Featured Recipes

Ventana Lentil Stew
John and Mary just returned from a windsurfing week in La Ventana, Mexico.  The bed and breakfast served us a delicious lentil stew while we were there.  This is very satisfying and hearty, just what John needed after a full day of windsurfing.

Preparation Time:  10 minutes
Cooking Time:  1 hour 15 minutes
Servings:  6-8

6 cups water
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 to 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped
2 cups green lentils
2 cups chunked fingerling potatoes
¼ to ½ teaspoon chipotle chili powder
2 cups baby spinach leaves

Place ½ cup of the water in a large pot.  Add the onion, garlic and jalapenos. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion softens slightly, about 4-5 minutes.  Add remaining broth, the lentils, potatoes and chipotle powder.  Mix well, cover and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for about 1 hour until lentils are soft.  Add spinach, mix in well and cook for an additional 5 minutes until spinach is soft.

Serve in a bowl, or over whole wheat bread or rolls, on top of baked potatoes or as a topping for brown rice. 

Hints:  This can be as spicy as you like it by adjusting the chipotle chili powder.  We also like to top this with some hot sauce before eating it.

Saffron-Spiked Moroccan Stew
By Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, McDougall program cooking instructor

Exotic saffron combines with coriander, cinnamon, and cumin this visually appealing dish.  This delightfully aromatic dish is sure to become a staple in your home.

Preparation Time:  20 minutes
Cooking Time:  40 minutes
Servings:  6-8

3 tablespoons vegetable stock or water for sautéing
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 large red bell peppers, seeded and chopped
1-2 large garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons light brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon ground cayenne
1 teaspoon peeled and grated fresh ginger
2 medium-size sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes
1  14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained
1-1/2 cups water or vegetable stock
1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
2 cups cooked, drained chickpeas or 1 can (about 15-oz.) chickpeas, drained
Salt & pepper to taste

Heat the 3 tablespoons of water or stock in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the bell pepper and garlic, cover, and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.

Stir in the brown sugar, coriander, ginger, cumin, cinnamon, and cayenne and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the sweet potatoes and stir to coat. Stir in the tomatoes, stock, and salt to taste. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer until the vegetables are soft, about 30 minutes.

About 5 minutes before the end of the cooking time, stir in the chickpeas. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Serve on its own or over couscous, quinoa, or another grain.

Tortilla Soup with Crispy Strips

Preparation Time:  15 minutes
Cooking Time:  25 minutes
Servings:  6-8

Soup:
4 cups vegetable broth
1 medium onion, chopped
½ cup green bell pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1  15 ounce can fire roasted chopped tomatoes
1  15 ounce can fire roasted crushed tomatoes
1  15 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
1   7 ounce can chopped green chilies
2 teaspoons ground cumin
½ to ¾ cup chopped avocado

Crispy Strips:
6-8 soft corn tortillas

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Stack the tortillas and cut them into thin strips (about ¼ inch).  Place on a baking sheet and bake until crispy, about 15 minutes.  Remove from oven and set aside.

Place ½ cup of the broth in a medium saucepan.  Add onion, bell pepper and garlic.  Cook for 5 minutes over low heat, stirring occasionally.  Add remaining broth and both kinds of canned tomatoes and bring to a boil.  Add beans, corn, chilies and cumin. Cook over medium low heat for 15 minutes.  Blend very briefly in the cooking pot with an immersion blender, or mash slightly with a bean masher. Add avocado and mix well.  Cook an additional 2 minutes. Serve in a bowl with Crispy Strips over the top. 

Hint:  To make this more spicy, add ¼ teaspoon of red pepper flakes along with the cumin.  The Crispy Strips may be made ahead of time and placed in an airtight container until serving time.  The strips may either be added to the bowl first, then the soup ladled over the strips, or add the strips to the top of the soup and stir in slightly.  A dollop of tofu sour cream is also nice on top of the soup.

Vegan Tamales
By Alex Bury, McDougall program cooking instructor

No cholesterol, no oil, but very rich and filling.
They freeze well, so if you make any, make a bunch!

Preparation Time: 45-60 minutes
Cooking Time:  30 minutes
Servings:  6-8

Tamale Batter:
3 cups masa harina (treated corn flour)
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon oregano
½ teaspoon baking powder
2 cups water, soymilk, vegetable stock or a combo of all three
1 teaspoon cider vinegar

6-8 dried corn husks

In a large bowl, combine the masa harina, salt, pepper, oregano, and baking powder.  Stir.
In a separate bowl, combine the water/stock/milk and the vinegar.  Stir the wet into the dry, using your hands or a spoon.  A Kitchenaid mixer works great as well.

Spread the batter over an opened corn husk.  Spoon about 1-2 tablespoons filling of your choice into the center.  Wrap the batter around the filling and then wrap in the husk.  Tie the ends.  Steam for 30 minutes.  Serve at once, either plain or with Enchilada sauce spooned over the top.

Hint: For the filling, you can use:  Seasoned black beans, roasted tofu, beans and corn, vegetarian chili, etc.

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake
By Alex Bury, McDougall program cooking instructor

Preparation Time:  15 minutes
Cooking Time:  40 minutes
Servings:  8-10

¼ cup agave nectar or brown rice syrup
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 pineapple, cut into chunks or rings, or 1 can unsweetened pineapple
1½ cups whole wheat pastry flour
2¼ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon each of ground ginger, nutmeg and cloves
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup soy or rice milk
½ cup agave nectar and/or brown rice syrup and/or maple syrup
1½ teaspoons vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Lightly oil a 9-inch cake pan or use a non-stick pan. Drizzle the sweetener and lemon over the bottom of the pan.  Arrange the fruit to cover the bottom of the pan.

Mix the dry ingredients well.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients.  Add wet to dry, stir well, then pour over the fruit. Bake until the center tests done, about 40 minutes.  Allow to cool for 10 minutes and then invert onto a cooling rack or pretty plate.

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