The McDougall Newsletter

June 2008

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Vol. 7, No. 06

Featured Recipes

Layered Bean Casserole

This recipe was originally posted on the McDougall Discussion Board several years ago.  I have modified it slightly for taste and convenience.  I really like recipes that can be prepared ahead and then popped into the oven just before dinner.

Preparation Time:  20 minutes
Cooking Time:  45 minutes
Servings: 6

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Bottom layer:
1  15 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
1  15 ounce can red or pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1  15 ounce can chili beans in oil-free sauce, undrained
1  8 ounce can tomato sauce
1 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed slightly
¼ cup chopped onion
2 teaspoons chili powder

Mix all above ingredients together and ladle into the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch baking dish, distributing evenly.

Middle layer:
1  15 ounce can white beans, drained and rinsed
½ cup fresh salsa
1/3 cup nutritional yeast
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon granulated onion
1 teaspoon prepared yellow mustard

Place all above ingredients in a food processor and process until very smooth.  Pour over the bean layer and spread evenly.

Top layer:
1  20 ounce bag fresh shredded oil-free hash brown potatoes

Sprinkle the potatoes evenly over the bottom two layers.  Bake uncovered for 45 minutes until potatoes are brown and sauce is bubbly.

Hints:  Serve with hot sauce to drizzle over the top for more heat, or serve with tofu sour cream to mellow it out a bit.

Quick Steel-Cut Oats with Blueberry Topping

Steel-cut oats are a very healthy and delicious breakfast cereal, always very popular during the McDougall 10-day live-in program.  However, they do take a long time to cook so I always recommend that they be soaked overnight to cut the cooking time down to about 10 minutes.  This is a variation of the recipe for Overnight Steel-Cut Oats from the March 2006 newsletter.  The blueberry topping can be made ahead of time and kept in the refrigerator.

Preparation Time:  10 minutes
Soaking Time:  Overnight
Cooking Time:  10 minutes
Servings:  2

2 ½ cups water
1 cup steel-cut oats
Pinch of cinnamon or mace, if desired

1 cup blueberries
1/8 cup agave nectar

Place the water in a saucepan and bring to a boil.  Stir in the oats and cinnamon or mace, if using.  Turn off heat, cover and let rest overnight.  In the morning, mix well, add a bit more water or some non-dairy milk of your choice if too thick.  Cover and simmer over low heat for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Serve with a small amount of the blueberry topping over the cereal.

Place the blueberries and agave nectar in a small saucepan.  Cook over low heat until blueberries soften into a syrup, stirring occasionally.  Remove from heat and let rest for 5 minutes, or cool and refrigerate until ready to use.  Serve warm or chilled over the oats.

Rice and Beans

Some days we are in the mood for a simple, healthy, rice and bean meal.  This delicious dish cooks in one pot, has lots of flavor and can be eaten plain, topped with salsa or hot sauce, or rolled up in a tortilla.

Preparation Time:  10 minutes
Cooking Time:  50 minutes
Servings:  8-10

1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup vegetable broth
4 ½ cups water
2 cups long grain brown rice
3  15 ounce cans pinto beans, drained and rinsed
2  4 ounce cans chopped green chilies
1 teaspoon ground cumin
¼ to ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes

Place the onion, garlic and vegetable broth in a large saucepan.  Cook, stirring frequently, until onion softens slightly, about 3 minutes.  Add the remaining ingredients, mix well and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 45 minutes until rice is tender and liquid has been absorbed.  Mix gently before serving.  Season with a bit of sea salt before serving, if desired.

Hint:  This may also be made with black or small red beans.  This makes great leftovers for lunch the next day or two, or freeze half of this recipe for use later.

Hummus Wraps
By Heather McDougall

This is a fast, delicious, no-cook meal for those hot summer nights during the next couple of months.

