The McDougall Newsletter

February 2008

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Vol. 7, No. 02

More McDougall Favorite Recipes

Here are more of our favorite recipes, some of them a bit richer, great for guests or a special meal.

McVeggie Burgers
This is my latest variation.  I use firm water packed tofu and process it until fairly smooth.

Preparation Time:  30 minutes
Baking Time:  30 minutes
Servings:  makes 16 burgers

2 pounds firm water-packed tofu, drained well
10 ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed
2 tablespoons water
1 large onion, chopped
½ pound mushrooms, chopped
3 cloves garlic, pressed
3 cups quick oats
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons vegetarian Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon lemon juice
½ teaspoon ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place the tofu in a food processor and process until fairly smooth, stopping several times to scrape down the bowl.  Transfer processed tofu to a large bowl and set aside.

Drain the spinach well and press any excess water out with your hands. (Spinach should be very dry.)  Set aside.

Place the water, onion, mushrooms and garlic in a large non-stick frying pan.  Cook, stirring frequently until onion has softened and all liquid has been absorbed, about 5-6 minutes.  Set aside.

Add the oats and the seasonings to the tofu mixture and mix well.  Add the spinach and mix in well, using your hands.  Add the onion mixture and continue to mix with your hands until all ingredients are well combined.  Take a small amount and form into a ball shape (a bit larger than a golf ball), then flatten into a burger-sized patty about ¼ inch thick and place on a non-stick baking sheet.  (If you do not have a good non-stick baking sheet, then lightly oil your baking sheet first.)  Repeat this process until all the mixture is used.  (It will help to lightly moisten your hands several times during this process.)  Bake for 20 minutes, then flip over and bake an additional 10 minutes.  Cool on racks after removing from the oven.  Serve in a whole wheat bun with your favorite condiments.

Hints:  These may be prepared ahead and refrigerated or frozen for future use.  They reheat well in the microwave, in the oven, or on a grill or griddle.

Tamale Burgers
We like to serve these in a corn tortilla, with lettuce, tomatoes, and the Taco Sauce recipe which follows.  Some sliced avocado could also be added, if desired.

Preparation Time:  30 minutes (need cooked rice)
Cooking Time:  45 minutes
Cooling Time:  50 minutes
Servings:  8-10

2 tablespoons vegetable broth
1 onion, finely chopped
1 small red bell pepper, finely chopped
¾ cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
1 chipotle chile in adobo sauce, minced
2 teaspoons adobo sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
dash salt (optional)
1/3 cup masa harina (for tortillas)
½ cup water
3 cups cooked brown rice
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 ½ tablespoons fresh lime juice
¾ teaspoon lime zest
8-10 corn tortillas

Place the vegetable broth in a large non-stick frying pan with the onion, bell pepper, corn, chipotle chile, adobo sauce, garlic, and cumin.  Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes, until vegetables are softened.

Mix the masa harina with the water in a small bowl.  Add to the vegetable mixture and mix well.  (Mixture will be very thick.)  Cover and cook over low heat, stirring once or twice, for about 5 minutes.

Heat the cooked rice until hot.  Place in a large bowl and add the vegetable mixture to the rice along with the remaining ingredients, except the tortillas.  Mix well and set aside for 20 minutes.

Place several sheets of parchment paper over large baking trays.  Fill a medium bowl of water and place it next to your work surface.  Wet hands and shape mixture one at a time into flattened oblong burgers (just the right size for fitting into the tortillas).  Place each shaped burger onto the parchment paper.  Repeat until all mixture is used.  Refrigerate burgers for 30 minutes.

Grill burgers over medium heat for about 7 minutes on each side, until crusty on the outside.  This may be done on a charcoal or gas grill, or on a griddle on the stovetop.

Place each burger in a corn tortilla, add lettuce, tomatoes, avocado, if desired, and spoon some Taco Sauce over the top.  Fold up and enjoy.

Hints:  Masa harina can usually be found in Latin American markets, or in the ethnic section of some supermarkets.  It is a fine corn flour that is used to make tortillas and tamales.  I usually make a double batch of these burgers because they freeze well and then I have an easy meal for sometime later.  These may also be shaped into the traditional burger shape and eaten on whole wheat buns.  They have a decidedly Mexican flavor to them, so they are best topped with Mexican-style seasonings.

Taco Sauce
This is a creamy, slightly spicy sauce that is wonderful with raw veggies, or drizzled over tacos.

