August 2007

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Vol. 6, No. 8

Featured Recipes

New Tamale Pie

The original recipes for tamale pie in this newsletter called for soy cheese.  I am trying to cut down on my use of soy cheese in recipes and have found that tofu sour cream makes an excellent substitute in this recipe.  I have also added some roasted red pepper and black olives for color and flavor.  This version may become your new favorite!  This may be made ahead of time and refrigerated until baking.  It reheats well and is delicious the next day.

Preparation Time:  10 minutes
Cooking Time:  1 hour
Resting Time:  10 minutes
Servings:  4-6

5 cups frozen corn, thawed
½ cup masa flour (for tamales)
¼ cup vegetable broth
1  4 ounce can chopped green chilies
2 tablespoons chopped roasted red peppers
2 tablespoons chopped black olives
½ cup tofu sour cream (recipe in the June 2002 newsletter)
¼ teaspoon salt (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place the corn, masa flour and broth in a food processor.  (If you have a small processor, do this in batches.)  Process until fairly smooth.  Scrape into a large bowl.  Add chilies, chopped peppers, olives, tofu sour cream and salt.  Mix well.  Turn into a casserole dish.  (To prevent sticking, lightly oil the dish first with a small amount of oil on a paper towel.)  Cover and bake for 1 hour.  Remove from oven and let rest for about 10 minutes before serving.

Serve with salsa, enchilada sauce or guacamole to spoon over the top.

Potato Salad

This is my family’s favorite potato salad.  Tossing the potatoes with a bit of vinegar after cooking gives them a real burst of flavor.  We think this tastes best when eaten slightly warm.

Preparation Time:  20 minutes
Cooking Time:  10-12 minutes
Resting Time:  30 minutes
Servings:  6

2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and chunked
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
½ cup finely chopped celery
½ cup chopped green onions
½ cup shredded carrots (optional)

Dressing:
½ cup Tofu Mayonnaise (see Hints)
1 tablespoon prepared mustard
1 tablespoon non-dairy milk
1 tablespoon parsley flakes or chopped fresh parsley
¼ teaspoon dill weed
¼ teaspoon salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste

Place potatoes in a large pot with cold water to cover.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat slightly and cook potatoes at a slow boil until just tender, about 10-12 minutes.  Drain, place in a large bowl, toss with the vinegar and let rest for 30 minutes.  Prepare vegetables and set aside.

Combine all ingredients for dressing in a small bowl and whisk until smooth.  Set aside.

Mix vegetables into the potatoes, add dressing and toss gently to mix.  Serve at once.

Hints:  Use any type of mustard that you like in this recipe.  I usually use yellow mustard, but Dijon also is delicious. This may be refrigerated before serving, if desired.  It keeps well in the refrigerator up to 24 hours.  Tofu Mayonnaise is made with a package of soft silken tofu, 1 ½ tablespoons lemon juice, 1 teaspoon sugar, ½ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon dry mustard, ⅛ teaspoon white pepper.  Place all ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth.

Fresh Tomato Wraps

My garden is filled to overflowing with fresh tomatoes of all shapes and sizes this year, so I am preparing a lot of easy recipes using these tomatoes.  The best part is they don’t even need cooking which is wonderful on those hot August nights.

Preparation Time:  15 minutes
Resting Time:  30 minutes
Servings:  4-6

2 cups chopped fresh tomatoes
1  15 ounce can beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup chopped avocado
½ cup chopped green onions
1 tablespoon chopped, seeded jalapeno (optional)
2 tablespoon chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
dash hot sauce
dash sea salt
4-6 fresh corn or flour tortillas
chopped lettuce for garnish

Combine first nine ingredients in a bowl and mix gently.  Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving.  To serve, place a line of the tomato-bean mixture down the center of a tortilla, top with some chopped lettuce and more hot sauce of you wish, roll up and eat.

Hint:  Use any type of bean that you wish.  I think black beans and pinto beans work best in this recipe.

Tomato Couscous Salad

Here is another fast and delicious use for summer tomatoes.

Preparation Time:  10 minutes
Resting Time:  10 minutes
Servings:  2-4

1 cup uncooked whole wheat couscous
1 ½ cups boiling water
2 tomatoes chopped
1  15 ounce can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
4 green onions, chopped
2  tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
fresh ground pepper to taste

Place the couscous in a bowl and pour the boiling water over it.  Stir, cover and let rest for 5 minutes.  Transfer to a strainer to drain off any excess water.  Return to bowl, add remaining ingredients and toss gently to mix.  Let rest another 5 minutes to allow flavors to blend.  Serve at once or refrigerate for later use.

Hint:  Serve on lettuce leaves for a beautiful presentation.

Quinoa Salad with Lime-Cilantro Dressing
By Roberta Joiner

Roberta made this delicious salad during our last 10-Day McDougall Live-In Program and when I sampled it, I immediately asked if I could print the recipe in the newsletter.  She says you can also make this with 4 cups of any leftover grain that you have instead of the quinoa, if you wish.

Preparation Time:  30 minutes
Cooking Time:  15 minutes
Resting Time:  20 minutes
Servings:  8

2 cups uncooked quinoa
4 cups water
8 dried apricots, finely diced
¼ cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
2 ears of corn, cut off cob
6 small green onions, sliced in rounds
2 tomatoes, diced
1 cucumber, diced
½ cup finely diced colored bell peppers
1  can artichoke hearts or bottoms, drained and chopped (reserve 2 bottoms for the dressing recipe below)
¼ cup toasted slivered almonds
1 avocado, chopped

Toast the quinoa in a dry skillet for a few minutes.  Add boiling water, apricots and sun-dried tomatoes.  Cover and cook over low heat for 15 minutes.  Add the corn kernels and let rest for 10 minutes.  Transfer to a fine mesh strainer and allow to rest for another 10 minutes so it is well drained.  Transfer to a large bowl.  Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.

