Friday, January 07, 2011

Appetite for Reduction
Book Review and Giveaway!


I adore the cover artwork, don't you? It's so beautiful, I'm inspired to write another book just so I can ask Lisa Diercks to design the cover. Wouldn't you love to own a copy of Appetite for Reduction? Read on for a chance to win one!

Did I mention that Isa wrote this book just for me? Well, not really. It only feels like she wrote it for me. Actually, she wrote it for her own personal reasons. But let's be honest: Who among us hasn't eaten more than our fair share of vegan cupcakes and cookies? (Thanks in no small part to Isa.) After all that indulgence, I celebrate Isa for creating Appetite for Reduction and for filling it with so many gorgeous, delicious, low-fat, low-calorie, winning recipes.

AFR is written in Isa's characteristic easy, breezy style,—and it's peppered with lots of helpful sidebars, like the "Ingredient Scavenger Hunt". The introduction to each recipe is sprinkled with amusing tidbits like "Don't be like Dick Cheney, cook your pasta properly!" This will make you smile a lot, which is a very good thing to do when you're playing with food.

You won't find any tempting desserts in this book, but what you will find are more than 270 pages of super-satisfying soups, salads, sandwiches, sides, stews, bakes, bowls, casseroles, curries, and pasta dishes, many with whimsical names like Unfried Refried Beans, Cajun Beanballs and Spaghetti, and 2nd Avenue Vegetable Korma residing in equally adorable-sounding chapters like "Rub-Your-Tummy Veggies" and "Talk Pasta to Me (& Noodles!)." These dishes are made with easy-to-find ingredients, and you won't have to spend hours in the kitchen preparing them (many can be made in under 30 minutes!). The 14-page insert of full-color photographs will make your mouth water, even if you're not hungry and will inspire you to roll up your sleeves and get cooking. (The photo of Spinach Lasagna with Roasted Cauliflower Ricotta & Spinach is jaw-droppingly spectacular.)

If you haven't already sampled the recipe for Isa's OMG Oven-Baked Onion Rings, you'll want to go straight to page 55 as soon as you get this book in your hot little hands. (Or maybe you'd like to take a quick detour to the color insert facing page 146, where you'll find a mouth-watering photo of Isa's onion rings.) These babies brought back happy childhood memories of paper-mâché masks and huge side orders of onion rings from the Belaire Diner—but without the newspaper and the high-fat grease. Making them was gobs of fun. Eating them was even more fun!


Deciding what to make next was a bit more challenging. OK, maybe not so much. Everybody knows how much I love barbecue. I honed in on the recipe for Tamarind BBQ Tempeh and Sweet Potatoes. This was seriously the most delicious barbecue sauce I've ever eaten and by far, the easiest to make. I marinated the tempeh for over an hour and was glad I did, because the sexy-sweet, tangy-tart flavor of tamarind made the sauce really sizzle. This dish would have been great with onion rings, but since I'd already eaten like a hundred of them that day, I served it with Polenta Stuffing (one of Isa's recommendations.) It wasn't even Thanksgiving, but it sure seemed like a holiday meal!


I really wanted to try the recipe for Quinoa, White Bean, and Kale Stew, but I didn't have any white beans on hand. So instead of substituting, I chose Smoky Tempeh and Greens Stew, as I always seem to have tempeh in the fridge. (Interestingly, Isa says you can substitute white beans for the tempeh in this dish, if you happen to be out of tempeh). The seasonings in this dish (think: lots of smoked paprika) were very mellow, but blended together beautifully. Only Isa could get me excited about a dish that has lima beans in it. And this one tasted better with every bite!


Mark and I were really in the mood for pasta. But which recipe? (Pasta de Los Angeles and Creamy Mushroom Fettuccine were both contenders). I decided on Fusilli Roasted Veggie Primavera, because fusilli is fun to say and tickles your tongue when you eat it. This was one of those dishes that makes you want to sing Italian love songs while you're making it, and makes you feel like you're in Little Italy while you're eating. In a word: magnifico!


If you want to treat your taste buds to lots of delicious new recipes and your be very good to your waistline at the same time, don't wait another second to get yourself a copy of Appetite for Reduction. And if you'd like to win your very own copy, here's all you have to do:

1. Follow this blog.
2. Leave a comment on this post telling me what dish sounds most appealing to you and/or why you'd like to own a copy of this book.
3. Make sure I have a way to get in touch with you to let you know you've won.
4. That's it!

I'll use the magic random number generator to select a winner next week. Good luck!

54 comments:

Helen said...

Yes, please, sign me up for a copy! I'd LOVE to win! Why? Because these recipes all look so delicious, and yes, I can stand to lose a few pounds. And you're telling me I could do this and eat onion rings, too? SOLD!

VegLisa said...

