February 2009

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Vol. 8, No. 2

Featured Recipes

Triple Lentil Dal

I have always made dal using split mung beans, but I have been unable to find them in my local market lately.  This version uses channa dal (split baby garbanzo beans), plus red lentils and split yellow peas.  If you can’t find channa dal, you may be able to find another kind of split pea dal or split mung beans and they could be used instead.  Otherwise just make this with the red lentils and split yellow peas, either way it is very complex and delicious.  Serve rolled up in a tortilla or on naan bread, topped with chopped green onions and Sriracha hot sauce.

Preparation Time:  15 minutes
Cooking Time:  1 hour 45 minutes
Servings:  6-8

6 cups water
¾ cup yellow split peas
¾ cup red lentils
¾ cup channa dal
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon turmeric
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tomato, chopped
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
Dash sea salt

Place the water in a large pot with the split peas, lentils and dal.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes.  Uncover and cook for an additional 60 minutes, stirring occasionally until quite thick. Turn off heat and let rest for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally.   Place the cumin seeds in a dry non-stick pan and toast for about 1 minute.  Add the chopped onion and garlic; sauté, stirring frequently until onion softens and browns slightly.  Do not add water.  Stir in the coriander, turmeric and cayenne and continue to cook for a minute or so.  Add the tomato and cook until softened slightly.  Add this mixture to the dal and mix well.  Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes before serving, then add the cilantro and salt.  Let rest for about 2 minutes.  Serve warm.

Wheat Berry Vegetable Soup

I have had a container of wheat berries sitting in my pantry for quite some time now waiting for some inspiration as to what to do with them.  It’s been quite cool and rainy here in Northern California this past week, so a hearty vegetable soup seemed to be just the right fit. There is also a wonderful recipe for Wheat Berry Stew in the Quick & Easy Cookbook on page 110 using a slow cooker. 

Preparation Time:  20 minutes
Soaking Time:  1 hour
Cooking Time:  3 ½ hours
Servings:  6

1 cup hard winter wheat berries
6 cups water
1 cup vegetable broth
1  15 ounce can chopped tomatoes
1 onion, chopped
3 stalks celery, sliced
2 carrots, sliced
½ pound cremini mushrooms, quartered
2 cups shredded cabbage
1  15 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 teaspoon basil
2 tablespoons parsley flakes
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon sambal oelek
1 teaspoon lemon juice

Place the wheat berries in a medium bowl.  Bring 2 cups of the water to a boil and pour over the wheat berries.  Let soak for 1 hour.  Drain and place in a large pot with the remaining 4 cups of water.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and cook for 30 minutes.  Add vegetable broth, tomatoes, onion, celery, carrots and mushrooms.  Simmer for 1 hour, then add the cabbage, beans, basil, parsley flakes and freshly ground pepper.  Continue to cook for an additional 1 ½ hours.  Add the sambal oelek and the lemon juice and cook an additional 30 minutes until wheat berries are tender.

Beany Minestrone Soup

One of our newsletter subscribers sent me a recipe for a Minestrone Soup from the Sacramento Bee newspaper.  What I found interesting about the soup was that it used refried beans as a thickener, so the resulting soup is very thick and rich without having to cook all day.  Since I almost always have some leftover smashed pinto beans in my refrigerator, I decided to incorporate the beans into my version of Minestrone Soup.

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

1 onion, chopped
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 stalks celery, sliced
2 carrots, sliced
6 ½ cups vegetable broth
1  15 ounce can fire-roasted chopped tomatoes
1  8 ounce can tomato sauce
6-8 fingerling potatoes, sliced
1 ½ cups fat-free refried beans
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons parsley flakes
1 ½  teaspoons basil
1 ½ teaspoons oregano
Several twists freshly ground black pepper
1  15 ounce can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
¾ cup frozen corn kernels
½ cup uncooked whole wheat elbows
2 cups chopped Swiss chard
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

Place the onions, garlic, celery and carrots in a large pot with ½ cup of the vegetable broth.  Cook, stirring frequently for about 5 minutes, until onions are softened.  Add the remaining broth, tomatoes, tomato sauce, potatoes, refried beans, bay leaf, parsley, basil, oregano and black pepper.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally to smooth out the refried beans.  Add the kidney beans, corn and whole wheat elbows.  Continue to cook for 20 minutes.  Stir in the chard and balsamic vinegar and cook an additional 10 minutes until chard is softened.  Remove bay leaf before serving.

Hint:  If you do not have leftover beans in your refrigerator, substitute one 15 ounce can of fat-free refried beans.