Preparation Time:  5 minutes
Servings:  makes 3 cups

1 package soft silken tofu
1 ½ cups tofu sour cream
1 package Bearitos Taco Seasoning mix

Place the tofu in a food processor and process until fairly smooth.  Add the tofu sour cream and process until very creamy.  Add the package of seasoning mix and process until blended.  Pour into a covered container and refrigerate for an hour or two to allow flavors to blend.

Hint:  Recipe for tofu sour cream can be found in the June 2002 newsletter.

Hoisin-Tofu Lettuce Wraps
These are a great finger food, fun to eat, but a bit messy. For a lower fat variation, see the suggestion under hints.

Preparation Time:  15 minutes
Cooking Time:  10 minutes
Servings:  4 (enough for 2 people)

½ cup pine nuts
12 ounces firm water-packed tofu (not silken)
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
¼ teaspoon chili-garlic sauce
dash sesame oil
1-2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro OR Italian parsley
8 iceberg or butter lettuce leaves

Toast the pine nuts in a dry non-stick pan for about 4 minutes, stirring constantly, until they are golden brown.  Remove from heat and set aside.

Cut tofu into small (1/4 inch) cubes.  Combine rice vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, chili-garlic sauce and sesame oil in a small bowl.  Heat a non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat, add tofu and sauce mixture, cook stirring constantly until sauce is absorbed, about 3-4 minutes.  Stir in the hoisin sauce, mix well, then add the cilantro or parsley.   Heat and stir for about 1 minute.  Remove from heat and stir in the reserved pine nuts.

Serve in lettuce leaves, with some additional hoisin sauce to spoon over the top. If desired.

Hints:  Instead of the pine nuts, mix ½ cup of chopped water chestnuts in with the tofu before cooking and add an extra tablespoon of the hoisin sauce. 

Tofu Loaf
This is an excellent, firm loaf to serve with mashed potatoes and gravy.  The leftovers also make a great sandwich filling.

Preparation Time:  15 minutes
Cooking Time:  45 to 60 minutes
Servings:  6-8

30 ounces water-packed firm tofu
1  2/3 cups quick oats
¾ cup whole wheat bread crumbs
½ cup ketchup or barbecue sauce
1/3 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons Dijon-style mustard
2 tablespoons vegetarian Worcestershire sauce
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Drain the tofu well and mash finely, using a bean/potato masher and your fingers.  Place in a large bowl and add the remaining ingredients.  Mix well, again using your fingers.  Turn the mixture into either a square baking pan or a loaf pan.  (If you don’t have a non-stick pan you will need to lightly oil the pan first.) Bake the square pan for 45 minutes or the loaf pan for 60 minutes, until the top and edges are golden brown. Remove from oven and let rest for 5 minutes.  Loosen sides and invert over a platter to remove from baking pan.

Hints:  The quick cooking oats work best in this recipe.  To make bread crumbs, process 1 slice of bread in a food processor.  (Do this when you have extra older bread and store the crumbs in a sealed bag in the freezer.)  Serve with a sauce or gravy to pour over the loaf-or serve plain with a barbecue sauce on the side.  Vegetarian Worcestershire sauce is available in most natural food stores.  Low sodium soy sauce is also available in most supermarkets for those of you who are trying to reduce your salt intake.

Creamy Golden Gravy

This gravy is made with brown rice flour instead of wheat flour.  The great thing about using rice flour instead of wheat flour for thickening is that it doesn’t form lumps like wheat flour often does.  You just sprinkle it over the top of a hot liquid, stir it in and it thickens nicely without any lumps.

Preparation Time:  5 minutes
Cooking Time:  10 minutes
Servings:  makes 2 cups 

1 ½ cups vegetable broth
½ cup water
3 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons tahini
¼ cup brown rice flour
freshly ground black pepper

Place the broth and water in a saucepan.  Combine the soy sauce and tahini in a bowl and add to the liquid in the saucepan.  Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally to smooth out the tahini.  When mixture is simmering and smooth, sprinkle the brown rice flour over the top, about a tablespoon at a time, and stir in.  Continue to add the rice flour, stirring until sauce becomes thickened.  Season with freshly ground black pepper to taste.  Serve at once.

Hints:  This may be made ahead and refrigerated.  It will thicken slightly more when refrigerated.  To reheat, place in a saucepan, add a small amount of water, whisk to combine and then heat slowly, stirring occasionally, until hot.