Hi Gail! Sign me up! I wanted this book for Christmas but someone forgot...lol. I still have 5 pounds of post baby weight to lose and I live all of Isa's books! The onion rings look amazing and any of the steps sound great to ne this time of year. Lisadunn1@gmail.com

VegLisa said...

I meant stews not steps! Lol

Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen said...

I too love her books. I have never had a recipe of her fail me. I love the breakfast book the best and went a little crazy with the review that I did. The white bean stew sounds perfect for a cold night!

Noelle said...

Hi Gail! I follow your blog and your blog is on my blog roll on my website and I subscribed to it too!

Great review of the book. The recipes look fab, especially those onion rings! NOM!

Claire said...

I've been a follower of yours for a while! I would love to win a copy. I'm not trying to lose weight, but I love to eat healthy food and I love Isa's recipes. I think the first thing I'd make would be the baked onion rings too.

devorah said...

Onion rings, I love, love love them!

Randy said...

Mama mia, that fusilli looks delicious! I'd love to win a copy of this book, for that recipe alone!

The Vegan said...

The food does look really tasty and I agree the artwork for the cover is amazing!

Jenny said...

I'm following your blog now (although I have to admit, I thought I already was!).

Jenny said...

The Cajun Beanballs and Roasted Cauliflower Ricotta both sound good. I had recently seen this book, thought it looked "pretty." Also, I need to lose 10 pounds! :)

Lauren said...

Oh man, Cajun Meatballs!?
Yes please!!!

I discovered my love of cooking when I became Vegan, and new recipes are so much fun to try!!!

Marlene said...

I love this book and all of Isa's books. In fact, I love Isa! I'm her mom (probably embarrassing her right now). I guess you can say I gave birth to veganism. Just became aware of your blog today and now I will follow it. To be fair, I won't enter the contest :-)

Vegiegail said...

Hi Marlene! I am so honored that you visited my blog. Thank you so much for giving us Isa. Our world is so much healthier, more compassionate, and delicious because of her!

SweetKaroline said...

I'm just starting to build up my collection of vegan cookbooks and after seeing so many great blog posts about this one cookbook I just have to get my hands on a copy and start cookin!

Ann-Marie said...

Well now you have just made me regret not buying this book today. I didn't have enough time to really look it over so I passed. Well maybe I can win it!
Any recipes that look kid friendly because those are the ones I would make first. We love stews. I would still like to lose 20 pounds and am always on the prowl for low fat.

Vegiegail said...

Hi Ann Marie! I think there are lots of kid-friendly recipes in this book! Aside from the OMG Oven-Baked Onion Rings, there's Mac and Trees, Veggie Potpie Stew, Black-Eyed Pea & Tempeh Beanballs (and Spaghetti), Tortilla Soup, and Classic Black Bean and Veggie Chili.

avegangirl said...

I would love to have my very own copy of this book! The recipes look delicious and I've eaten a few too many of those cupcakes, myself. The barbecue and onion rings look amazing.

GMC said...

I've been following you on Google Reader for a while! I would really like to win this book! I browsed through it at Barnes before and it was absolutely fabulous.

Millie said...

Gail your food is always so beautifully photographed...everything looks great.

I would also like to participate in the giveaway. I would love to have the book so I can make those great recipes.

VeganMarr said...

Ive heard nothing but raves about Isa's books. I don't cook, but I'd love to give a copy yo a friend who loves to cook & who I recently turned vegan! Low fat onion rings sound GREAT! :-)

VegBookie said...

Beautiful job Gail on your website. Thanks for this giveaway. We have heard great things about it. Peace for the New Year!

Lisa Ann said...

I'd love to win a free copy! I want to lose about 30lbs and just recently went vegan. So I need all the help I can get! :) I can be contacted through my blog if I'm so lucky!! http://vegamorphosis.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

I love BBQ but don't go for the kind with meat so that recipe would be just the thing & I'd like to be able to learn more vegan cooking.

Tofu Cat said...

I would really like a copy of this book so I can balance out my Appetite for Enlargement.

Tofu Cat said...

...and I can be contacted through my website, www.VeggieGems.com

lynntofu said...

That bbq recipe sure sounds great! I love bbq so that is the first recipe I'd try. lynntofu@yahoo.com

Anonymous said...

The onion rings sound fantastic!! I would love a copy of this book because I love trying new recipes and surprising my boyfriend! All the entrees look delicious :)

I can be reached at cathermk@usc.edu

Good luck to all!

GiGi said...

I've been eyeing this very book on Amazon! I'm a little blimpy after MoFo and the ensuing holidays. I would love to win this book. Those onion rings are tugging at my heart strings. Can I dip them in vegennaise aioli or is that not good for my waistline? Please sign me up.

Anna (Green Talk) said...

