The McDougall Newsletter

January 2008

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Vol. 7, No. 01

McDougall Favorites

People always ask me what my family likes to eat, so this month I am including the recipes that I turn to over and over again.  (Yes, I still have to look at recipes most of the time, just to make sure that the finished dish tastes the way we remember it.) 

Bean Burritos

I have discovered over many years that the beans have a different taste if they are cooked in a slow cooker.  This is the way I make them most of the time, and the way I serve them to guests.  I do cook them in a pressure cooker or on the stove occasionally, but they just don’t have the same long-cooked flavor.  My family has been eating this meal for about 30 years and it is my most requested dinner, by family and friends.  It is easy to serve to any number of people, because everyone makes their own burrito, adding as much or as little of the toppings as they wish. 

Preparation Time:  15-30 minutes
Cooking Time:  all day
Servings:  variable, at least 10-12

Smashed pinto beans:
2-3 cups dry pinto beans
Water to cover at least 2-3 inches over beans
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
4-6 whole cloves fresh garlic 

Place all ingredients in a slow cooker and cook for 8-10 hours on high.  Pour off almost all of the water that remains after cooking (save for another use, if desired) and mash with an electric hand mixer or a hand held bean masher.  (The onion and garlic will be soft enough to mash with the beans.)  Season with a little salt, if desired.

Hint:  There will be beans left-over when you make this amount.  They may be refrigerated for about 5 days or put them in the freezer for later use.  I always make a lot of these and use the left-overs for Bean Enchiladas, Mexican Pizza or another meal of burritos for lunch later in the week.

Taco “meat”:  (Since this is made from processed soy protein, I use this only for a special occasion.)

1  12 ounce package ground soy “meat”
1 package Bearitos or Hain Taco Seasoning mix water as directed on package (about ¾ cup)

Place the soy “meat” in a non-stick frying pan and break up with a wooden spoon.  Add the taco seasoning and the water as directed on the package.  Mix well.  Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for about 8-10 minutes. 

4 avocados, mashed
1/8 cup chopped green chilies (canned)
1 tomato, chopped
squeeze of fresh lime juice
dash Tabasco sauce

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well. 

Hint:  The guacamole is a high-fat treat.  If you are trying to lose weight or regain your health, it would be best to avoid this on your burrito.  It is nice to have this available for guests, though.  You only need a small amount to add a lot of flavor to your burrito.

Enchilada sauce:
1  8 ounce can tomato sauce
1 ½ cups cold water
1  to 1 ½ tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons cornstarch
¼ teaspoon onion powder
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan and mix with a whisk.  Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened, about 5 minutes.  Serve warm.

Toppings: chopped onion, chopped tomato, shredded lettuce, alfalfa sprouts, grated soy or rice cheese, assorted fresh salsas.

Assorted burrito shells, both flour and corn

To serve:
Place all ingredients in individual bowls and place on a serving counter or table.  Let each person take a burrito shell, warm it on a dry non-stick griddle if they wish, ( or wrap all of the shells in a kitchen tea towel and heat in the microwave) and then layer it with all the ingredients that they like.  For example:  burrito shell, beans, taco “meat”, guacamole, non-dairy cheese, onions, tomatoes, lettuce and salsa.  To make a “wet” burrito, fold over the burrito shell and ladle on some warm enchilada sauce. 

Bean and Corn Enchiladas 

Preparation Time:  40 minutes
Cooking Time:  45 minutes
Servings: 6-8


2   8 ounce cans tomato sauce
3  cups cold water
4 tablespoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons chili powder
½  teaspoon onion powder
¼  teaspoon garlic powder

Place all ingredients for the sauce in a saucepan.   Mix with a whisk until well combined.  Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened, about 5 minutes.  Taste and add more chili powder, if desired.  Set aside.

10 whole wheat flour tortillas
4 cups mashed pinto beans
1 cup chopped green onions
1 ½  cups frozen corn kernels, thawed
1  2.25 ounce can sliced ripe olives, drained
1-2 tablespoons chopped green chilies
grated soy cheese (optional)

To assemble casserole:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place the beans in a large bowl.  Add the onions, corn, olives and green chilies.  Mix gently until well combined.

