June 2009

<<< Return to Newsletter Home Page          Printer Friendly pdf

Vol. 8 Issue 6

Featured Recipes

The annual McDougall Celebrity Chef Weekend was held from June 26-28, 2009 at the Flamingo Resort Hotel in Santa Rosa, CA.  Six of the best vegan chefs from around the country participated in the event this year.  Some of their recipes are included in this newsletter, with more to follow in the coming months.

Cooking with The Veggie Queen™ for the Celebrity Chef Weekend, June 2009 www.theveggiequeen.com

Herbed Sunflower Seed Dip or Spread
This is a rich but easy to make dip. Go easy on the dip and eat it with lots of vegetables or wrapped in lettuce leaves with sprouts and tomato.

Makes 2 cups

1 cup raw sunflower seeds
1-2 tablespoons lemon juice
2-3 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley
½ cup basil leaves
1-2 tablespoons nama shoyu or tamari
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Soak the sunflower seeds in water for at least 2 hours, or overnight, or from morning until evening.

Drain sunflower seeds (reserving water in case you need it) and put into food processor or high speed blender with the remaining ingredients. Process until smooth, scraping down the sides as you need to.  Add some of the soaking water, if necessary, to make it a spreadable consistency.

Let sit at least 20 minutes for the flavors to blend. Serve on top of cucumber slices or with crackers.

Black Sticky Rice Pudding
This pudding can be made with purple or black sticky rice. They are different. The whole grain black sticky rice has more fiber and is less sticky, and it’s what I will be using. It does, though, take much longer to cook but it’s worth it. This is a special treat, especially with fresh berries, summer fruit or the more traditional mango.

Serves 6 to 8

1 cup black sticky rice
2 ½ cups coconut juice and/or water (I used a 17.3 ounce can plus water for the balance)
Pinch of salt
¼ to ½ cup agave or maple syrup
½ cup soy, rice or other nondairy milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine rice, liquid and salt in the pressure cooker and cook for 30 minutes at pressure. Let the pressure come down naturally.

Remove the lid, tilting it away from you and add the agave, milk and vanilla extract.

Let cool a bit. Top with fruit or not.

Tofu Tapenade Panini with Creamy Basil Pesto
By Emily Barth Webber, for the Celebrity Chef Weekend, June 2009

This is my healthier and more flavorful rendition of a caprese sandwich – a simple fresh mozzarella and tomato sandwich found all over Italy.  In this version, extra firm tofu stands in for the mozzarella.  Its firm, yet tender texture and mild flavor is just right, as it absorbs the salty and briny flavors of the tapenade and the fresh, minty-anise perfume of the pesto.  Sliced tomato adds bright color and flavor. 

Making all of your sauces the night before serving will make assembly much quicker and easier and will give the flavors of the sauces a chance to blend. 

1 loaf ciabatta bread or other large, flat, artisan-style unsliced white bread ( whole wheat is fine, too)
1 pound fresh, extra-firm tofu, drained and wrapped in clean lint-free kitchen towel or paper towels to remove excess water and cut into 8 slices
3 medium vine tomatoes, cored and sliced into thin rounds
1 recipe Olive-Garlic Tapenade (see recipe, below) (you may have a bit left over, depending on the size of your bread)
1/4 recipe (about ¼ cup) Basil-Miso Pesto (see recipe, below)
1/4 recipe (about ¼ cup) Dreamy Vegan Mayo (see recipe, below)

Slice ciabatta bread in half lengthwise, so you have a top and a bottom.  Scoop a little extra bread out of the top with your fingers. 

Mix together about 1/4 of a recipe of the Basil-Miso Pesto with 1/4 of a recipe of Dreamy Vegan Mayo.  Spread the Pesto-Mayo on the bottom half of the bread.  Spread the Tapenade on the top half of the bread. 

Place the tofu slices on top of the bottom half, which is now coated with Pesto-Mayo.  Top with sliced tomato.  Add the top piece of bread and slice into 4 or 5 panini. 

To take on a picnic, wrap tightly in plastic wrap or waxed paper.

Olive-Garlic Tapenade
This tapenade makes a wonderfully flavorful sandwich spread.  It’s also a wonderful dip with crackers or baked pita chips for parties.

1 cup pitted kalamata olives
1 small clove garlic, smashed and peeled
2 tablespoons capers
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
3 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh flat-leaf Italian parsley
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
3 tablespoons water

Pop the garlic through the feed tube of a food processor and process until minced.  Add the rest of the ingredients all at once and pulse until nearly smooth, yet still has some texture.

