The McDougall Newsletter

December 2007

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Vol. 6, No. 12

Featured Recipes

Quick Meal Ideas

Sometimes a quick meal is all you have time for, especially during this busy time of year.  Here are a couple of ideas that I have used this past month, and you don’t even need a recipe for them!

Grilled Potatoes

Great for breakfast or as a snack!

Frozen hash brown potato patties (just potatoes, no oil, white, rectangular-shaped) 

I make these in my Cuisinart Griddler on the grill side.  A George Forman Grill would also work, or a panini press.  Heat the grill to medium-high, place the potatoes on the grill, put the cover down so both sides cook at once, and cook for about 15 minutes until well browned.  Serve with ketchup, barbecue sauce, salsa, etc.

Rice & Bean Wraps

Fast and easy lunch idea!

Eden Organic Rice & Beans

Eden Organic makes brown rice and beans in a can.  They are low sodium and low fat (no added fat), and delicious.  There are many varieties; pinto, kidney, garbanzo, black, Cajun red, and lentils, all with brown rice.  Just open the can, dump into a saucepan, heat, and spread on a tortilla.  Top with some salsa or hot sauce, roll up and eat!  If you can’t find them in your area, they may be ordered online at www.edenfoods.com

Baked French Toast

This is a breakfast that you prepare the night before, refrigerate overnight, and then just pop into the oven in the morning.  The toast is moist throughout with a slight crispness on top.  Serve with warmed maple syrup, or a fruit topping (see hints below).

Preparation Time:  5 minutes
Resting Time:  overnight
Cooking time:  40 minutes
Servings:  6-8

9-10 slices french or sourdough bread (whole wheat preferred)
4 cups Almond milk
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
⅛ teaspoon cinnamon
⅛ teaspoon turmeric
⅛ teaspoon salt

Arrange the bread slices in the bottom of two 9 x 13 inch baking dishes.  Do not overlap the slices.  Place the remaining ingredients in a blender jar and process briefly.  Pour over the bread slices in both dishes.  Cover and refrigerate overnight.  In the morning, preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Remove cover and bake for about 40 minutes until slightly crisp on the top, but still moist throughout. 

Hints:  This is an easy way to make French toast for a crowd without standing over the griddle in the morning.  To make a simple fruit sauce, thaw an unopened package of raspberries (or another favorite fruit) overnight in the refrigerator.  In the morning, place in a blender jar, add a small amount of agave nectar (a tablespoon or two) and process until smooth.

Chocolate Chili

This is a spicy chili, with the subtle flavors of chipotle and chocolate, filled with lots of healthy vegetables.  Top with a bit of tofu sour cream to tamper down the heat, if desired.  Or use less of the chipotle peppers.  Serve over rice, or plain in a bowl.

Preparation Time:  30 minutes
Cooking Time:  45 minutes
Servings:  6-8

1 ½ cups water
2 onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 tablespoons finely chopped chipotle in adobo sauce
1 teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon ground cumin
⅛ teaspoon cinnamon
3 medium zucchini, quartered lengthwise and sliced
4 cups coarsely chopped kale
1  14.5 ounce can chopped tomatoes
3  15 ounce cans pinto beans, drained and rinsed
3 tablespoons finely chopped unsweetened chocolate
1 teaspoon orange zest
⅛ teaspoon sugar
⅛ teaspoon salt

Place ¼ cup of the water in a large pot.  Add the onion and garlic.  Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes, until onion has softened.  Add the chopped chipotle, oregano, cumin and cinnamon.  Stir into the onions and garlic for about 30 seconds.  Add the remaining water, the zucchini and kale.  Cook, stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes.  Add the remaining ingredients, mix well, bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for an additional 30 minutes.

Pear-Cranberry Crumble

I had some fresh cranberries in my refrigerator that my grandson, Jaysen, wanted to use.  I also had fresh pears, so we decided to make a dessert.  While it was cooling on the rack, everyone came in for a sample, and we all decided it was a hit!

Preparation Time:  20 minutes
Cooking Time:  1 hour
Servings:  8-10

Topping:
½ cup rolled oats
½ cup chopped walnuts
¼ cup white whole wheat flour
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 tablespoons agave nectar

Filling:
3 cups cubed peeled Bosc pears
2 cups fresh cranberries
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 ½ tablespoons cornstarch

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine dry topping ingredients in a medium bowl and mix well, then add agave and mix again until crumbled.  Set aside.

Place pears, cranberries, brown sugar, and cornstarch in a large bowl.  Mix until well combined.  Transfer to a deep dish pie plate, sprinkle topping mixture over the top.  Bake for about 1 hour until filling bubbly and top is slightly browned.  Cool for an hour (if you can wait!).

