JamieR's Cook Nook (including Recipe Redemption)

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JamieR's Cook Nook (including Recipe Redemption)

Postby JamieR » Tue Feb 09, 2010 9:52 pm

I hope no one minds me starting this thread here!

I am new to following the McDougall program, but am already thrilled with the results I am getting.

While I don't always enjoy the day-to-day requirements of cooking, I do enjoy exploring new recipes and ingredients on occasion. Like most of us, I tend to get stuck in ruts, cooking the same favorites over and over. Both my DH and I are in search of new favorites that will fill the bill on our new plan (a few old favorites will work, but not many).

For nearly 12 years now, I've been running free cooking/recipe lists on the Internet, on YahooGroups and on my own server (cooking-lists.com). As part of running these lists, four days out of the week, I scour hundreds of newspaper food sections, looking for interesting things to share with my readers. Newspaper sections are volatile; unlike regular recipe websites which remain essentially the same for a long time (with only new additions), newspaper food sections are often refreshed every week (with the old week's articles being completely purged). So I've found the newspapers to be a fun place for new and seasonal recipes.

Since going vegan in January, and now low-fat McDougall vegan in February, I'm having a harder time "doing what I've done" for the last 12 years. I see so many articles with bad recipes, and even articles from nutritionists with what I now consider to be bad advice.

So I am looking at these articles/recipes with new eyes; many I am just discarding because they are just completely beyond redemption. But a handful are close to being good and healthy...and the tiniest fraction are actually on plan!

So in this thread, I hope to share...

...links to newspaper recipes that are McDougall friendly
...revisions of newspaper recipes that would be healthy with a few tweaks
...bright ideas and interesting food combinations that I've run across, that are McDougall friendly
...occasionally, my own new food concoctions

As I said above, the newspaper food sections online are changing every week. So if I share a link to a recipe...it might only be there for a week or a few days. So if it sounds good and fits your plan, you'll want to copy it over to your computer. If you miss a recipe and really want it, just PM me.

Also, I am new to the plan; I may not be be aware of every nuance of the program, so I might be wrong in my assessments of/"improvements" to the recipes. If I am wrong about things...don't hesitate to let me know.

Most of the recipes I post will not be tried and true; they are just recipes that I am running across on a daily basis on line. I will let you know if I have tried things and if they worked out. If you ever try a recipe I post, please let us know how it worked out!

I cannot tell you how much I feel I have benefited from reading this forum while getting ready for my transition to the McDougall plan...and I drop by every day now and feel like I am learning so much! Most people here are so kind and generous. This is my little way of giving back!

I hope to inspire myself to try new things...and hope to inspire some of you as well.

Last edited by JamieR on Tue Feb 09, 2010 10:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Recipe Finds for February 9th...

Postby JamieR » Tue Feb 09, 2010 10:24 pm

Recipe finds for February 9th....

Here are some of the interesting recipes and ideas I found on-line today while checking out the food sections:

Broiled Citrus
All fruits and a little bit of spice. You could definitely use less sugar (just a sprinkling), or mix in some oats with your sugar and spices for more of a fruit crisp.

Cabbage, Cauliflower and Potato Chowder
This one is so close to being McDougall friendly! Just saute the onions in a little bit of water instead of the oil...and follow the rest of the recipe (using vegetable broth, of course). I think this is one we are going to try this winter!

Creamy Breakfast Oats and Quinoa
This one is already 100% on plan...so long as you use a non-dairy beverage! I think this will be a fun way to jazz up my morning oatmeal when I have leftover quinoa.

Rustic Italian Tomato Soup
Chef Jeff is the food editor for the Grand Forks Herald; they link to his blog from the food section. Scroll down until you find this recipe, date of Feb 9, 2009. So long as you use veggie broth, this recipe is 100% on plan. I like that you basically take most ingredients, whiz 'em up in the food processor, then let 'er perk. My kind of recipe! We'll be trying this one soon as well!

Fresh Mango Salsa
100% on plan!

Bean Salsa
You can make this on plan by omiting the oil and parmesan cheese. Lots of other flavors going on here...so it would taste great.

Meatless Dishes That Won't Bust a Budget
Not every recipe here is on plan, but most could be made so. In this article, they are sharing 5 recipes from the new cookbook, "Quick & Easy Vegan Comfort Food" by Alicia Simpson. Nice to see a vegan cookbook featured on this midwestern newspaper website!

Quinoa Article
Good information on quinoa...and recipe (for a balsamic quinoa salad) could be easily made on-plan by omiting the oil and sauting the aromatics in water.

A couple of articles had some interesting salad ideas.

...the Fort Worth Star-Telegram had a salad with a dressing featuring cilantro and lime. I won't link to the actual article because it was a high fat dressing.

...the Erie Times-News had a very pretty Valentine's salad featuring chopped romaine piled on arranged endive spears cupping raspberries. The dressing was not on-plan, but you could just use the idea with your own favorite no-fat dressing.

Other fun ideas...

...the Nashua (NH) Telegraph featured a quinoa pilaf (with half off-plan ingredients)...but I thought it was a fun idea to add dried fruit and parsley to your basic quinoa.