Basil-Miso Pesto
This is a classic pesto, yet can be made very low-fat by replacing the traditional parmesan cheese with miso and using water, rather than extra-virgin olive oil. 

1 clove garlic, peeled
2 cups very tightly packed fresh basil leaves, rinsed and spun dry
1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted and cooled
2 tablespoons mellow barley miso or 1 tablespoon mellow white and 1 tablespoon country barley miso
4 tablespoons water

With the motor of a food processor running, pop the garlic through the feed tube.  Turn off the motor and add the basil, pine nuts and miso, then process until a paste forms.  Drizzle water through the feed tube until pesto is smooth and creamy, stopping once or twice to scrape down sides.

Note:  Freeze extra pesto in an ice cube tray.  Once the small portions of pesto have frozen, transfer to a zipper freezer bag, label and date it.  Use for the next time you make this recipe or swirl into tofu scrambles, soups or toss with pasta.

Dreamy Vegan Mayo
So good, it surprises me every time!  Use anywhere you’d use regular mayonnaise. 

1 pound silken tofu (use fresh, not asceptic-packed)
1 tablespoon agave nectar
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar or fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt

Line a mesh strainer with cheesecloth, allowing a couple of inches to hang over and place in a bowl.  Cut open package of tofu and dump into lined strainer.  Allow to drain in the refrigerator overnight.

Scrape the tofu into a food processor.  Add the rest of the ingredients and puree until smooth and creamy.  Keeps in the refrigerator for about a week.

Sweet Pea “Guacamole”
By Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, for the Celebrity Chef Weekend, June 2009

This is a simple, delicious, and fat-free variation of the traditional guacamole.  And it has the added benefit of not turning brown like the avocado-based original.

1-1/2 cups green peas, fresh or frozen (thawed)
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
2 to 3 large garlic cloves
2 to 3 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 to 2 fresh Roma or plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped Cilantro, for garnish

In a food processor or blender, combine the peas, cumin, onion, garlic, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, and red pepper flakes, and blend until smooth. Taste, add salt, and adjust seasonings as necessary, adding more lemon juice if necessary and more red pepper flakes, if desired.

Blend for a few more seconds, then transfer to a serving bowl. Stir in the chopped tomatoes, and garnish with cilantro, if desired. Serve with tortilla chips, crackers, or fresh veggies.

*Oil-free, wheat-free, soy-free

Copyright © 2009 Compassionate Cooks, LLC

Mango Saffron Mousse
By Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, for the Celebrity Chef Weekend, June 2009

This delicious mousse takes 5 minutes to put together, especially if you are using frozen mangoes. Saffron and mango blend beautifully together – not only in terms of flavor but also in terms of color.

1 10-ounce bag frozen mangoes (or 1 small mango, cubed)
1 12-ounce box organic silken tofu, firm (Mori-Nu brand is widely available)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
5 drops saffron extract

Add the mangoes, tofu, sugar, and saffron to a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth. Transfer to a container, and refrigerate for a minimum of an hour. This helps it set up but also provides the characteristic chill of a good mousse.

Yield: 3 cups

Compassionate Cooks Tips:

*Though it can be confusing to see “firm” on a box of silken tofu, it’s just a matter of degree. The tofu you will be using for this is indeed silken (not “firm” or “extra firm” tofu!). You will see Silken: Soft, Silken: Firm, or Silken: Extra Firm. Choose Silken: Firm or Silken: Extra Firm. 

*I recently discovered saffron extract, which works beautifully in a dessert like this and costs a fraction of dried saffron. Check out Supreme Spice (www.supremespice.com).

Serving Suggestions and Variations

*Top with a mixture of fresh, seasonal fruit (such as pomegranate seeds, apples, or grapes), along with golden raisins, and chopped pistachios.

*Oil-free, wheat-free

Cream of Tomato Soup
By Chef AJ, for the Celebrity Chef Weekend, June 2009

A much healthier version of a childhood favorite with a twist, reminiscent of Campbell’s Cream of Tomato Soup

One pound of Roma tomatoes, chopped
2 red bell peppers, seeded
1 clove garlic
6-8 large basil leaves
Juice of one lemon
2 tablespoons sun-dried tomato powder *
¼ teaspoon chipotle powder (or more, to taste)
1 cup shelled hemp seeds

Place all ingredients except for hemp seeds in a high powered blender and blend until smooth.  By using a high powered blender the soup will become warm without having to heat it.  Add hemp seeds and blend again until creamy.

*if you can’t find sundried tomato powder you can easily make your own by taking the hard sundried tomatoes (not oil packed) and placing them in a coffee grinder.