Place 1½ cups of the sauce in the bottom of a large oblong baking dish.  Take 1 tortilla at a time and spread a line of the bean mixture down the center of the tortilla.  Roll up and place seam side down in the baking dish. Repeat with remaining tortillas, placing them snugly next to each other.  Pour the rest of the sauce over the rolled up tortillas, spreading it out evenly.  Sprinkle a small amount of grated soy cheese over the top, if desired.  Cover with parchment paper, then cover with aluminum foil, crimping the edges over the baking dish.  Bake for 45 minutes.  Remove from oven and let rest for about 5 minutes before cutting.  Serve with salsa and tofu sour cream, if desired.


Preparation Time:  40 minutes
Cooking Time:  60 minutes
Resting Time:  10 minutes
Servings:  6-8

Prepare the ricotta before assembling the lasagna.

Tofu Ricotta:
1  12.3 ounce package silken tofu
1 pound fresh water-packed firm tofu
2 teaspoons minced garlic
¼ cup nutritional yeast
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon parsley flakes
1 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon oregano
¼ cup lemon juice
¼ cup soy milk

Combine all of the above ingredients in a food processor and process until fairly smooth.  Set aside.

1 recipe Tofu Ricotta
1  10 ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
8 ounces lasagna noodles
7 cups fat-free pasta sauce
12 ounces soy mozzarella cheese, grated
¼ cup parmesan cheese substitute 

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Drop in the lasagna noodles, stir, cook uncovered until just softened.  Do not overcook.  Remove from water and drain, hanging them up to dry slightly.  OR use the no-boil lasagna noodles and eliminate this step entirely.

Place the tofu ricotta into a bowl.  Add the thawed, squeezed spinach and mix well.  Set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place 1 cup of the pasta sauce in the bottom of a large oblong baking dish and smooth over the bottom.  Place 1 layer of the noodles over the sauce.  Then add half of the tofu mixture and smooth out.  Sprinkle half of the soy cheese over that, then spread 2 cups more of the sauce over the cheese.  Add another layer of noodles, the rest of the tofu mixture, the remaining cheese, 2 cups more of the sauce, and the rest of the noodles.  Spoon the remaining 2 cups of sauce over the noodles (make sure you cover all the edges), sprinkle the parmesan substitute over the top.   Cover with parchment paper and then cover with foil.  Bake for 60 minutes.  Remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes before cutting. 

Hints:  This may be prepared ahead of time and refrigerated before baking.  Add about 15 minutes to the baking time.  The vegan soy mozzarella that I use is made by Follow Your Heart, called Vegan Gourmet Cheese Alternative.

Tofu Tacos

Preparation Time:  30 minutes
Cooking Time:  10 minutes
Servings:  6-8 

Spicy Tofu:
24 ounces extra firm tofu
4 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons garlic powder
½ teaspoon cayenne

Drain tofu in a colander and press out excess water with paper towels.  Cut into ½ inch cubes.  Combine soy sauce, lime juice, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, and cayenne in a large bowl.  Add tofu and mix gently.  Let stand for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Place a large non-stick frying pan on medium heat.  Add tofu and cook turning occasionally for about 10 minutes.  Set aside.

4 cups finely shredded cabbage
3 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
½ tablespoon lime juice 

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and set aside. 

Corn or flour tortillas
Soften individually on a dry non-stick griddle, or wrap in a towel and heat in the microwave. 

To assemble:
Take a soft corn tortilla, spoon tofu and cabbage down the center, add a bit of aioli and some hot sauce, if desired, roll up and eat with your fingers.  

Hints:  The tofu that I use is Wildwood Organics Super Firm.  It is very important to have super firm tofu in this recipe.  If you can’t get the super firm variety of tofu, place firm tofu between several layers of tea towels and press down with weights for several hours to remove excess moisture.

Cilantro-Garlic Aioli

Preparation Time:  5 minutes
Servings:  Makes 1 ½ cups

1 ½ cups tofu sour cream
2 large cloves garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped
juice of 1 lime
1/3 cup cilantro leaves
dash salt

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

Hint:  Will keep in refrigerator for about 2 weeks.  Tofu sour cream is made by placing one 12.3 ounce package of soft silken tofu in a food processor with 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 2 teaspoons sugar and a dash or two of salt and processing until smooth and creamy.  Refrigerate overnight to allow flavors to blend completely for best results.