...the Modesto Bee featured a cheese-laden Artichoke and Red Pepper Dip that made me think...couldn't you make a great bean dip with the healthy ingredients? I'm thinking a can of artichoke quarters, a jar of roasted bell peppers (or roast a couple of your own), and a can of cannellini beans. Whiz it all up in your food processor, and you'd have a great dip or spread.

Today was really a bumper crop day for recipes and ideas!
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Re: JamieR's Cook Nook (including Recipe Redemption)

Postby debable » Wed Feb 10, 2010 9:33 am

Thanks,JamieR, some of these recipes look great.
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Re: JamieR's Cook Nook (including Recipe Redemption)

Postby Nettie » Wed Feb 10, 2010 10:15 am

JamieR wrote:I hope no one minds me starting this thread here!

Oh, nooooo! :lol: More recipes! I already have 2 large notebooks full of recipes I've gotten off this forum. I just can't resist printing them out.

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Recipe Find for February 10th...

Postby JamieR » Thu Feb 11, 2010 1:02 am

Thanks, Debable and Nettie for the kind words...glad you enjoyed the first post!

Today wasn't as a good a day out there for good recipes...but here is one...

Chipotle Black Bean Chili in the Buffalo News
Scroll down to nearly the bottom and you'll find a great sounding chili that only needs to have the onion water sauteed instead of oil sauteed to make it on plan. Of course...leave off the optional sour cream!

I also found a salad recipe that had an unusual combination in the dressing: equal parts chopped fresh basil and mint, accented with a little orange zest and orange juice. Had oil in it, of course, but you could play around with that idea in your own favorite fat free dressing.

Warmest Regards,
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Recipe Redemption of Tuscan-Style White Bean Soup

Postby JamieR » Thu Feb 11, 2010 1:24 am

I found this recipe by Betty Rosbottom to have so many good points...beans...fresh veggies...including kale. But other parts of the recipe...frying bacon in olive oil and making oily croutons and covering the whole thing with Parmesan...well, those have to go.

Here's my first redeemed recipe!

Tuscan-Style White Bean Soup with Crisp Croutons

2 cups dried cannellini beans
1 cup finely diced onion
1 cup finely diced carrots
1 cup finely diced celery
1/2 cup water
8 cups vegetable stock (or 4 cups vegetable stock and 4 cups water)
1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 1/2 teaspoons dried crushed rosemary
2 dried bay leaves, broken in half
freshly ground pepper
6 slices whole-grain, no added-fat bread
3 cups (packed) coarsely chopped fresh kale, tough stems cut out and discarded

Place the dried beans in a colander and rinse under cold water to remove any dirt or grit. Then place beans in a large heatproof bowl, and cover with 5 cups boiling water. Set aside to soak for 1 hour, then drain beans in a colander.

In a large soup pot, saute onion, carrots and celery in 1/2 cup water until slightly soft, about 5 minutes.

Add beans, stock, thyme, rosemary, bay leaves, and several grinds of pepper. Bring to a simmer, lower heat, and cook at a gentle simmer, stirring occasionally, until beans are tender 1 to 1 1/2 hours. (Soup can be prepared 1 day ahead to this point. Cool, cover and refrigerate. Reheat over medium heat.)

For croutons, toast bread in a toaster, toaster oven or conventional oven

When ready to serve, add kale to simmering soup and cook until it has wilted, about 3 minutes. Remove bay leaves; then season soup with additional pepper if needed. To serve, ladle soup into 6 soup bowls and garnish each serving with a crouton

Serves 6.


-- Use two cans of cannellini beans instead of making them from scratch.

-- Chop the onion, celery, and carrots in a food processor.

MAKE IT MWL-FRIENDLY: Omit the croutons; stir in some cooked grains if desired 10 minutes before serving.
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Re: Recipe Find for February 10th...

Postby Nettie » Thu Feb 11, 2010 6:18 am

JamieR wrote:Chipotle Black Bean Chili in the Buffalo News

Thanks, Jamie. The Chipotle Black Bean Chili is almost identical to the one in the McDougall January Newsletter, except Mary used fire-roasted tomatoes and added a red bell pepper and cumin. I made the newsletter one last weekend, and it's a definite keeper. My hubbie and I ate nearly all of it in one sitting, and we put it over a bowl of brown rice. :-D

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Re: JamieR's Cook Nook (including Recipe Redemption)

Postby MasserLMC » Thu Feb 11, 2010 10:31 am

Oh, Jamie-what a great thread. I love trying new recipes. Thanks so much. I have to go buy another notebook now!
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Re: JamieR's Cook Nook (including Recipe Redemption)

Postby Vegankit » Thu Feb 11, 2010 3:52 pm

Hi Jamie - I'm pleased to find your "cook nook" with recipe redemption - that's a great addition to this board. Thanks for taking the time to provide us with more cooking ideas, I appreciate your work.
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Re: JamieR's Cook Nook (including Recipe Redemption)

Postby mcchaz » Thu Feb 11, 2010 5:27 pm

HI Jamie,
Recipe Redemption Rocks! I often just pass on recipes that are not McDougalled. Your experience and work will help us all. Thank you.
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Re: JamieR's Cook Nook (including Recipe Redemption)

Postby JamieR » Fri Feb 12, 2010 4:32 pm

Thanks, everyone, for the kind words! I can't tell you how nice it is to have my work be appreciated!

