Sunday, 6 February 2011

Appetite For Reduction

One of my goals over the past few years has been to eat less meat and more vegetables, and eat seasonally. I can't quite remember how I came across Appetite For Reduction, but I do remember the review saying that it was worth buying for a particular salad dressing recipe alone, which includes tomatoes which are pulverised in a food processor. It is actually a vegan book, which is what made me think it would help with the less-meat-more-veg thing, and I have a vegan friend, so I was hoping it would give me plenty of inspiration for cooking for her.

Other things that appealed about it include the beautifully designed cover, and from the preview on amazon, the conversational tone of the writing. I also like that she does not use quorn and 'fake' meat products, but the focus instead is on vegetables, beans, lentils, etc.

So far I have only made the eggplant (aubergine!) and lentil mole chilli, but was really pleased with it. I can barely wait for summer so I can start making the salad recipes- they really are a million miles away from 'lettuce cucumber tomato' and look so luscious and abundant, not depriving or dietetic at all.

While I was taking a wander with Carl the other day, we were talking about food and cooking. I have quite a few Rose Elliott cook books, and really enjoy her recipes. Something that we were wondering though, is how long before people in general start to turn to vegetarian recipes and lentils and beans more often, as meat gets more and more expensive. To us, it is important that meat we eat has been produced ethically, which raises the cost even more. We don't like to eat meat every day, partly because of the expense, and partly because we don't need to. My lentil dahl curry is one of my favourite comfort foods, and happens to be vegetarian. The thing with lentils and beans is that they can be incredibly tasty, they are nutritious, and they are so purse friendly. I know they have a bad reputation from the 70's, but I wonder if they are due a comeback, a bit of a makeover, and will become the star of our kitchens? In the same way that yoghurt was once upon a time not so long ago an odd thing that came from health food shops and slightly odd people ate, it is now a huge industry. Ok so a cheesecake flavoured mullerlight is a long way away from home made organic yoghurt, but it is still yoghurt, and so many people don't think twice before putting it into their shopping baskets. It has become mainstream. I hope that for the good of our planet, and our tummies, as well as our purses that lentils and beans soon become mainstream too.

But back to my book review! We are not vegetarian or vegan, but have no objection eating that way some of the time, so I am not offering my thoughts from a vegan point of view. I really like this book and would recommend it. It has a large variety of recipes in it, and so far, I have not found any ingredients that would be hard to get hold of. When I cooked by chilli recipe from the book, I found myself feeling really enthused for all the lovely fresh veggies that I was throwing into the pot. Definitely a book to make you feel hungry...and I do mean this in a complimentary way, but a book of delicious recipes that happen to be vegan, rather than a book of Vegan Food!


Dinahsoar said...

I buy very little meat. Our meals are heavy on beans, rice, veg and fruit and fish. Dairy shows up at most meals but it is usually plain yogurt, cottage cheese or milk...some cheese too but in limited quantities. And nut butters are a staple. I love nothing better than a peanut butter and dill pickle sandwich. And oatmeal for breakfast, cooked with banana and topped with a bit of peanut butter (not stirred in but plopped in the center so you get a bit in each bite), some coconut and a drizzle of maple syrup...yummmmm.

In fact I don't buy a lot of processed foods. I go heavy on the fresh and frozen produce choosing those first, then add in the protein. We have many meatless meals. And when we do eat meat I limit the portion size to about 4 ounces each with no seconds. It's better to fill up on vegetables and fruit.

I spend very little on weekly food compared to others.

And our favorite drink is water. We rarely drink soda. We do drink a lot of hot tea--mostly masala chai which we make using whole spices, and iced green, white and herbal teas.

I do like a little goat cheese at breakfast. Drizzled with honey and sprinkled with curry powder and walnuts...can't wait to wake up to it in the mornings with some tea rusks and good hot french press coffee (though I'm currently doing drip because french press supposedly raises your cholesterol--we'll see if it makes a difference soon. If it doesn't I'm going back to french press.)

Jackie said...

Thank you for following up your recent mention of this book with more information.

We, too, are cutting down on our meat consumption in favour of more considerately raised meat.

Our grown up boys both flew the nest about a year ago, and now that it's just the two of us we are able to afford a different way of eating. With the boys at home it was meat every meal and the more the better please! Hollow legs, both of them. Now I am able to cook meat free meals, make leftovers stretch to another meal without complaints, and our biggest change - an organic veg box delivery once a week.

I wanted to try this to open up our veg choices. If you get something unusual in the box you have to try a different recipe. The company we use also sell meat. Yes, it is expensive. Which is why we don't eat as much. I have only just started ordering the meat, once a month instead of one of the veg boxes. So far, I am very pleased and happy that the animals have had a better life, and equally imortant, a better death.

Ann said...

just bought this book and her vegan brunch book on your recommendation - and what a treat! am just making the pain au chocolat with strawberries - can't imagine why no one has invented this easy version before!