Baked Penne Florentine

This is a delicious baked pasta dish that our grandson, Jaysen, really likes.  I serve it to him the way it comes out of the oven, but I like to top mine with a bit of Sriracha Hot Sauce for a little kick.  I usually double the recipe when I make it because we all love this so much.  It’s great for lunch the next day, too.

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

8 ounces uncooked whole wheat penne pasta
10 ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
¼ cup vegetable broth
1 onion, chopped
½ cup raw cashews
1 ¾ cups water
1  15 ounce can white beans, drained and rinsed
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon white miso
2 teaspoons lemon juice
¼ teaspoon dry mustard
¼ teaspoon cayenne
½ cup whole wheat bread crumbs

Drop the pasta into a pot of boiling water and cook until just barely tender, about 6 minutes.  Drain, place in a bowl and add the spinach.  Mix very well.  Set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place the onion and the vegetable broth in a medium non-stick frying pan.  Cook, stirring occasionally until onion has softened, about 5 minutes.  Set aside.

Place the cashews in a food processor and process until finely ground.  Add half of the water and blend until smooth.  Add the remaining water, the cooked onion, beans, soy sauce, miso, lemon juice, mustard and cayenne.  Process until very smooth.  Pour this over the pasta and spinach and mix well.  Transfer to a covered casserole dish.  Sprinkle with bread crumbs.  Cover and bake for 45 minutes.  Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Hint:  This may be prepared ahead and refrigerated until baking time.  Add about 15 minutes to the baking time.

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
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 salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.  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.

Peanut Dressing

This is a richer recipe because of the peanut butter, but it really makes yams something special!  This is one treat that I usually have in my refrigerator all the time.

Preparation Time:  5 minutes
Servings:  makes 2 cups

¾ cup rice vinegar
¼ cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons Sambal chili paste
¾ cup natural peanut butter
¼ cup warm water
1/8 cup chopped cilantro leaves 

Place all of the ingredients, except the cilantro leaves in a blender jar and process until smooth.  Add the cilantro leaves and process until well mixed.

Serve over lettuce, sweet potatoes, vegetables or whatever sounds good to you.

Falafel Wraps

In the past I have always served baked falafel in pita bread, and added all the toppings separately, similar to how you would layer the toppings on a burger.  My daughter, Heather, recently experimented with combining all the ingredients together in a bowl, and then wrapping it all up in a large tortilla.  This is so delicious that I’m sure we will never go back to our old way of eating falafel.  This combination works well either stuffed into pita or wrapped up in a tortilla.  This is a richer food because of the tahini sauce.  However, this may also be made with hummus instead of tahini, which would be much lower in fat content, but still delicious!

Preparation Time:  30 minutes (need baked falafel)
Cooking Time:  none
Servings:  6-8

Tahini Sauce:
1 cup roasted tahini
¾ cup water
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce (optional)
dash sea salt 

Combine all ingredients listed above in a food processor and process until smooth.  Place in a bowl.

1 tomato, chopped
1 cup cucumber, chopped
3 chopped green onions
1 cup chopped lettuce
3 cups chunked baked falafel (see hints below) 

Mix the vegetables and falafel into the tahini sauce.  Stuff into pita halves, or place a line of the mixture down the center of a tortilla, roll up and eat.

Hints:  The easiest way to make the baked falafel is to purchase the falafel mix sold in the bulk section of most natural food stores and also in packages in some supermarkets.  The dry powder is mixed with water, allowed to rest for about 10 minutes, then formed into patties that resemble burgers.  The directions tell you to fry in oil, but the falafel should be placed on a dry non-stick griddle and cooked about 5 minutes on each side, until browned.  They may also be baked in a 375 degree oven for about 10 minutes on each side, until browned.  To reduce the fat content of the tahini slightly, be sure to pour off all the oil from the top of the jar before using.  Other vegetables may be added to the sauce as desired.  A chopped avocado is one nice addition.

Reuben Sandwiches 

This is one of those recipes that can easily be varied according to how many people you want to serve.  I usually have most of these items in my pantry and refrigerator, so this is an easy, fast meal for those days when you don’t have much time to think about your meals.