BTW, you'll mostly see postings on this thread Sunday through Wednesday, as those are the days that I "do the papers"...but you might see something from me on other days as well.

Have a great weekend!
in overcast Northern California
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Re: JamieR's Cook Nook (including Recipe Redemption)

Postby JamieR » Sun Feb 14, 2010 4:59 pm

Recipe Finds for February 14:

Happy Valentine's Day!

I found a couple of recipes that would work for the McDougall program today:

Cajun Black-Eyed Peas in the Canton Repository
If you just saute in water instead of oil, this recipe is on-plan. Serve it over brown rice and with a salad...and you've got a tasty meal.

Horace's Chickpea Soup in the Bradenton Herald
This one takes a little more work to McDougalize...but nothing tricky. Saute celery and leek in water instead of oil. Use veggie broth instead of chicken broth. Omit the parmesan. That should do it!

I also found two recipes to "redeem"...and will post those soon.

I'm planning on making the Quinoa Vegetable Paella from SusanV's Fat Free Vegan blog tonight for dinner (without the bell peppers), something a little fancier for Valentine's. My DH has been so good following this plan for two weeks...he deserves a little more effort for a special Valentine's dinner.
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Re: JamieR's Cook Nook (including Recipe Redemption)

Postby JamieR » Sun Feb 14, 2010 5:58 pm

"Redeemed" Argentinean Pumpkin Soup
4-6 servings

The original recipe uses cream and olive oil. I've removed those and added an option for using canned pumpkin.

1 3-pound pumpkin
1 large onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 fresh chile, de-seeded and chopped fine
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
Pepper, to taste
3-4 potatoes peeled and cubed
2 14.5-ounce cans fire-roasted tomatoes
5 cups vegetable stock
1 15-ounce can whole kernel corn, drained

Slice pumpkin in half, scoop out seeds.

Place place halves on large baking sheet; cover with parchment paper. (Or wrap each half like a parchment parcel. The idea is to protect the exposed pumpkin flesh so that it doesn't burn before the inside roasts properly.) Roast at 350 degrees until tender, about 45 minutes.

Check with fork. Allow to cool enough to handle.

When ready to make the soup, sauté the onion, bell pepper, garlic and chile in water in large stockpot over medium heat until tender.

Scoop the pumpkin flesh out of the skin and add to the soup. Add the spices, tomatoes, potatoes and 5 cups of vegetable stock.

Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Simmer about 30 minutes until all the vegetables are tender. Simmer uncovered for a thicker soup.

When vegetables are tender, use an immersion blender (or you can puree in your food processor a little at time) to puree the soup to suit your taste.

Check for seasoning. Add corn and heat through. Add salt on the surface of each bowl, if desired.


--Use a large can (29 ounce) of pure pumpkin puree instead of cooking the pumpkin from scratch.

--Chop the onion, bell pepper, garlic and chili in the food processor.
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Re: JamieR's Cook Nook (including Recipe Redemption)

Postby JamieR » Sun Feb 14, 2010 6:22 pm

"Redeemed" Hearty Potato Soup (Crockpot)

The original recipe included chicken broth, all-purpose flour, and fat-free half-and-half (a true culinary freak of nature, if you ask me!). I've made a lot of potato soups...and never used (and never THOUGHT to use) flour in them. The only reason I can think why they used flour and half-and-half together is to thicken the soup. So I offer a more healthful way to do so....

6 potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (2 1/2 lbs.)
2 medium onions, diced
2 carrots, thinly sliced
2 celery ribs, thinly sliced
1 quart vegetable broth (or one 16-ounce can broth and 2 cups water)
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Garnish: fresh celery leaves

Combine first seven ingredients in a 4 1/2-quart slow cooker. Cook, covered, on high 3 hours or until vegetables are tender. Take out several cups of the soup (make sure to get some of the broth with your potato/veggie mixture); blend completely in a blender; return to crockpot. Or, alternately, use an immersion blender right in the crockpot, and whizz soup to desired consistency. Eat immediately, or soup will hold on low for a couple hours. Garnish, if desired, when serving.

NOTES: Don't blend potatoes and veggies in the food processor; the high speed of the food processor makes the potatoes gummy.

If you have an older crockpot, it might not cook the potatoes well in the above time. (Older crockpots cook at a lower temperature and often have a difficult time softening hard root vegetables.) If your crockpot is pre-2003, you can precook the potatoes for 10 minutes on the stovetop, and continue with the recipe.
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Re: JamieR's Cook Nook (including Recipe Redemption)

Postby CarolSoprano » Mon Feb 15, 2010 11:53 am

Jamie, I was looking for a potato soup recipe and I happened upon yours!! Can't wait to make it this week! Thanks! :-D
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