November 2005

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Vol. 4, No. 11   


Featured Recipes

Bombay Vegetable Sauce
Preparation Time:  45 minutes
Cooking Time:  15 minutes
Servings:  6

1 teaspoon coriander seeds
½ teaspoon cumin seeds
½ teaspoon fennel seeds
½ teaspoon fenugreek seeds
6 whole green cardamoms
½ teaspoon turmeric
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons vegetable broth
1 large onion, cut in half lengthwise, then thinly sliced into crescents
3 cloves garlic, minced
½ cinnamon stick
1 red bell pepper, cut into ½ inch pieces
1 yellow bell pepper, cut into ½ inch pieces
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and thinly sliced
3 large portobello mushrooms, cut in half, then thickly sliced
1  28 ounce can diced tomatoes, drained (reserve the juice)
1  15 ounce can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
4 cups fresh baby spinach (one 6 ounce bag)
2 tablespoons mango chutney
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Place the 4 kinds of seeds and the cardamom into a dry non-stick frying pan.  Cook and stir for about 1 minute.  Remove from heat, cool, then crush using a mortar and pestle.  Mix in the turmeric and black pepper.  Set aside.

Place the vegetable broth in a large pot.  Add the onion, garlic and cinnamon stick.  Cook, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes.  Add the three kinds of peppers and the mushrooms.  Cook and stir for 3 more minutes.  Add the tomatoes, garbanzos, spinach, chutney, and ¼ cup of the reserved tomato juice.  Cook and stir for another 3-4 minutes.  Season with a bit more pepper and some salt, if desired.  Stir in the cilantro and let rest for a minute before serving. 

Serve over brown rice, other whole grains, or in a bowl with some fresh Indian naan bread to soak up the juices.

Hints:  This takes quite of bit of preparation, but then it goes together rather quickly.  I have prepared all the spices and the vegetables a day ahead of time, and then easily cooked this just before serving.  When fresh tomatoes are in season, I like to use them in this dish for a more authentic flavor.  Use about 5 tomatoes, peel them with a serrated vegetable peeler, then coarsely chop them before using.  You will also need to use an extra ¼ cup of vegetable broth in place of the reserved tomato juice.

Peanut Tofu Sauce
Preparation Time:  5 minutes
Servings:  variable

1  12.3 ounce package silken tofu
½ cup peanut butter
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons hot chili sauce

Place the tofu in a food processor and process briefly.  Add the remaining ingredients and process until very smooth. 

Hints:  This is a richer sauce because of the peanut butter, so keep this for special occasions.  This may be thinned out with some water for a dressing consistency or used thick as a sauce.  To make this even more spicy, add more of the hot chili sauce.  To warm this sauce, heat in a double boiler over boiling water.  This is good on sweet potatoes, rice and veggies, or salads.

Stuffed Baked Potatoes
Almost anything can go into or onto a baked potato, whether it is a white potato or a sweet potato.  Both kinds of potatoes can be prepared in a microwave oven in about 8-12 minutes, depending on the size of your potatoes.  However, the flavor doesn’t come close to the ones prepared in a conventional oven, so I always plan on the extra time required for oven baking.  This is still a fast and easy meal, one that I rely on often during this busy holiday season.

Preparation Time:  15 minutes
Cooking Time:  1 hour
Servings:  4

4 large baking potatoes OR 4 large sweet potatoes (yams)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Prick potatoes all over with a fork.  Place the white potatoes directly on the oven racks, place sweet potatoes on a baking sheet.  Bake until tender when pierced or squeezed.

Meanwhile prepare the topping for your potatoes.

1.  Black beans and tomatoes.

    1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
    2 chopped tomatoes
    1 teaspoon ground cumin
    1 teaspoon ground coriander
    1 teaspoon soy sauce

Place in a saucepan and heat through. Mash slightly with bean masher, if desired.  Serve over baked potatoes or yams garnished with tofu sour cream and chopped fresh cilantro (optional).

2.  Curried garbanzos

     1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
     ¾ cup vegetable broth
     3 tablespoons lemon juice
     2 cloves garlic
     2 teaspoons curry powder
     ½ teaspoon cumin seed

Place all ingredients into a food processor and process until smooth.  Place in a saucepan and heat through.  Serve over baked potatoes or yams garnished with chopped green onions.

3.  Leftover bean dishes, such as soups or stews, make wonderful toppings for baked potatoes. Try Chunky Chili (Dec. ’03) or Southwestern White Beans (Nov. ’03).

4.  Mushroom toppings are also a good choice for both kinds of potatoes.  See recipes in previous newsletters for Wicked Mushrooms (March ’05) and Mushrooms McDougall (July ’04).

That 70s Rice
I was looking through my refrigerator a few nights ago trying to get some inspiration for dinner and realized that I only had the basics available, nothing unique or exotic at all.  I decided to “go back to my roots” so to speak and recreate a dish that John and I enjoyed many times during the 70s when I was just learning how to cook healthy foods. 