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

sliced rye bread
fat free honey-mustard dressing,
baked tofu or tempeh, thinly sliced
sauerkraut, drained
sliced tomatoes
sliced onions
soy or rice cheese (optional) 

Lay the bread slices out on your work space and spread both sides with a thin layer of the dressing.  Place the tofu or tempeh on one side of the bread.  Next add a thin layer of the sauerkraut, then the tomatoes and onions.  Finish with a small amount of soy cheese, if you wish.  Place another slice of the bread over these ingredients to make a sandwich.  Repeat as many times as necessary to serve everyone.

Heat a non-stick griddle to medium-low.  Place the sandwiches on the griddle, probably 2 at a time.  Grill until browned on one side (about 1 minute) then flip over and grill on the other side.  This usually takes only a very short time.  Remove from griddle, slice in half and serve warm.

Hints:  Baked tofu is sold in packages in most natural food stores, usually in various flavors.  Look for the brands that are lowest in fat content.  Tempeh is made from fermented soybeans, sometimes flavored, sometimes with other ingredients added. To marinate the tempeh before using, place about 1/3 cup of fat-free soy-ginger or teriyaki sauce in a bowl with the tempeh.  Turn several times to coat.  Drain, then briefly sauté in a non-stick frying pan. Slice either the baked tofu or the tempeh rather thinly crosswise, so you are working with larger thin sections rather than thin strips.  Your natural food store should have both of these products available in the refrigerated section.  Water-packed sauerkraut can also be found in the natural food store, usually by the canned vegetables or pickles.  Use any fat-free dressing that you like on the bread, Tofu Island Dressing from the Quick & Easy Cookbook is also a favorite of ours.

Bean Soup

This has been one of my family’s favorite simple soup recipes for over 30 years and I still make it often.

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

2 cups dried Great Northern beans
8 cups water
2 onions, finely chopped
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
2 bay leaves
½ teaspoon rubbed sage
½ teaspoon ground oregano
2 tablespoons soy sauce
dash of liquid smoke(optional)

Put beans and water in a large pot.  Bring to a boil, turn off heat and let rest for at least 1 hour (or soak overnight).  Add onions, celery, bay leaves, sage, oregano, and soy sauce.  Return to boil, reduce heat and cook, covered for at least 3 hours, until beans are mushy.  Add a dash of liquid smoke at the end of the cooking time, if desired.

Hint:  The liquid smoke gives the soup a delicious aroma, although it is entirely optional.  I make it both ways.  It is always a favorite with the family and we usually have a loaf of fresh bread with the soup.  One of our sons likes to sprinkle some curry powder over the top of his soup, then stir it in before eating.  You can easily vary this soup by adding other vegetables, such as carrots and potatoes, and it may also be pureed before serving.  This also freezes well so you can keep some for use at a later date.  Great for lunch the next day, too!

Garbanzos a’ la King

We like this served over whole wheat toast or biscuits, but it is also delicious over baked potatoes.

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

1 onion, chopped
½ green bell pepper, chopped
½ yellow bell pepper, chopped
½ pound fresh mushrooms, sliced
½ cup sliced fresh oyster mushrooms
¾ cup water
1/3 cup unbleached white flour
3 cups soy or rice milk
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon parsley flakes
½ teaspoon paprika
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2  15 ounce cans garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1  4 ounce jar diced pimientos
1 tablespoon sherry (optional)
2 tablespoons cornstarch mixed in 1/3 cup cold water 

Place the onion, bell peppers and mushrooms in a large pot with the water. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.  Stir in the flour and continue to cook and stir for 2 minutes.  Gradually add the soy or rice milk while stirring.  Add the seasonings, garbanzos, pimientos and sherry, if desired.  Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.  Add the cornstarch mixture and cook and stir until the sauce thickens.  Serve at once.

Brazilian Black Beans & Marinated Tomatoes

This is another family favorite that I have been preparing for over 30 years.