Preparation Time:  10 minutes
Servings:  variable

Spinach Tortillas
Hummus (store-bought no-oil variety, or make your own)
Shredded Carrots
Kalamata Olives, chopped
Pickled Sweet Peppers, chopped
Alfalfa Sprouts
Cucumber, diced
Avocado, diced
Lettuce, Shredded
Sriracha Hot Sauce

Prepare all the vegetables ahead of time and place in individual bowls.  Let each person assemble their own wrap, placing a line of the hummus down the center of the tortilla, and then layering on their choice of vegetables and hot sauce, if desired.  Roll up and eat!

The following recipes are just a few of the delicious, creative dishes demonstrated during the McDougall Celebrity Chef weekend held June 27-29, 2008 at the Flamingo Resort Hotel in Santa Rosa, CA.

Fat-Free Karei-Rice (Japanese-style Curry Rice)
By Miyoko Schinner

Serve over brown rice.

2 large onions, sliced or minced
Water for sautéing
2 to 6 tablespoons Japanese curry powder
4 cups vegetable stock
1 apple, peeled and grated into a fine pulp
3 – 4 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons Agave or sweetener of choice
2 cups cubed waxy potatoes
2 carrots, sliced
2 cups of additional vegetables or meat substitute of choice (mushrooms, broccoli florets, extra-firm tofu, etc.)
½ cup rice (uncooked)

1/4 cup soy milk

In a heavy-bottom sauce pan, saute the onions in a small amount of water, covered, until tender.  Add the curry powder, stir to combine, then add the stock, apple, soy sauce, sweetener of choice and vegetables. Partly cover and simmer until the vegetables are tender.

Next, carefully, drain the liquid in the pot into another pot. Add the uncooked rice, cover, and simmer on low until the grains are tender, about 15 minutes.  Place in a blender and blend until thick, creamy and velvety.  Pour back into the larger pot with the vegetables, add the soy milk, and reheat for a few minutes.  Adjust seasoning if necessary. Serve over hot brown rice.

Mexican-Spiced Summer Squash
By Jill Nussinow, The Veggie Queen

Serves 4

Squash so easily takes on the flavors of any spices that you use. Here it is seasoned
with oregano, cumin and chili powder, plus onion and garlic.

1 cup diced onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon cumin powder
½ teaspoon oregano
1 ½ teaspoons chili powder
4 cups sliced squash
2 tablespoons vegetable broth
Sprinkle of salt and pepper, to taste
Chopped cilantro, if desired.

Put the pressure cooker over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté for 1 minute.  
Add the garlic and spices and sauté for another 30 seconds. Add the squash and vegetable broth and lock on the lid. Turn up the heat to high and bring to high pressure. Cook for 45 seconds. Quick release the pressure. Open the lid, tilting it away from you. Taste, carefully as it is very hot, and add more seasonings, and salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot, sprinkled with cilantro, if desired.

Bryanna’s Italian Polenta, Bean, and Kale Slices
By Bryanna Clark Grogan

Serves 6

This a sort of "Italian Scrapple" ("scrapple" is an old-fashioned Pennsylvania Dutch dish made from cornmeal and pork scraps).  Both are cooled until solid, then sliced and browned.  Scrapple is served with applesauce or syrup, but this dish is served with freshly-ground black pepper and gravy, or marinara sauce, or even ketchup, with the option of a sprinkling of soy parmesan.  This dish is not only nutritious, but delicious.  It's a good way to use leftover plain cooked beans. Note: Make this the day before you are going to serve it.

1/2 pound kale, cleaned, stripped off the stalks, and chopped
3 cups vegetarian broth  (I recommend Seitenbacher Vegetable Broth & Seasoning OR Superior Touch "Better than Bouillon" No Chicken Base.)
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 1/2 cup cooked or canned (15 ounces) pinto, borlotti, or cranberry beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal or polenta
1/2 cup cold water
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
Freshly ground black pepper

Serve with:
freshly-ground black pepper
Fat-Free Vegan Brown Gravy (made with Oat and Chickpea Flours) (see separate recipe)
fat-free, low-sodium marinara sauce (simple Italian tomato sauce) and Vegan Soy Parmesan (optional)


Cook the kale and garlic together with the broth in a covered pan over medium-low heat until just tender.  Drain and save 1 and 1/2 cups of the remaining broth.  Set aside both, along with the drained beans.

