The McDougall Newsletter

March 2008

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Vol. 7, No. 03

Featured Recipes

This month I am providing some of our favorite recipes that are inexpensive to prepare—my estimate is they will feed you for less than $2.00 a day. These recipes use easy to find ingredients.  The starch components should comprise most of your food.  Grains, legumes, and potatoes can be bought in giant bags and stored for long periods of time in cool dry conditions.  Canned beans, potatoes and corn can be replaced with less expensive bulk products. Potatoes, onions, celery and carrots are also very inexpensive, healthy food choices. Any leftovers from the dishes you make can be refrigerated or frozen for later use.

Simple Split Pea Soup

You will likely have the ingredients for this tasty soup already in your cupboards and pantry, so no need for an extra trip to the market for supplies.

Preparation Time:  15 minutes
Cooking Time:  1 hour
Resting Time:  15 minutes (optional for thickening)
Servings:  10

2 cups green split peas
8 cups water
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2-3 potatoes, chunked
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons parsley flakes
1 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard
1 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon paprika
¼ teaspoon black pepper

Place the peas and water in a large soup pot.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 20 minutes.  Add the remaining ingredients, mix well and bring to a boil again.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 40 minutes, until vegetables are tender.  Remove from heat and let rest for 15 minutes to thicken before serving, if desired.  Season with a bit of sea salt before serving (optional).

Hints:  This will thicken even more as it cools, and will be very thick if refrigerated until the next day.  This is wonderful in a bowl with some fresh baked bread, or ladle it over baked potatoes or brown rice.

Variation:  For a delicious Curried Split Pea Soup, leave out all of the seasonings in the above recipe and add 2-3 tablespoons curry powder and ¼ cup nutritional yeast.

Dal

This simple, economical spread of split peas or mung beans has been one of our favorites for more than thirty years. 

Preparation Time:  2 minutes
Cooking Time:  1 hour
Resting Time:  15 minutes
Servings:  8-10

2 cups split mung beans, chana dal or yellow split peas
5 cups water
1 ½ tablespoons curry powder (sweet, mild or spicy)

Place the beans or peas and the water in a medium pot.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.  Add the curry powder, mix well and cook uncovered for 30 minutes longer.  Transfer to a serving bowl and let rest for about 15 minutes, to thicken slightly, before serving. 

Hints:  Serve rolled up in a corn or flour tortilla with toppings of your choice.  I like them plain, while John usually tops his with some Sriracha sauce.  Or try this Dal over baked potatoes or rice.  It also makes a delicious sandwich spread when cold.

Stove-Top Stew

Serve this simple, hearty stew over a large mound of brown rice or any other choice of whole grains.

Preparation Time:  10 minutes
Cooking Time:  45 minutes
Servings 4

¼ cup water
1 onion, chopped
½ teaspoon minced garlic
2 carrots, sliced
2 stalks celery, sliced
2-3 potatoes, chunked
1  15 ounce can tomato sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon parsley flakes
½ teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon basil
½ teaspoon chili powder
¼ teaspoon dry mustard
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1 cup chopped spinach, kale or chard (optional) 

Place the water in a pot with the onion, garlic, carrots, celery and potatoes.  Cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.  Add the remaining ingredients, except for the greens. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and cook for 30 minutes, until all vegetables are tender.  Stir in the greens, if desired, and cook until tender, between 2-5 minutes.

Hints:  Other vegetables may be added as desired, such as zucchini and/or mushrooms.  Add these with the remaining ingredients.  If you use vegetables that are in season, and local, this stew is a very economical meal.

Bean Soup

This is a basic soup recipe that can be made with any type of dried beans.  I first stared making it with Great Northern beans, but have used Soldier, Cranberry, Scarlet Runner, Red Calypso, Steuben Yellow Eyes, Rattlesnake, and Christmas as well as other heirloom beans in this recipe.  Vary the seasonings to suit your own tastes.  Beans and vegetables make this a stick-to-your-ribs meal

Preparation Time:  10 minutes
Cooking Time:  3-4 hours (Slow cooker:  8-10 hours)
Servings:  8

2 cups dried beans
8 cups water
2 onions, chopped
2-4 stalks celery, chopped
2 bay leaves
½ teaspoon sage
½ teaspoon oregano
2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce

Place all ingredients in a large pot and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 3-4 hours until beans are tender.  (In a slow cooker, this will take about 8-10 hours on high.)