Dressing:
2 artichoke hearts or bottoms, chopped
1 bunch cilantro, rinsed well, stems removed
4 stems basil, rinsed, stems removed (optional)
1 tablespoon honey or Agave nectar
½ cup rice vinegar
¼ cup red wine vinegar
juice of 3-4 limes

Place all dressing ingredients into a food processor or blender and process until well mixed.  Taste and adjust seasonings as desired, adding salt to taste (optional).  Toss with the quinoa mixture and serve.  The grains will absorb some of the tartness of the dressing, and it will seem milder when served with the grains.

Tamales

I have had several requests for tamales lately and although this recipe takes quite a bit of time to prepare, the results are well worth it.  The masa filling is nice and moist because of the mashed potatoes used in the dough.  The idea for using mashed potatoes in the dough came from one of the chefs years ago on one of our McDougall Adventure trips to Costa Rica where every morning for breakfast they served us tamales wrapped in banana leaves.  If you prepare this recipe with friends, it will seem to take much less time.  It also makes a lot of tamales, but they may be frozen for later use if you can’t eat them all in one week.

Preparation Time:  2 hours
Cooking Time:  1 hour
Servings:  Makes 40-50 tamales

Wrap:
Banana leaves or corn husks (see hint below)

Filling:
¼ cup vegetable broth
1 small onion, finely chopped
½ teaspoon minced fresh garlic
1  15 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
½ cup roasted red pepper, chopped
1 small fresh jalapeno, seeded and chopped (optional)

Dough:
5 cups fine masa flour, plus extra for kneading as necessary
4 cups room temperature water
6 cups mashed potatoes
½ teaspoon salt
several twists freshly ground black pepper

Thaw the banana leaves or soak the corn husks in warm water until soft.  (Separate the husks to make softening easier.)  Rinse both to make sure they are clean.

Place the vegetable broth in a medium non-stick skillet. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally for 4-5 minutes, until softened.  Add the remaining filling ingredients and cook over low heat for an additional 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and set aside.

Place the 5 cups of masa flour in a large bowl.  Add the water and mix with a spoon until it sticks together and starts to come away from the sides of the bowl.  Sprinkle a couple of tablespoons of the extra masa flour on your work surface.  Remove dough from bowl, place it on the masa flour and knead for 10 minutes, until the dough is smooth and stretchy, adding more masa flour as necessary to keep it from sticking to your work surface.  Place the ball of dough in a very large clean bowl.  Add the mashed potatoes and mix together well using your hands.  Season with salt and pepper.

Cut the banana leave into pieces approximately 7-8 inches by 12-14 inches.  Keep the corn husks covered with a damp paper towel until ready to fill.

Spread ⅛ to ¼ cup of the potoato-masa mixture in the center of either the banana leaf or corn husk.  Make a small indentation in the center of the mixture and fill with 1-2 teaspoons of the filling mixture.  Fold the wrapper over lengthwise to cover the masa mixture and fold again lengthwise.  Fold both ends under and set aside with the folded ends down.  The filling should be completely enclosed.  If your corn husks are on the small side, tie the ends instead of folding under.  Repeat until all the mixture is used.  Put the completed tamales under damp paper towels until all are assembled. 

Arrange the tamales in loose layers in a steamer.  Steam over boiling water for 1 hour, adding more water as necessary.  (If you steam them in a single layer in batches, they will only take about 30 minutes to cook.)

To serve, remove the wrapper and discard.  Serve with enchilada sauce or salsa to spoon over the top.

Hints:  Dried corn husks are sold in the specialty food section of most supermarkets.  If you can’t find them, check with your local Mexican market.  Banana leaves can usually be found frozen in most Mexican markets.  Banana leaves are much larger than corn husks so they hold a greater amount of the dough and filling.  Masa flour is also sold in Mexican markets, although some supermarkets do carry it.  The filling put into the dough is entirely optional, tamales are delicious just plain. Or instead of the filling given here, try them filled with mango salsa, mashed pinto or black beans, or seasoned rice and vegetables.

Curried Mushrooms and Chickpeas
By Greta Weingast

This is a favorite of mine since I love garbanzo beans (chickpeas).  It is very similar to a wonderful garbanzo bean dish that we enjoyed on the McDougall Adventure trip to Costa Rica this summer.

Preparation Time:  15 minutes
Cooking Time:  45 minutes
Servings:  8

½ cup water
2 large onions, chopped
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ground coriander
¼ teaspoon ground cayenne
1 tablespoon fresh ginger grated, or 2 teaspoons ground ginger
½ teaspoon salt (optional)
1 ½ pounds cremini mushrooms (or white), sliced
1
28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 15-ounce can garbanzo beans, drained

Heat the water in a large pot over medium high heat. Add the chopped onion, cover and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the turmeric, coriander, cayenne, ginger and salt. Cook for 2 minutes stirring occasionally.

Add the mushrooms, cover and continue to cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally until “saucy”.

Add the tomatoes and garbanzo beans, cover and cook 30 minutes until the mushrooms are tender and the flavors are well blended.

Serve over couscous, baked potatoes or rice.

Summer Salads Remembered

Try these wonderful, easy summer salads from previous newsletters:

Summertime Bread Salad April 2003

Cantaloupe Summer Salad July 2002

Tomato Avocado Pasta Salad July 2002

 

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