To cook the polenta, you have two options:

The Double-Boiler Method:
Mix the cornmeal with the cold water in the top of the double boiler.  Add the 1 and 1/2 cups warm reserved broth and stir well.  Set the bottom of the double boiler to boil with water in it.  Place the top of the double boiler over high heat and bring the cornmeal and broth to a boil quickly, stirring almost constantly with a whisk or wooden spoon, to prevent sticking and clumping.

Immediately when it boils, place it over the bottom part of the double boiler, over the simmering water.  Let it simmer 20 minutes, partially covered, and stirring now and then, until the polenta is creamy and smooth.

Taste the polenta when you think it's done and make sure that it doesn't have that rather unpleasant bitter taste of undercooked cornmeal.  If it does, let it cook a little longer.

The Microwave Method:

Whisk the cornmeal and cold water together in a large microwavable bowl or casserole.  Stir in the warm reserved broth.  Cover and cook on full power for 1 minute.  Whisk the polenta.  Cover again and cook 1 minute more.  Whisk again.  Cover and cook again for 2 minutes more. If it doesn't seem cooked enough (remember that this is a soft polenta), cook 2 more minutes.  Let it stand 1 minute. (Taste the polenta and make sure that it doesn't have that rather unpleasant bitter taste of undercooked cornmeal.  If it does, let it cook a little longer.)

Whichever way you cook the polenta, proceed as follows:

Pour the cooked, drained beans, kale, and salt into the polenta.  Taste for salt and pepper.  Stir very well, to distribute the polenta throughout the beans and kale.

Scrape the mixture  immediately into a  9 x 5" loaf pan lined on the bottom with cooking parchment and smooth the top evenly.  Cover and chill (even for several days).

When the loaf is firm, loosen the sides with a table knife and turn over on a plate.  Remove the cooking parchment.  Slice 3/4" slices from the loaf.  Place the slices on a cooking-parchment-lined cookie sheet.

Broil them 3 to 4" from the heat source until the tops are speckled with browned spots.  Turn the slices over and and broil the other side.

Serve hot with freshly-ground pepper, and gravy; or ketchup; or hot marinara sauce and soy Parmesan (optional).

Bryanna’s Fat Free Vegan Brown Gravy
By Bryanna Clark Grogan

This fat-free and delicious brown gravy will become a low-fat staple.  1 serving= 1/4 cup

Serves 10

1/3 cup nutritional yeast flakes
2 tablespoons oat flour (grind rolled or quick oats in a dry blender or electric coffee/spice mill)
4 tablespoons chickpea flour (besan)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 1/2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon salt
a few shakes of gravy browner, such as Kitchen Bouquet (optional)

"Ham" Gravy Variation:

Add 1/2 tablespoon ketchup, 1/2 tablespoon brown sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon liquid smoke

In a heavy saucepan over high heat, whisk the yeast and flour together until it smells toasty.  Off the heat, whisk in the  water, soy sauce, salt, and gravy browner, if using.  Stir constantly over high heat until it thickens and comes to a boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer for 2-5 minutes.  This can be made ahead and reheated.

Microwave option:

In a 1 1/2 qt. microwavable bowl, mix the flour and yeast.  Toast this in the microwave on full power for 3 minutes, uncovered.  Whisk in the  water, soy sauce, salt, and gravy browner, if using.  Cover and cook on full power for 3 minutes.  Whisk.  Cover and cook again for 3 minutes on full power.  Whisk.  Note: You can make half the recipe in a 4-cup microwavable glass measuring container, and cook as above, but in 2 minute increments.


You can use some wine instead of some of the water, if you like, and you can add steam-fried mushrooms, onions, vegetarian "hamburger crumbles" and other vegetarian meat alternates, if you wish.


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