite double the chili powder.


In the marinade…


With their rub on…


Baked, flipped, baked some more & outta the oven…


Ty’s Mojo Infused Mashed Yuca

2 lbs of frozen yuca chunks (I used the Goya Brand), cooked according to package directions/taste. I like mine a bit “al dente” for lack of a better term. Yuca will get mushy, but for me the perfect texture is still firm on the inside.
1 c. of reserved cooking water
1 tbsp. finely chopped onion
2 large cloves of garlic, very thinly sliced
mist of olive oil
2 tbsp. lime juice, split


1. In the last 5-10 minutes of yuca cooking, spray a small skillet with a little olive oil and lightly fry up onion and garlic. As it gets dryer, splash in 1 tbsp. of lime juice, and cook down.

2. Drain yuca and return to pot or to a large bowl you can mash it in. Remove the fibrous little strings in the centers of the chunks, preferably with a fork so you don’t burn your fingers. Add “mojo” mixture, additional lime juice and enough cooking water to get to your desired consistency. Mmm! This made a wonderful bed for the tofu.


Final Thoughts…

So if you’re really cool, you could knock this out in 30 minutes flat. If you make the salad while the other 2 cook. I’m not that cool, so it took me somewhere between 45-60 minutes so that I could include dancing and beer drinking too. If you haven’t checked out Appetite for Reduction, it’s worth checking out. The recipes are a lot simpler than let’s say the Veganomicon, but still packed with plenty of flavor and guiltier items too like corn bread and onion rings, etc. I like it so much I even bought the kindle edition with the intent of selling back or giving away my hard copy, but don’t think I will after all. 🙂


Cajun Beanballs & Spaghetti – Appetite for Reduction

Published March 17, 2012 by Vegan Derby Cat Party

Here’s another yummy meal made from Appetite for Reduction! I’m definitely going to keep this book in heavy rotation for a while. A.) because I need to drop a couple of pounds (not that it’s a diet book, but at least it’s mostly light on oil) and B.) because the recipes tastes really good!

Tempeh cubed and ready to hit the steamer.

About to be mashed into the rest of the bean ball ingredients.

Heading into the oven to bake.

Sprinkled with nutritional yeast & vegan parm. ❤

The recipe consists of three recipes. 1 for bean balls, 1 for the sauce, which is a variation of her basic sauce in this book, just with some cajun spices, and 1 for the general recipe which includes 2 c. of chopped zucchini, for which I subbed cauliflower that needed using.


Broiled Blackened Tofu w/ Jerk Asparagus – Appetite for Reduction

Published March 13, 2012 by Vegan Derby Cat Party

Here’s another meal from Appetite for Reduction that we really enjoyed. I took Isa’s suggestion and served it with jerk asparagus, but skipped the butternut coconut rice, and served it with some simple mashed acorn squash instead. I toasted up the squash seeds in a skillet to use as a garnish.

Roasted Acorn Squash Mash & Toasted Seeds

1 medium acorn squash, cut down the middle, seeds removed and reserved

desired seasonings (I used a pinch of ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt & pepper)

sprinkle of sea salt


1. Preheat oven to 350*F. Prepare a roasting pan or cookie sheet, and place squash halves face down. Bake for about 45 minutes, or until a fork pierces the skin easily. Remove from oven and allow to cool. When cool enough to handle, scoop out the flesh, mash, and add seasonings to taste.

2. Meanwhile, place rinsed squash seeds and a small sprinkle of salt in a small skillet, and heat to low-medium heat, shaking occasionally until all are toasted and dry.

going in

coming out

I usually cheat and buy the sprouted, pre-pressed tofu, but they were out!

seasonings for blackened tofu

tofu heading in to broil

Mmm, jerk asparagus

made for a pretty plate! 🙂

Veggie Potpie Soup

Published March 12, 2012 by Vegan Derby Cat Party

Since I was SO behind on posts, I’m going to pepper in a few cooking posts with the restaurant reviews from our recent travels. A few weeks ago I had Thomas pick out a few meals from Appetite for Reduction. Around the same time we also found a cheap bag of TSP (TVP chunks) at WF that we couldn’t resist buying. The two meetup in this adapted version of Isa‘s Veggie Potpie Stew from AFR. The TSP chunks taste even better the next day after soaking up all the flavors. Speaking of the next day, I added 3 cups of water to it on day 2 (it thickens up a lot!),  along with half a bag of frozen, chopped spinach to give it a delicious little makeover as a second dinner. I served it with my drop biscuits for a warm, comforting, healthy dinner. Enjoy!

Veggie Potpie Soup

olive oil for misting

1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1.5 tsp. dried sage
1/2 tsp. salt
fresh ground pepper

1/2 c. split peas
6 c. filtered water + 2 bouillon cubes
1 c. TSP chunks, optional

3 small potatoes, cut into small pieces
1/2 lbs carrots, cut into 1/2″ chunks
3 small zucchini, chopped

1 tbsp. dried thyme
1 c. filtered water
1/4 c. flour
1 c. frozen peas


1. Mist a 4-5 qt pot lightly with olive oil, add onions, and raise to low-medium heat. Cook until translucent. Add garlic, sage, salt & pepper, and cook another minute.