Tex-Mex Potatoes

Preparation Time:  20 minutes
Cooking Time:  40 minutes
Servings:  6

6 large red potatoes
2  15 ounce cans pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup fresh salsa
1  4 ounce can diced green chilies
1 small onion, chopped
1-2 cloves garlic, crushed
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
½ teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon ground cumin
1 tomato, chopped
¼ cup corn kernels
2 green onions, chopped

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Scrub the potatoes and cut lengthwise into wedges.  Place on a baking sheet and bake until lightly browned, about 40 minutes

Meanwhile, combine the beans, salsa, chilies, onion, garlic, 2 tablespoons of the cilantro, the chili powder and cumin in a saucepan.  Cook over low heat about 15 minutes. 

Combine the tomato, corn kernels and the remaining cilantro.  Set aside.

To assemble:  Place the baked wedges on a serving platter.  Spoon the warm bean mixture over the potatoes and top with the fresh tomato mixture.

Hints:  Frozen corn kernels may be used in this recipe.  Thaw under cold running water and drain well before using.

Great Barrier Reef Gnocchi
This is prepared in several steps and then tossed together at the end.  It is delicious hot, warm or cold!

Preparation Time:  30 minutes
Cooking Time:  60 minutes
Servings:  6-8

½ cup pine nuts, toasted
1 onion, chopped
4 large cloves garlic, chopped
1 butternut squash, baked, peeled and chopped
2 cups fresh spinach
½ cup slivered fresh basil
1 ½ cups asparagus pieces (1½ inches)
2 packages potato gnocchi

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cut squash into 4 large pieces, clean out seeds and stringy portion, place into a baking dish, add 1 cup water to the bottom of the baking dish, and bake for about 1 hour, until easily pierced with a fork.  Cool, remove skin, and chop into chunks.  Set aside.

Meanwhile, place the raw pine nuts in a dry non-stick frying pan.  Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes.  Remove from pan and set aside.

Place the onion and garlic in a pan with a small amount of water, Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes.  (Or use caramelized onions for this step.)  Set aside.

Place the asparagus in a small amount of boiling water and cook for 2-3 minutes, until just slightly tender.  Set aside.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Drop the gnocchi into the water, stir well, and cook until gnocchi rises to the top, about 3-4 minutes.  Drop the spinach into this water, stir several times, then remove gnocchi and spinach with a strainer.  Place in a large heated bowl.  Add squash, pine nuts, onions and garlic, asparagus and basil.  Mix well.  Season with a small amount of salt and pepper.  Serve hot, warm or cold.   

Hint:  This may seem like a lot of effort, but the results are worth it!  If you start the squash first and then do the remaining steps, the squash should still be warm when you put the finished dish together.  Everything can be prepared ahead of time, except for the gnocchi & spinach.  Put the water on to boil just before the squash is done, remove the squash, let cool slightly, peel & chop, drop gnocchi into water, mix the squash with the onions, garlic, asparagus & pine nuts in a heated bowl.  Then add cooked gnocchi and spinach, toss with the fresh basil and serve.

Stella Blues Tofu Scramble
This recipe is based on a tofu scramble that we enjoyed at Stella Blues Restaurant on Maui.

Preparation Time:  15 minutes
Cooking Time:  12 minutes
Servings:  4

4 cups small broccoli florets
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced
2 tablespoons water
1 pound firm tofu, cut in ½ inch cubes
3/4 cup tahini sauce (recipe follows)
2 teaspoons soy sauce
dash or two of Sriracha hot sauce

Steam broccoli until just tender, about 5 minutes.  Remove from heat, drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, place the onions and mushrooms in a large non-stick frying pan with the water.  Cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes.  Add tofu cubes and cook for another 3 minutes.  Add steamed broccoli, tahini sauce, soy sauce and Sriracha.  Mix well and cook until heated through and slightly thickened, about 2-3 minutes.  Serve warm.

Hints:  This is delicious served with roasted potatoes or hash browns, for breakfast, lunch or dinner. 

Tahini Sauce
Make this ahead of time and store in the refrigerator until needed.  This will keep for several days in the refrigerator.

Makes 2 cups

¾ cup tahini
1 cup water
¼ cup lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, minced

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth.

No-Huevos Rancheros
The idea for this recipe came from the Mexican breakfast of scrambled eggs over tortillas and beans, topped with salsa.  The scrambled tofu topping could also be rolled up in a burrito shell with salsa, or just eaten plain.  This is fairly quick to put together if you have leftover pinto beans in your refrigerator, as I usually do.