Preparation Time:  30 minutes
Cooking Time:  3-4 hours
Servings:  4-6

2 cups dried black beans
6 ½ cups water
1 large whole onion
8-10 whole cloves
4 large garlic cloves
1 large onion, chopped
1 large green bell pepper, chopped 

6 medium tomatoes, chopped
8 green onions, finely chopped
¼ cup finely chopped sweet onion
1 clove garlic, crushed
3 tablespoons wine vinegar
4-5 dashes Tabasco sauce
dash of salt (optional)

Place beans and water in a large pot.  Peel the whole onion and stud it with the whole cloves (poke holes in the side of the onion with a toothpick about ½ inch apart, push the stem end of the clove into each hole).  Place the onion in the pot with the beans and water and add the whole, peeled garlic cloves.  Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer for about 2 hours.  Remove and discard the whole onion and cloves.  Mash the whole garlic cloves into the beans (use a spoon or fork and gently mash into the side of the pot).  Add chopped onion and bell pepper.  Cover and simmer for an additional 1-2 hours until beans are tender.   

Meanwhile, place the tomatoes, onions, and seasonings into a separate bowl.  Mix well.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.  Mix again and adjust seasonings. 

Serve black beans over brown rice and spoon some of the tomato mixture over the top.

Hint:  Whole cloves are sold in a jar in the spice section of your supermarket.  They are the dried buds from a tree and add a unique flavor to this dish.  Handle them carefully while inserting into the onion so they don’t break.  To remove onion and cloves from the beans use a slotted spoon.  Season beans with a small amount of salt after cooking, if desired. 

Pumpkin Muffins

These are one of my grandson Jaysen’s favorite things to bake with grandma.  We make them often!  I bake these in the red SiliconeZone muffin holders, medium size.  I let the muffins cool for about 10 minutes, then just pop them out of the muffin cups.  No sticking ever!

Preparation Time:  20 minutes
Baking Time:  30 minutes
Servings:  12 muffins

Dry Ingredients:
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
¾ cup unbleached white flour
½ cup brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
½ cup chopped walnuts
¼ cup raisins

Wet Ingredients:
2 teaspoons Ener-G egg replacer mixed in
4 tablespoons warm water
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
½ cup Wonderslim fat substitute
¼ cup molasses
¼ cup soy milk

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl and set aside. Whisk egg replacer into the water and set aside.   Combine remaining wet ingredients in a medium bowl and mix well until smooth. Add egg replacer mixture and mix well.  Pour wet ingredients over dry ingredients and mix well (do not over-mix).  Spoon batter into muffin cups.  It will fill 12 medium muffin cups.  Bake for 30 minutes. 

Hints:  Use a whisk when mixing the egg replacer with the water and beat until frothy.  Let stand on the counter for about 3-4 minutes, then add to the other wet ingredients.  Ener-G egg replacer is a flour product, available in natural food stores.  It is used for leavening and binding. 


These are easier to make than you would believe, and everyone loves them!  These are wonderful served with a little maple syrup or applesauce. 

Preparation Time:  10 minutes
Cooking Time:  10 minutes
Servings:  makes 10-12 pancakes

¾ cup whole wheat pastry flour
¾ cup unbleached white flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
dash salt
1 cup mashed ripe bananas
1 tablespoon egg replacer mixed in ¼ cup warm water
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon Wonderslim fat substitute
1 cup soy or rice milk
½ cup sparkling water
1/3 cup fresh blueberries (optional)

Mix the flours, baking powder and salt together in a bowl.  Place the bananas in another bowl and mash well.  (This is about 2 ½ bananas.)  Mix the egg replacer and water and beat until frothy. Let rest for a minute or two.  Add to bananas and mix well.  Stir in the Wonderslim fat substitute,  lemon juice,  soy or rice milk, sparkling water and mix again.  Pour into the dry ingredients and stir to mix. Stir in the blueberries.  Do not over-beat.   

Heat a non-stick griddle over medium heat.  Pour mixture by ¼ cup measure onto the dry, heated griddle.  Flip and turn over when bubbles start to appear on the surface.  Cook until brown on both sides.  Repeat until all mixture has been used. 

Hint:  The blueberries are an option in this recipe, but when fresh blueberries are in season they really make these pancakes a special treat!  The addition of the sparkling water makes a delicious, light pancake that rises as it cooks.  If you make the batter ahead of time, you may need to add a bit more liquid to thin it out slightly before pouring onto the griddle. This may also be made with all whole wheat pastry flour.  It will be slightly heavier in texture.  These may be refrigerated or frozen, and heated in the microwave or oven at a later time.  We also like them cold as a snack. 

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