Preparation Time:  15 minutes (cooked rice needed)
Cooking Time:  15 minutes
Servings:  4

¾ cup vegetable broth
1 large onion, sliced in half through the stem end, then cut into thin crescents
1 green or red bell pepper, sliced into thin 1 inch strips
1 carrot, cut in half, then sliced
1 stalk celery, sliced
6-8 mushrooms, sliced
4 cups cooked brown rice
¼ cup minced dried unsulphured apricots
2 tablespoons raisins
2 tablespoons roasted, unsalted cashews
2 teaspoons cumin seed
½ teaspoon basil
¼ teaspoon oregano
¼ teaspoon celery seed
¼ teaspoon rosemary
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
¼ cup alfalfa sprouts
freshly ground black or white pepper 

Place 1/3 cup of the broth in a large non-stick frying pan.  Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently for 3 minutes.  Add the bell pepper and carrots, continue to cook and stir for another 3 minutes, then add the celery and mushrooms.  Mix well and continue to cook, stirring constantly for another 3 minutes.  Add the rice and mix gently.  Then add the remaining broth, the apricots, raisins, nuts, cumin, basil, oregano, celery seed and rosemary.  Mix well, cover and cook over low heat for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Stir in the nutritional yeast, the sprouts and the pepper.  Continue to heat for another minute.  Serve hot.

Hints:  Other dried fruits may be used in place of the apricots.  I have used dried mangos and really enjoyed the mango flavor.  Instead of using nutritional yeast, some grated soy cheese may be sprinkled over the top and allowed to melt slightly before serving.

Baked Pumpkins or Squashes with Wild Rice Stuffing
By Alex Bury, McDougall Program cooking instructor

Preparation Time:  30 minutes
Cooking Time:  1 ½ hours (may be done in 2 stages)
Servings: 6-8, depending on what else you’re serving

6 small or 2 large pumpkins or squashes
            *Delicata  or dumpling squashes work beautifully
¼ cup white wine or vegetable stock
1 medium yellow onion, diced
2 carrots, diced
4 stalks celery, diced, set half aside for later
1 medium zucchini, diced
6 cloves garlic, minced
6 ½ cups water and/or wine and/or stock
2 cups long-grain brown rice
¾ cup wild rice
¼ cup dried parsley
1 tablespoon sage
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon black pepper
¼ cup currants
¼ cup dried apricots, chopped small

Taste stuffing before you add:
1 tablespoon tamari (optional)
1 tablespoon miso paste (optional) 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

With a sharp knife, cut lid off the top of each pumpkin. Use a large spoon to scoop out the seeds and stringy fibers. Set a square of foil over the opening on top of the pumpkin and set the lid on top of the foil (the foil is to keep the lid from falling back into the pumpkins). Place prepared pumpkins in a baking pan filled with about 1/2 inch of water and bake until the insides are tender, about 45 minutes to 1 hour, depending on the size of your pumpkins. Remove from the oven and keep warm, or refrigerate overnight—you can do this step the day before.

While the pumpkins are baking prepare the rice. In a large saucepan, heat the ¼  cup of stock or wine over medium-high heat. Add the onion, carrot, half the diced celery, zucchini, and garlic, and sauté until the vegetables are tender, about 8 minutes. Stir in the water, wine or stock, brown and wild rice, parsley, pepper, sage and nutmeg and bring to a simmer.  Cover and cook over low heat until all of the liquid is absorbed, about 45 minutes. Fluff with a fork, and stir in the currants, apricots, second half of raw diced celery, tamari and miso.  Set aside until the pumpkins are done.  You can do this the day before.

When the pumpkins are finished baking, discard the foil; spoon the hot rice mixture into the pumpkins and cover with the lids and serve.   If you’re making one big pumpkin (instead of individual ones), be sure to scoop out some of the inside of the pumpkin along with the rice stuffing for each serving.  If you’re making things the day before, then stuff the cold stuffing into the cold pumpkins and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, until hot and puffy.

HINTS:
1.
 Wine or water is better than stock in this recipe.  Stock can mask the flavor of the rice and miso, and if your stock is salty, then you won’t be able to use the miso—and it adds a nice creaminess.

2.
 You can add 1 cup of sliced mushrooms (any kind) to the beginning, to sauté with the carrots and onion.  You may also enjoy 1 cup raw, fresh, whole cranberries.

3.
 You can add 1 cup of chopped water chestnuts instead of the raw celery at the end.

4.
 1 small apple, finely diced, is very nice added at the end, as is ¼ cup dried cranberries.

5.
 You can add cooked white beans for extra richness and body.  They will partially break up as you stir them into the stuffing (at the end of the cooking time), and that will create a nice creaminess.  You can also add whole roast garlic cloves for the same creaminess and added flavor.

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