Preparation Time:  10 minutes
Cooking time:  8 minutes
Servings: 4-6

1 cup salsa
2 cups mashed pinto beans (recipe in June 2003 newsletter)
8-10 soft corn tortillas
Tofu Scramble:
1 pound firm, water-packed tofu (not silken)
¼ cup vegetable broth
½ cup chopped green onions
1 tablespoon chopped green chilies (optional)
1 teaspoon soy sauce
¼ teaspoon turmeric
freshly ground pepper
dash sea salt (optional)

Drain tofu well, mash finely with a bean masher and set aside.  Heat the mashed pinto beans in a saucepan.  Place the vegetable broth in a large non-stick frying pan, add the green onions and cook, stirring frequently for 3 minutes until softened.  Add tofu and the remaining ingredients.  Mix well and continue to cook, stirring frequently for 5 more minutes.  Set aside.

To assemble:

Heat the tortillas briefly on a dry non-stick griddle to warm and soften them.  Take one tortilla and place on a plate.  Spread beans on one side, cover with a second tortilla and spread beans over the top of that tortilla also.  Spoon some of the tofu scramble over the tortillas and beans, then top with several spoonfuls of salsa.  Repeat process for each serving.

Hints:  Other toppings could also be added such as shredded soy or rice cheese, and/or tofu sour cream.  Sprinkle with some fresh chopped cilantro, if desired.

Cashew Milk
I have been making this for about 28 years now and it is still the best flavor for rich sauces and “french” toast.  Make sure you use raw cashews, not roasted ones, and make sure you blend this thoroughly and then strain it to remove any pieces that did not get blended.

Preparation Time:  5 minutes
Servings:  makes 2 cups

½ cup RAW cashews
2 cups water

Place the cashews in a blender jar with 1 cup of the water.  Process until very smooth.  Add the remaining water and blend until no large pieces remain.  This may take a minute or two.  Strain after processing to remove any remaining pieces.  Refrigerate until ready to use. 

Veggie Benedicts
Preparation Time:  15 minutes
Cooking Time:  5 minutes
Servings:  2-4

For the sauce:
1 cup cashew milk (see recipe above)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon nutritional yeast powder
½ teaspoon onion powder
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/16 teaspoon turmeric
pinch of paprika
1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 2 tablespoons cold water

Place the cashew milk in a saucepan.  Add all the remaining ingredients and mix well with a whisk.  Slowly bring to a boil, stirring constantly, until thickened and smooth.  Set aside.  (If you need to reheat this just before serving, do it slowly while stirring with a whisk.)

For the base:
1 vine-ripened tomato
½ avocado
4 fat-free English muffin halves

Slice the tomato into 4 medium-thick slices.  Peel and slice the avocado.  Toast the muffin halves.  Place the tomato and the avocado on the English muffin halves.  Ladle about ¼ cup of the sauce over each muffin half and serve. 

Hints:  The sauce may be made 1 day ahead of time and slowly reheated.  This saves time on a busy morning.  The sauce is also great with asparagus, other vegetables or potatoes. 

French Toast
This is a winner for almost everyone who likes “french” toast.  I have been making this for years and have served it to many of our children’s friends who responded with smiles every time.

Preparation Time:  10 minutes
Cooking Time:  15 minutes
Servings:  12

2 cups cashew milk (see recipe above)
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
dash turmeric
12 slices whole wheat bread

Place 1 cup of the cashew milk in a blender jar.  Add the brown sugar, cinnamon and turmeric.  Process until well blended.  Add remaining milk and blend again.  Pour into a bowl.  Dip slices of bread into the cashew mixture, coating well.  Brown on a medium-hot non-stick griddle or frying pan, turning once so both sides are evenly browned.

Serve with pure maple syrup or fruit sauces or spread. 

Hints:  These are easy to store for later use.  Place them in individual zip-lock bags and refrigerate.  Reheat in microwave.  They may also be frozen and popped into the toaster for reheating. 

These are served the first night of The McDougall Program for dessert, with Vanilla Soy Ice Cream.  People line up for seconds!  Remember, these are a rich treat for a special occasion.

Servings:  makes one square pan
Preparation Time:  15 minutes
Cooking Time:  30 minutes

Dry Ingredients:
1 cup unbleached white flour
2/3 cup reduced fat cocoa powder (Wondercocoa)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ cup chopped cashews or walnuts (optional)

Wet Ingredients:
1 cup Wonderslim Fat Substitute
1 cup organic cane sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons Egg Replacer mixed in ½ cup warm water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine dry ingredients in a bowl.  Set aside.

Mix Wonderslim Fat Substitute and organic sugar together in a separate bowl.  Stir in vanilla.