Cannellini Bean Spread
By Chef Kevin Dunn, for the Celebrity Chef Weekend, June 2009

Many of Chef Kevin's gourmet recipes involve several steps and quite a bit of preparation time.  This one is quick and easy and tastes wonderful!  Keep it in the refrigerator and use it as a sandwich spread all week.

Yield: 1 Gallon

4 cups canned Cannellini beans, drained and well rinsed
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
2 tablespoons roasted garlic
1 ounce Balsamic vinegar
½ cup  roasted red bell pepper, brunoise cut
3 each shallots, roasted in aluminum foil, whole and un-skinned until tender
½ cup vegetable stock
Salt and Pepper to taste

Place 3 cups of the beans in a food processor with the vegetable stock, rosemary, roasted garlic, Balsamic vinegar and roasted shallots.  Process until smooth.  Add the remaining beans and the roasted bell pepper and process briefly.  Place in a bowl and season with salt and pepper.  Refrigerate for at least one day to allow flavors to blend.  Warm gently and spread on bruschetta, topped with diced tomatoes and slivered basil.

Hints:  Brunoise cut is a very fine dice.  To roast shallots, wrap them in foil, roast in an oven at 400 degrees until tender, then cut off the ends and squeeze out the inside.  To roast garlic, place the whole unpeeled head in a baking dish, add a small amount of vegetable stock, cover the dish with foil, and roast at 400 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes.  Allow to cool slightly, then cut off the top of each head, invert the garlic and just press out the insides into a bowl.  The roasted garlic will keep in the refrigerator for about a week.

Blueberry & Fig Salad
By Chef Fran Costigan, for the Celebrity Chef Weekend, June 2009

The combination of blueberries and figs is exceptional but any fresh, seasonal fruits can be used.  Adjust the sweetener and liqueur to taste.

2 cups fresh blueberries, picked over, rinsed, and patted dry
4 fresh figs, washed and quartered
1-2 tablespoons organic sugar or maple sugar
¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest
(optional) 1-2 tablespoons Grand Marnier
(optional) grind of black pepper/sprinkle of crushed fleur de sal

Combine the blueberries, figs, sugar, nutmeg, grated orange zest and Grand Marnier (if using) in a medium bowl and mix gently.  Set aside at room temperature for at least 30 minutes or up to 6 hours.  Sprinkle with the optional pepper and salt, if you like, just before serving.

By Mary McDougall

One of our cooking instructors at The McDougall Program, Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, makes a no-queso Quesadilla with hummus instead of cheese for the filling and it is a very popular dish.  I decided to try it with mashed yams instead of the hummus and we loved the results!  Serve with salsa (and guacamole, if you wish) spooned over the top. These can be eaten with a knife and fork, or cut into wedges, picked up with your fingers and dunked into the salsa and/or guacamole.

Preparation Time:  20 minutes
Cooking Time:  5 minutes for each yamadilla
Servings:  8

2 pounds garnet yams, peeled and chunked
2 tablespoons vegetable broth
2 tablespoons chopped green chilies
2 teaspoons lime juice
1 teaspoon minced chipotle in adobo sauce
¾ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon crushed garlic
1  15 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
8 whole wheat flour tortillas
Fresh salsa of your choice
Guacamole (or Pea Guacamole)

Place the yams in a stainless steel saucepot with enough water to cover.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and cook for about 12 minutes, until soft.  Drain water off and add the vegetable broth.  Mash with a potato masher until quite smooth, then stir in the green chilies, lime juice, chipotle, cumin and garlic.  Mix well, stir in the black beans and mix again.

Heat a non-stick griddle or large sauté pan over medium heat.  Take one tortilla and spread some of the yam mixture on one half of the tortilla, fold over and flatten.  Place on the griddle and cook for about 2 ½ minutes on each side, flipping several times to make sure they don’t burn.  Repeat with the remaining ingredients.  Serve on a plate with salsa and/or guacamole spooned over the top.

Hints:   My version of Pea Guacamole can be found in the February 2009 newsletter.  Colleen Patrick-Goudreau made a delicious Sweet Pea Guacamole during the June 2009 Celebrity Chef weekend event and her recipe is included in this newsletter.  This makes quite a large amount, however, they store well in the refrigerator and reheat on the griddle to taste just like fresh-made the next day.

<<< Return to Newsletter Home Page

Email this page to a friend or coworker


You may subscribe to this free McDougall Newsletter at https://www.drmcdougall.com

2009 John McDougall All Rights Reserved