Hints:  I used Bosc pears because they tend to keep their shape when cooked and don’t get too mushy.  When fresh cranberries are not available, frozen, thawed berries may be used in their place.  My family likes this plain, but for a special treat, you may want to top this with some rice or soy vanilla ice cream.

Spicy Dipping Sauce

This is another one of those richer sauces that make anything taste great.  We especially like this with asparagus or artichokes. This one starts with Tofu Mayonnaise (see hints below).  I usually have a batch of the mayonnaise in my refrigerator so this goes together rather quickly.  Make this ahead of time so the flavors have time to blend well.  To make this less spicy, use the lesser amount of the hot sauce.

Preparation Time:  5 minutes
Chilling Time:  1-2 hours
Servings:  makes about ½ cup

½ cup tofu mayonnaise
1-2 teaspoons Sriracha hot sauce
2 ½ tablespoons lime juice
1 ½ tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
dash salt

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk until smooth.  Refrigerate before using for best flavor.

Hint:  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.  Make this ahead of time for best results.

Very Benevolent Caesar Salad
By Miyoko Schinner, McDougall Program cooking instructor

Miyoko prepares this salad during one of her cooking demonstrations in the 10-day McDougall program and it is always a favorite, the dish that everyone says they are going to make at home.  Miyoko says “You would never believe that this wonderful replica of Caesar salad was actually free of cheese, eggs, anchovies, and low in fat to boot”.  This is my favorite Caesar salad!

Preparation Time:  15 minutes (need prepared croutons)
Servings:  4

1 small head romaine lettuce, washed, dried and torn into pieces

Dressing:
2 tablespoons almond meal (see hints below)
3 cloves garlic, pressed through a garlic press
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons soy sauce
¼ cup water

Prepare the lettuce and place in a large bowl. 

In a medium bowl, combine the almond meal, garlic, mustard, and nutritional yeast to make a paste.  Whisk in the remaining dressing ingredients.

Top the lettuce with croutons (see recipe below), if desired, and toss with the dressing.  Serve immediately.

Hints:  Almond meal can be purchased in bags at Trader Joe’s, or you can make your own by grinding blanched or roasted almonds in a food processor until very finely ground.  If you make the croutons ahead of time, this salad goes together quite quickly.

Herb & Garlic Croutons
By Miyoko Schinner

Preparation Time:  10 minutes
Cooking Time:  25 minutes
Servings:  makes 1 ½ cups

3-4 slices stale French or sourdough bread, trimmed of crust and cubed
1 tablespoon minced garlic
½ teaspoon dried rosemary
½ teaspoon dried marjoram
¼ teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 250 degrees.  Place the bread cubes on a baking sheet in a single layer.  Mix the remaining ingredients together and sprinkle over the bread cubes. Toast until lightly browned, about 25 minutes. The object is not to bake them, but to dry them out.  Remove from oven; they will continue to crisp as they cool.

Glistening Poached Pears
By Miyoko Schinner, McDougall Program cooking instructor

This is an easy, yet elegant dessert, which is sure to impress your guests. 

Preparation Time:  15 minutes
Cooking Time:  50 minutes
Servings:  6

6 Bosc pears, medium firm, peeled
1 quart cherry juice
1 cup red wine
1/3 cup agave nectar
½ lemon, sliced
3 tablespoons cornstarch or arrowroot

Place the pears in a large pot.  Add the juice, wine, agave and lemon slices.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer about 30-40 minutes until pears are tender.  Dissolve the cornstarch or arrowroot in a small amount of water, add to the liquid in the pot and stir constantly until mixture thickens to a light glaze.

Serve hot or warm, decorated with a sprig of mint, if desired.

Hints:  Do not use mushy pears in this dish, they need to be fairly firm in order to keep their shape when cooked.  If you do not want to use the wine, just use an extra cup of cherry juice.  This could also be made with pomegranate juice, if desired.

Salad Dressings

The following two dressing recipes were created by Joyce Everett, chef at the Flamingo Resort Hotel, where the 10-day McDougall Program is held throughout the year.  These were favorites during the last program with many requests for the recipes. 

Peanut Ginger Dressing

Preparation Time:  5 minutes
Servings:  makes 1 ¼ cups

½ cup peanut butter
½ cup water
¼ cup rice vinegar
1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
1 teaspoon fresh grated garlic

Combine all ingredients in a blender jar and process until smooth. 

Hints:  This is a richer dressing because of the peanut butter so use sparingly.  This will keep in the refrigerator for about a week.

Tofu Citrus Dressing

Preparation Time:  7 minutes
Servings:  makes about 2 ½ cups

16 ounces soft silken tofu
½ cup orange juice
¼ cup lime juice
1 bunch fresh basil, chopped

Combine all ingredients in a blender jar and process until smooth.

Hints:  The basil needs to be coarsely chopped so it doesn’t clump together in the bottom of the blender jar.  This will keep for about a week in the refrigerator.

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