Sunday, January 9, 2011

PPK Cookbook Challenge. Week 1. AFR - Lettuce Wraps and Unfried Rice

I posted the other day about the Cookbook Challenge we are doing over at The PPK, and I am using it as an opportunity to not only use some of the cookbooks I have and have never used, but also as a chance to get some more blogging in.The Challenge technically starts tomorrow but I started today just because it's always easier to cook on Sundays for some reason. Up this week is Appetite for Reduction.

I got Appetite for Reduction for Christmas and haven't cooked anything from it until today. I made the Lettuce Wraps with Hoison-Mustard Tofu and the Unfried Fried Rice. Both were super easy to throw together and tasted awesome. When I make lettuce wraps I usually make a copycat version of P.F. Changs tofu lettuce wraps complete with the crispy fried cellophane noodles. While the AFR recipe didn't call for crispy fried noodles, it was definitely an awesome dish, and much healthier! Normally, I can't leave well enough alone and always change something about a recipe, but this one was almost perfect as is. The only change I made was an addition, to the hoison-mustard sauce, I added an extra teaspoon of mustard, but instead of adding the same yellow mustard, the extra teaspoon was Dave's Insanity Mustard. The sauce was really delicious as is, but I like things hotter. The hot mustard really took it to another level, both flavor-wise and heat-wise.

I can't remember the last time I made any sort of fried rice at home, I think it was when I was an omni, but I have had it on a few occasions as a veg while drunk and having Chinese food as the only option for late night eats. I make a lot of rice, but I usually just make plain jasmine rice and top it with whatever random stir fry Im cooking up. The Unfried Fried Rice recipe is such an awesome base to build your favorite fried rice, but without as much oil and other junk.I made the rice an hour or so in advance so it could cool and not get mushy when getting reheated. The recipe called for Brown or Jasmine rice, which I unfortunately didn't have, but white instant rice subbed just fine. I used reduced sodium soy sauce and added petite peas and fresh bean sprouts just before cooking adding the rice to make it healthier and more flavorful. I love the way the little peas pop in your mouth combined with the slight crunch the sprouts have when added in. I really can't imagine eating any sort of fried rice without them.

After a long afternoon this was the perfect meal to make. Fast. Easy. Healthy. Delicious. I am really looking forward to making more recipes from this cookbook!


  1. those look great. i've got 'appetite for reduction' on order now -- can't wait to start cooking from it!

  2. I'm making both of these tonight! Yours look great, so I'm pretty excited.