August  2006

<<< Return to Newsletter Home Page                  printer friendly pdf

Vol. 5, No. 8

Featured Recipes

Creamy Pasta Primavera

Preparation Time:  30 minutes
Cooking time:  11-12 minutes
Servings:  6-8

2 cups vegetable broth
2 cups walnut pieces
1/3 cup packed fresh parsley
1/3 cup packed fresh cilantro
3 teaspoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons chopped fresh garlic
2 teaspoons ground chili paste
¼ teaspoon salt (optional)
freshly ground pepper to taste
16 ounces uncooked spiral pasta
3 cups broccoli florets
1 cup red bell pepper strips
1 cup yellow bell pepper strips
1 pound mushrooms, cut into bite sized pieces
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes

Place the broth, walnuts, parsley, cilantro, lemon juice, garlic, and chili paste into a blender jar.  Process for several minutes until very smooth.  Add pepper to taste and optional salt.  Set aside.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Add pasta and cook for about 5 minutes.  Add broccoli and peppers to the water and cook for an additional 4-5 minutes, then add the mushrooms and cook for another 2 minutes.  Remove from heat and drain.  Place in a large bowl.  Pour the sauce over and toss to mix.  Add the tomatoes and mix again.  May be served warm, at room temperature, or chilled.

Hints:  The addition of ground fresh chili paste to this recipe gives just a bit of heat.  Feel free to add more to taste.  Chili paste can be found in the Asian section of most supermarkets.  It is also called Sambal Oelek.  It is not necessary to chop the parsley and cilantro before using in the recipe. Just take a small handful of each and toss it in with the other ingredients (remove the larger stems first).  If you don’t like cilantro, try this with just the parsley.

Tex-Mex Bean Burgers

These burgers are served in a bun with typical taco toppings, giving them a decidedly Mexican flavor.

Preparation Time:  15 minutes
Cooking Time:  20 minutes
Servings:  5

1  15 ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
1  4.5 ounce can chopped green chilies
2 green onions, chopped
1 tablespoons egg replacer mixed in ¼  cup warm water
¼  cup cornmeal

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place the beans in a medium bowl and mash slightly with a bean masher.  Stir well, then add bread crumbs, green chilies, green onions and egg replacer mixture.  Mix well.  Place the cornmeal in a shallow bowl.  Shape the mixture into 5 patties, each about ½ inch thick.  Dip each side into the cornmeal, then place on a non-stick baking sheet.

Bake for 20 minutes, 10 minutes on each side. 

To serve, place some shredded lettuce on the bottom of the bun, put the burger on the lettuce, then top with guacamole (or Broccomole) and salsa, and the top of the bun.

Hints:  I usually double this recipe when I make it so we have some extra for lunch the next day.  These keep well in the refrigerator and may also be frozen.  They reheat well in the microwave or on a griddle.

Costa Rican Vegetable Salad

We just returned from a fantastic week in Costa Rica on a McDougall Adventures vacation.  They prepared many delicious vegetable salads while we were there using hearts of palm.  This is a variation on one of those salads.

Preparation Time:  15 minutes
Servings:  6-8

1  14 ounce can hearts of palm, drained, cut into ¼ inch rounds
1  15 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups frozen corn, thawed
2 large tomatoes, chopped
¼ cup chopped sweet onion
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 teaspoon soy sauce
freshly ground black pepper 

Combine all ingredients in a bowl.  Toss to mix.  Serve immediately or refrigerate until serving time.

Spinach Pesto Fettuccine

This dish makes great use of all the fresh basil, spinach and cherry tomatoes available at this time of the year.  It is quick to prepare and may be served at room temperature or chilled.

Preparation Time:  15 minutes
Cooking Time:  10 minutes
Servings:  6

14 ounces dried spinach fettuccine
2  6 ounce bags triple washed baby spinach
1 cup packed coarsely chopped fresh basil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1  package silken tofu
¼ cup water
¼ teaspoon salt
freshly ground black or white pepper to taste
1 ½ cups halved cherry tomatoes 

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Drop in the pasta and stir well to separate strands.  Cook until pasta is just barely tender, then add the spinach and cook until wilted, about 1 minute.  Remove from heat and drain.

Meanwhile, place the basil and garlic in a food processor and process briefly.  Add the tofu, water and salt.  Process until very smooth, stopping several times to scrape off the sides of the processor bowl.  Add pepper to taste.  Set aside.

Place the pasta and spinach in a serving bowl.  Pour tofu mixture over the pasta and toss well to mix.  Add the cherry tomatoes and mix again. 

Hints:  The tofu mixture may be prepared ahead and reserved until the pasta is cooked.  Refrigerate if holding for longer than 1 hour.  To spice up this dish add a few drops of hot pepper sauce to the tofu mixture while blending.

Tropical Couscous
By Wendy McCrady
(Adapted from Family Circle All-Time Favorite Recipes (Doubleday))

Wendy found this recipe while searching for ways to use up some basil. She adapted it by removing the oil and using whole wheat couscous.  It's absolutely wonderful and very easy to make.

2¼ cups fresh orange juice
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1½ cups whole wheat couscous
½ teaspoon arrowroot or cornstarch
¼ cup water
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil or 1 teaspoon dried
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
2 mangos, peeled, pitted and chopped
¼ cup pine nuts, toasted (optional)

Bring orange juice and cumin to a boil in a medium saucepan.

Stir in couscous and cover. Remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes.

Fluff with a fork and transfer to a large bowl.  Set aside to cool.

Place arrowroot or cornstarch and water in small saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring until clear and thickened. Measure out 2 tablespoons of the thickened mixture into small bowl.  Stir in soy sauce and lime juice, then pour mixture over couscous.

Stir in cilantro, basil, chives, ginger, and mangos. Sprinkle with pine nuts, if desired.

Serve at room temperature. 

Hint: Reserve the remainder of the thickened liquid in the refrigerator to use as an oil substitute in other salad dressings.

Citrus Chili Dressing

Preparation Time:  5 minutes
Servings:  makes about 1 ½ cups

1 cup orange juice
¼ cup Dijon mustard
½ cup rice vinegar
2 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon sweet chili sauce 

Place all ingredients in blender jar and process until smooth.

Grainy Mustard Dressing

Preparation Time:  5 minutes
Servings:  makes about 2 cups 

½ cup rice vinegar
½ cup whole grain mustard
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 cup honey

Place everything but the honey in a blender jar and process briefly.  Slowly add the honey while processing.

<<< Return to Newsletter Home Page

Email this page to a friend or coworker


You may subscribe to this free McDougall Newsletter at


Newsletter archive

2006 John McDougall All Rights Reserved