Fried Rice

This is a delicious way to use leftover brown rice.  Pick any vegetables that are in season and reasonably priced at the market.

Preparation Time:  15 minutes (need cooked rice)
Cooking Time:  15 minutes
Servings:  6

¼ cup water
½-1 teaspoon crushed garlic
½-1 teaspoon grated ginger
6 cups mixed chopped vegetables
4 cups cooked brown rice
¼ cup low sodium soy sauce 

Place the water in a wok or large non-stick frying pan.  Add the garlic and ginger and heat until water boils.  Add the vegetables and cook, stirring frequently, until vegetables are crisp tender. Stir in the rice and soy sauce.  Cook until heated through, about 2 minutes. 

Hints:  Use a variety of vegetables for color and flavor.  Some examples are:  carrots, broccoli, red peppers, green onions, celery, snow peas, bok choy, etc.  Cut them into uniform sizes so they all cook in about the same length of time.

Garbanzo Stew

This is another of our old favorites, made with inexpensive pantry staples.  Make it on the stove or in a slow cooker.  Garbanzo beans require a long cooking time to be really tender, so plan accordingly.

Preparation Time:  15 minutes (overnight soaking needed)
Cooking Time:  4 hours (Slow cooker:  8-10 hours)
Servings:  10

2 cups uncooked garbanzo beans (chick peas)
8-10 cups water
2 potatoes, chunked
2 carrots, thickly sliced
2 stalks celery, thickly sliced
2 onions, chopped
2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce

Soak the garbanzos overnight in water to cover.  Drain.  Place the garbanzos and 8 cups water in a large pot.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and cook for 2 hours.  Add remaining ingredients and cook an additional 2 hours, adding more water if necessary.

Hints:  To make in a slow cooker, combine the soaked, drained beans with the remaining ingredients (use only 8 cups of water) and cook for 8-10 hours on high.

Potato Pancakes

These are delicious plain, with applesauce or gravy, or with one of the bean toppings from this newsletter.

Preparation Time:  20 minutes
Cooking Time:  30 minutes, in batches
Servings: 8

4-5 medium russet potatoes
½ sweet onion
¼ cup water
5 tablespoons white whole wheat flour
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley (optional)

Scrub the potatoes and peel the onion.  Grate the potatoes and onion together in a food processor.  (Or use a box grater, large holes.)  Place in a bowl and add the remaining ingredients, mixing well.  Preheat oven to 200 degrees.  Heat a non-stick griddle until a drop of water bounces off of it.  Ladle about 1/3 cup of the potato mixture onto the griddle in batches, flattening slightly.  Cook about 5-8 minutes on the first side, then turn and cook an additional 5-8 minutes until golden brown on both sides.  Remove to an ovenproof platter and keep warm in the oven until all are cooked.  Repeat until all batter is used.

Hint:  Unbleached white flour may be substituted for the white whole wheat flour, if desired.

Mixed Bean Toppings

Serve these simple, delicious, dried bean preparations in a variety of ways.  They may be cooked on the stove or in a slow cooker, no presoaking is necessary.

Preparation Time:  5 minutes
Cooking Time:  3-4 hours (Slow cooker:  8-10 hours)
Servings:  8 

Topping 1:
1 cup split peas
½ cup baby lima beans
½ cup cannellini beans
4 cups water
1 onion, chopped
2 teaspoons basil
1 bay leaf 

Topping 2:
1 cup kidney beans
½ cup pinto beans
½ cup cannellini beans
4 cups water
1 onion, chopped
½ teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon ground oregano

Place all ingredients from either 1 or 2 in a large pot.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and cook for 3-4 hours until beans are tender.  (In a slow cooker, add all ingredients from either 1 or 2 and cook on high for 8-10 hours.)  Serve over brown rice, other whole grains, potatoes, or toast.

Hints:  Other beans and/or peas may be substituted for the ones suggested here.  These topping can be different each time you make them by using different combinations of beans and seasonings.

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