Wednesday, September 4, 2013

MoFo Day 4: Appetite for Deliciousness

From the moment I first held it in my arms at a work Secret Santa exchange, I have loved Appetite For Reduction. I know, a DIET vegan cookbook?? That was my first reaction too. But I’ve made a quarter of the recipes in the book and they’ve all ranged from very good to outstanding. AFR is my most beloved and most used cookbook. I cannot say enough good things about it. It’s not just for vegans – I would recommend it to any omnivore looking for meal ideas with less fat and zero cholesterol. Nothing in here tastes like health food, the dishes will fill you up, and there are very few “weird” ingredients.

So after explaining how hearty the dishes are, I chose the most hippie recipe in the book: Vietnamese Rice Noodle Salad with Grilled Tofu. My diet has been so bad lately that I’m actually craving vegetables, so this was an easy choice.
The salad is basically a spring roll and dipping sauce in a bowl. I was a little confused when the recipe called for string beans – are they green beans? Am I supposed to cook them? When I got to the grocery store, I noticed prepackaged beans that were much thinner than the bulk ones. And guess what – they’re delicious raw! Like snap peas, but not as sweet. I have a lot leftover, so I’ll be snacking on them instead of grapes (or potato chips) at work.

I used a mandolin to slice the cucumber and onion, and for the first time ever, did not cut the tip of my finger off! I love how fast and easy that thing makes slicing, but the time savings have always been negated by first aid. But surprise, using the finger guard actually prevents finger injuries! Who knew? 

This was pretty easy to throw together, but be warned – it uses a lot of dishes. First you mix the dressing (dish 1) and marinate the tofu in some of it (dish 2). The recipe didn’t call for it, but I pressed my tofu. Then you cook the rice noodles (dish 3), rinse them in a colander (dish 4), and mix the salad ingredients with the noodles and dressing (dish 5). I used a HUGE bowl for this (the normal sized ones were in the dishwasher), and it still spilled over the edges while mixing. Next you make a gremolata of mint, lime zest and peanuts (I used dish 1 again). Last step is to cook the tofu (dish 6). I don’t have a grill pan so I used my trusty IKEA cast iron skillet. I love seared tofu:

The recipe says it makes 6 servings at 260 calories each. I made it into four servings, thinking 400 calories is a pretty decent lunch.

In case you’re wondering, the bottom left container is the one the salad mix came in. It has a resealable lid, so why get another container dirty? Just like everything I’ve made from AFR, this did not disappoint. It made a great lunch, and even got compliments while in the office refrigerator. The recipe is posted here.
Bonus: Not cooking related, but I was in Birmingham and couldn't pass up (vegan) frozen yogurt at Sweet Earth. It's hard to tell in the picture, but it's chocolate and vanilla swirl, Oreos and Hershey's syrup. It's always hard NOT to fill up the entire 32 ounce cup.


  1. This looks so mouthwatering! Especially the seared tofu! :)

  2. Love AFR, but I haven't tried this recipe yet! I'm going to have to do something about that :)

  3. It doesn't bother me its a diet cookbook, its about the food and I have to admit I have yet to cook from it. The seared tofu looks fab, its been a while since I've had tofu.

  4. This looks seriously delicious. I don't use AFR nearly enough, and this looks like a great recipe to make!