Mix Egg Replacer and water together and whisk until very frothy.  Add to sugar mixture and stir to combine.  Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir until mixed.  DO NOT OVERMIX.  Spoon into a non-stick 8 inch square baking dish and flatten.  Bake for 30 minutes.

Hints:  Wonderslim Fat Substitute is sold in jars in most natural food stores.  It is made from plums and apples and is an excellent fat replacer in baked goods.  Wonderslim also makes the reduced fat and caffeine free cocoa powder.  Organic cane sugar is made by Wholesome Sweeteners. (Regular granulated sugar may be used instead, if desired.)  Egg Replacer is made by EnerG Foods.  It is sold in boxes in the natural food store.  It is used to replace eggs in baking. All of these products should be available in your natural food store or they may be purchased online at

Chocolate Decadence Pudding
By Heather McDougall

Preparation Time:  5 minutes
Cooking Time:  10 minutes
Chilling Time:  4 hours
Servings:  6

½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder (Wondercocoa)
¾ cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
3 cups soymilk
1 ½ teaspoon vanilla

With a whisk, combine cocoa, sugar, cornstarch, and soymilk in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-low heat, stirring constantly until thickened. Remove from heat and add vanilla. Pour into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and chill for 4 hours.

Wicked Chocolate Pie
This is a VERY RICH dessert to be savored on those most special occasions.  Serve in small wedges and enjoy this delicious treat with friends!  I probably make this only twice a year, once for Thanksgiving dinner with friends and once for John’s birthday.

Preparation Time:  60 minutes
Cooking Time:  60 minutes
Chilling Time:  2 hours
Servings:  makes 1  9-inch pie

1/3 cup unsalted, roasted cashews
3 tablespoons Sucanat or brown sugar
3 tablespoons Wonderslim Fat Replacer
½ teaspoon vanilla
1 cup unbleached white flour
dash salt

Chocolate Filling:
2 cups vegan (non-dairy) chocolate chips
24.6 ounces (2 boxes) extra firm silken tofu
3/4 cup Sucanat or brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
dash salt

Almond Topping:
1 cup thinly sliced almonds
¼ cup maple syrup

Raspberry Sauce:
1  10-ounce bag frozen, unsweetened, raspberries, thawed
¼ cup sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Lightly oil a 9-inch springform pan.  (Side may be loosened and removed after baking.)

Place the cashews in a food processor and grind until they resemble fine meal.  Add Sucanat or sugar, Wonderslim and vanilla.  Process until well combined.  Mix the flour and salt in a medium bowl.  Add the cashew mixture and mix well, beginning with a spoon and ending with your hands.  Press this mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan.  Bake for 15 minutes, until light brown.  Remove from oven and set aside.

Place the chocolate chips in a double boiler and melt over barely simmering water.  Place the tofu in a food processor and process until smooth.  Add Sucanat or sugar, vanilla, and salt.  Process again, then add the melted chocolate.  Blend until smooth and creamy. 

Lightly oil the sides of the pan above the baked crust, then scoop the chocolate mixture into the pan.  Smooth out the top and bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.  Remove from oven and let cool for 10-15 minutes.  Run a knife around the inside of the pan to loosen the sides.  Let the pie cool to touch, then refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.  Remove side before serving. 

Place the maple syrup in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.  Cook, stirring constantly for about 1 minute (this is very important), then add the almonds and continue to cook and stir over fairly low heat until the syrup has crystallized onto the almonds and the almonds appear dry.  (This will take at least 5 minutes.  If the heat is too high, the sugar will burn and you will have a sticky, smelly mess.)  Place on a baking sheet and allow to cool.  Store at room temperature in a covered container. 

Place the raspberries and sugar in a blender jar.  Process until blended.  Strain the sauce through a fine strainer, stirring often, to remove most of the seeds.  Let the mixture sit in the strainer for at least 1 hour to allow most of the seeds to be removed.  Discard the remaining sauce with the seeds. Pour the seedless sauce into a covered container and refrigerate until ready to use.

TO SERVE:  Cut a small wedge of the chocolate pie and place on a dessert plate.  Sprinkle a few of the almonds over the pie, then drizzle with a small amount of the raspberry sauce. 

HINTS:  Vegan chocolate chips are made by many different manufacturers.  Look for ones that have no added milk or other dairy products.  The chocolate chips may also be melted in the microwave.  Follow the instructions for melting chocolate in your user’s manual.  Be careful not to burn it.  Chocolate chips are high in fat and make this a VERY RICH dessert.  We only make this on special holidays (and everyone loves it!)

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