2. Add split peas, water and bouillon, and raise to a boil. After 5 minutes, add potatoes, carrots, zucchini, and TSP chunks (if using). Cover and simmer 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. Whisk the flour into the cup of water, to dissolve it fully, and add it to the pot along with the last of the thyme and frozen peas. Simmer, uncovered, for about 10 more minutes. It thickens up quite a bit, and even more so overnight.




(4. The next day I added 3 c. of filtered water & half a bag of frozen, chopped spinach.)

Appetite for Reduction’s Mac and Trees… kinda

Published April 23, 2011 by Vegan Derby Cat Party

So this is AFR’s Mac and Trees recipe…sorta. I took the liberty of skipping the trees (cut up broccoli) and using a 12oz bag of frozen “mediteranean”  blend vegetables instead. Since I used [whole wheat] maccaroni pasta, the veggies and pasta took the same time to cook, so I added them in all at once upon the water boiling.

I had a couple of tablespoons of Daiya cheddar in a bag in the freezer that I mixed in too, along with some vegan parm, cayenne, smoked paprika and smoked pepper.

Pretty darn good for being so low in fat!

The dry ingredients waiting for the water addition. Oh, and I used a bouillon cube in place of the broth powder.

Good, and filling, and FAST!

Appetite for Reduction’s Chickpea Piccata

Published April 16, 2011 by Vegan Derby Cat Party

So this was the other chickpea meal that I had been meaning to make. It actually comes from AFR, not the Veganomicon. My preparation of this dish was not exactly spot on due to the fact that I didn’t really read it through, and I was rushing because I was heading to the rollerskating rink as soon as I finished dinner! : ) I’m happy to report that it’s a really tasty and FAST dish, though!


I was almost out of shallots so I supplemented the one large one I had with some sweet onion to make my scant 1 cup. I did my usual mist of the pot versus pouring out olive oil, (though this recipe only called for 1 tsp!) and used a little veggie broth when they got dry. I threw the capers in with the broth and wine addition, and then realized I wasn’t supposed to until after the sauce simmered. So I went ahead and threw the chickpeas in too, because I think chickpeas straight out of the can benefit from a little cooking & softening. I only added 1 tbsp of lemon juice since I remembered the moussaka cream sauce the other day called for 3 tbsp the other day and was way too much. This was a good move. It was plenty lemon flavored with the 1! I also ended up thickening up the sauce a little with about 1/2 tsp. of arrowroot powder and bringing it back up to medium for a few minutes. The sauce may have been a little thicker at this point if you followed the recipe, or not. I just can’t be sure. Last, I served it over some quinoa that I put to cook at the beginning making this dish. No time for mashed potatoes or caulipots, as suggested in AFR. Hah ; )

Here is everything boiling away for 7 minutes and reducing.

I served it with a really fresh salad of garden fresh tomatoes, basil, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper and a sprinkle of vegan parm.

Another winner! : )

Appetite for Reduction’s Tamarind BBQ Tempeh with Squash

Published March 7, 2011 by Vegan Derby Cat Party

So this is my little adaptation of AFR’s Tamarind BBQ Tempeh & Sweet potato recipe. (see my previous review of this recipe.) I had some butternut squash to use up, and substituted it in for the sweet potatoes. I also used two packages of tempeh this time [as I mentioned I would the last time I made it]. I used about a tablespoon of of ketchup in the sauce since I only had 1 tablespoon of tomato paste, versus the 2 called for in the recipe. It still came out great! : )

I had organic butternut squash, so I left the peel on.

Pour the sauce over it and bake covered 25 minutes. Stir. Uncovered 30 minutes, flipping once.

The sauce thickens while baking and glazes everything. I served it with brown rice and garnished with green onions and parsley.

Appetite for Reduction’s Lasagna with Roasted Cauliflower Ricotta & Spinach

Published February 21, 2011 by Vegan Derby Cat Party

So the next recipe I decided to try from AFR was the Lasagna with Roasted Cauliflower Ricotta & Spinach. It’s not the hardest lasagna recipe, but it still takes some time and work, so keep that in mind.  It is after all, lasagna.

First you need to cut a cauliflower up into florets.

And roast it for about 30 minutes.

Then you mash it into a tofu “ricotta” mixture.

In my attempt at not dirtying another bowl or pot, I just added the chopped thyme and garlic directly to the can of crushed tomatoes!

Isa tells you that you need about 8 ounces of noodles cut in half. That’s about 18 halves, and way too much. You really only need about 5 noodles cut in halves. This recipe is for an 8×8″ pan. I used this 8″ bottom casserole because it was a bit taller than my square glass one, and she warns that this recipe will fill an 8×8″ up to the top. She must be right, because mine was full to the top despite the slightly taller shape.

8×8″ glass pan versus my 3 quart casserole

Going in!


This was very hard to serve as it was kind of watery towards the bottom. It tasted pretty good though. Isa’s recipe says 6 servings. I cut it into 6 pieces and ate 1 1/2 pieces. I would have eaten two had it not been for the upcoming yummy sundaes! I hate to go through all the trouble of making lasagna, and not have more leftovers, but that’s just me. : ) It was tasty and surprisingly light without the cheese, fake or otherwise. The black olives on top give a salty reminder of parmesan and even a little more chopped and mixed into the ricotta would probably be a nice touch. I honestly probably wouldn’t make this again, as I think lasagna should be a denser, guiltier food. (especially since it’s so time consuming!) I still favor my labor intensive but more serving yielding, albeit more fattening version.

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