I would love to win this book since I am trying to cross over to a vegan lifestyle from a vegetarian. Your description of the book makes my mouth water. BBQ tempeh. Yum.

Anna (Green Talk) said...

Gail, I forgot to mention that I follow you via email and twitter.

kelly g. said...

Those onion rings need to GET. IN. MAI. BELLY! Also, I could use a low-fat cookbook to help temper all the "junk food" vegan cookbooks I was gifted for x-mas. (Vegan Cookie Connoisseur, I'm looking at you!)

easyvegan@gmail.com

Domestic Dharma said...

I follow, and I'd love to win this book. I think that roasted veggie fusilli primavera looks SO good, I'd try that one first!

~ Cee ~ said...

I would love to win because I have lost 90 lbs by going vegan, but I have a few more pounds yet to lose. I've not counted calories, but I think that may be necessary with the last bit of weight. Thank you so much for this giveaway! I wasn't sure how to follow, so I subscribed via email and added you to my Google homepage.

ceevegnashville [at] gmail [dot] com

Nanette said...

The BBQ Tempeh & Sweet Potato sound so amazing i'm craving it! you can reah me at nanettelabastida@gmail.com if i win, thanks!

Vegiegail said...

What a wonderful accomplishment, Cee! It will be very helpful to eat a low-fat vegan diet to shed those last few pounds. :)

Elisabeth said...

Hi, I follow your blog. I would love to win a copy of Isa's newest cookbook, because I need to start watching my calories and I would love to learn how to prepare food in a healthier way with less fat and sugar. The braised cabbage with seitan sounds good!
I follow you on Twitter @CzechVeganBlog
Thank you for doing this giveaway!

Abby Bean said...

I was originally thinking the onion rights, natch, but that 2nd Ave korma sounds divine; Isa never steers me wrong. Also, I follow your blog ;-)

Tania Katherine said...

I'd love to win this. I've been looking for more and more vegan cookbooks that could work.

Marla said...

(I follow you via email.)
MMMmm, Warm Mushroom Salad sounds divine! I'm dying to check out this book - I adore all Isa's other books and would love to add this to my bookshelf!

marlatiara at yahoo

Tanya said...

I follow your blog (you're in my Google Reader). I've wanted this book since before it came out...all the recipes look amazing and I love low-calorie and low-fat!!! That's so for me :) That BBQ tempeh looks amazing and of course anything with kale in it.....!!

Tea and Sympatico said...

Just discovered your lovely blog and have signed up to follow. Wow, that Tamarind BBQ Tempeh and Sweet Potato has all my favourite things in it so I would definitely make that first! If I'm lucky enough to win there's a link if you click on the word 'email' on my blog profile.

magpie said...

I would love to have a copy, as a long time fan of Isa's, I'd could use her new book to take off some of the weight from Vegan Cupcakes take over the World. And those onion rings look amazing!

I'm enjoying your blog, thank you for writing it!

Tofu Cat said...

The onion rings would be my choice of recipe to try first...and continue from there. contact me at- info@VeggieGems.com

SilentLotus Creations said...

The Tamarind BBQ Tempeh sounds delish! My mouth is watering just thinking about it! :) I would love to win a copy!

http://silentlotus.etsy.com
@silentlotus on Twitter

Thanks for the chance!

Justine said...

Who wouldn't love a copy of this book? Fat-free onion rings, are you kidding me? WOW! I follow your blog via email.

Graygrrrl said...

I've been waiting for this book to come out!! I really want to eat more vegan meals this year (I've been vegetarian for about 7 months) and this is the perfect book for it- yummy and easy on the waistline!

SLS(atlmuzikfanzinc) said...

I follow your blog & I think that the Fusilli Roasted Veggie Primavera looks the most appealing to me.

atlmuzikfanzinc at gmail dot com

Kimberly Pye said...

Yum! I want onion rings! I just moved from L.A. to China, and everything here is so meaty and greasy! If I don't win this, I'll have to buy a copy when I visit L.A. in February! Can't wait to try EVERYTHING!

kimberlypye at gmail dot com

Dan said...

I agree with Kimberly. I'm excited to check out this book whether we win it or buy it on our next visit to the states!

danielpye @ gmail dot com

Vegiegail said...

Hi Dan and Kimberly! I'm so excited that you visited my blog from all the way over in China! I just saw the film Forks Over Knives, and I was saddened to see just how much worse (and so much more like the standard American diet) the Chinese diet has become. But can you not still find an abundance of non-greasy vegetables and tofu there?

Purplelarkspur said...

These recipes sound delicious. I am a long time vegetarian that has recently become vegan, so I could use some help! Anything with tempeh sounds like a winning recipe to me!

3Lilacs said...

follow on GFC
spec@live.ca

3Lilacs said...

Pasta de Los Angeles sounds most appealing to me. I would love to win this being a vegan who has some weight to lose.