Ginger Dressing

We just returned from a fun-filled week in Costa Rica with 78 McDougall Adventure travelers.  The food served on the trip was all McDougall-style low-fat plant foods with plenty of items to choose from.  I will be sharing some of the recipes from the trip over the next several months. The Ginger Dressing that they made is one of my all time favorite dressings.  I put it on salads, rice and vegetables and so did a few other travelers that I noticed.  This is easy to make in a blender and keeps well in the refrigerator.  Try this on fresh spinach leaves, with some grated carrot and thinly sliced onions and mushrooms.

Preparation Time:  5 minutes
Servings:  makes 1 cup

1/3 cup chopped red onion
¼ cup rice vinegar
¼ cup water
3 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
2 tablespoons ketchup
2 tablespoons soy sauce
½ teaspoon crushed garlic

Place all ingredients in a blender jar and process until very smooth.  Pour into a covered container and refrigerate until needed.

Pea Guacamole

During the July 2009 McDougall Adventure trip to Costa Rica we had an opportunity to enjoy some richer McDougall-style foods, such as desserts and guacamole every day!

Many of you enjoy eating guacamole but, realizing it is a high-fat plant food, are always asking me for a healthier alternative.  This recipe first appeared in the Maximum Weight Loss book many years ago.  I have modified it slightly for an even fresher taste.  This tastes so much like the real thing that most people won’t be able to guess what it is made from.

Preparation Time:  10 minutes
Chilling Time:  30 minutes
Servings:  makes 2 cups

2 pounds frozen green peas, thawed
1 teaspoon crushed garlic
¼ cup fresh lime juice
½ teaspoon ground cumin
1 tomato, chopped
4 green onions, chopped
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/8 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
Dash sea salt

Place the peas, garlic, lime juice and cumin in a food processor and process until smooth.  Then place in a bowl and stir in the remaining ingredients.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to allow flavors to blend.

Tofu Cream Cheese

This is a rich and creamy sandwich spread.

Preparation Time:  15 minutes
Cooking Time:  1 minute
Chilling Time:  2 hours
Servings:  makes 2 cups

1 pound firm tofu (not silken)
4 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
¼ cup finely chopped green bell pepper
¼ cup finely chopped green onion
¼ cup finely chopped celery
¼ cup finely chopped radish

Place the tofu in a saucepan with water to cover and bring to a boil.  Boil for 1 minute.  Drain.  Place the tofu in a double thickness of cheesecloth and draw the ends together forming a sack.  Twist gently, squeezing out all the water.  Place the tofu in a food processor with the lemon juice, onion powder and garlic powder.  Process until smooth.  Scrape into a bowl and mix in the remaining ingredients.  Refrigerate for 2 hours to allow flavors to blend.

Advanced Study Weekend Recipes

The McDougall Advanced Study weekend, held February 20-22, 2009, was attended by over 160 people interested in learning more about great health and nutrition.  Our guest chef for this weekend was Jason Wyrick, founder of The Vegan Culinary Experience, the only vegan culinary magazine in the world.  If you would like a free subscription to this online magazine, go to www.veganculinaryexperience.com and sign up on the home page.  Jason prepared some delicious recipes for all of us to sample during the weekend.  I’ve included two of them here.

Pappa al Pomodoro
By Jason Wyrick

Preparation Time:  15 minutes
Cooking Time:  20 minutes
Servings:  6

1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, sliced
2 pounds tomatoes, chopped
2 cups water
¼ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)
6 cups coarsely chopped rustic bread
1 cup loosely packed chopped basil leaves
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Place the onion in a large non-stick pot and sauté over medium high heat until lightly browned.  Add the garlic, tomatoes, water, salt and optional red pepper.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer until tomatoes are soft, stirring occasionally to smash the tomatoes.  Add the bread and continue to simmer until the bread has absorbed the liquid.  Remove from heat and stir in the basil and pepper. 

Hint:  You can make this soup in about 10 minutes using a can of crushed tomatoes instead of making your own tomato base.  Use one 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes and only 1 cup of water.  Use a hearty fat-free whole wheat bread in this recipe for best results.

Hopi Corn and Chili Stew
By Jason Wyrick

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

1 onion, chopped
1 ½ cups vegetable broth
3 carrots, chopped
3 Yukon Gold potatoes, chopped
2 ears corn
6 tomatoes, chopped
1  15 ounce can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
¼ cup diced green chilies
3 large dried New Mexico mild chili peppers, crushed or ground
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Chopped fresh cilantro (optional)

Place the onion in a large non-stick pot and sauté over medium high heat, stirring occasionally, until browned.  Remove corn kernels from cobs.  Add vegetable broth to the pot and bring to a boil.  Add corn kernels and all the rest of the ingredients.  Cover and simmer for 15 minutes, until all vegetables are tender.  Garnish with some fresh chopped cilantro before serving, if desired.

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