April 2010
Vol. 9 Issue 4

Featured Recipes


This recipe is quite similar to the lasagna that I have been making for my family for years. This recipe uses no soy cheese, however, which makes it lower in fat but still “creamy” and delicious. Make sure to let it rest for at least 45 minutes before serving so it “sets up” nicely.

Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 60 minutes
Resting Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 6-8

Prepare the tofu ricotta before assembling the lasagna.

Tofu Ricotta:
1 12.3 ounce package silken tofu
1 pound fresh water-packed tofu
¼ cup nutritional yeast
¼ cup lemon juice
¼ cup soy milk
1 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon oregano
½ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon salt
Several twists freshly ground pepper

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth (or see hint below). Set aside.

1 recipe tofu ricotta (from above)
1 10 ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry (see hints)
8 ounces no-boil lasagna noodles (see hints)
2 25 ounce jars fat-free pasta sauce
Parmesan cheese substitute (recipe May 2009 NL)

Add the spinach to the tofu ricotta mixture and stir well to mix.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Pour about 1 cup of the pasta sauce into the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch baking dish. Place a layer of noodles over the sauce. Spread half of the tofu mixture over the noodles. Pour another cup or so of the pasta sauce over the tofu mixture and spread evenly. Add another layer of noodles and spread the remaining tofu mixture over them. Pour another cup or so of sauce over the tofu and spread evenly. Top with another layer of noodles and another cup or so of the sauce, making sure all the noodles are covered. Sprinkle the top with Parmesan cheese substitute. Cover with parchment paper, then cover that with aluminum foil, crimping the edges under the baking dish top to seal the top well. Bake for 60 minutes. Let rest for at least 45 minutes before cutting.

Hints: To make the tofu ricotta without a food processor, place both kinds of tofu in a large bowl and mash well with a bean masher. This will result in a slightly less “creamy” mixture. Stir in the remaining ingredients. For a more spinach flavored lasagna, use 2 10 ounce packages of spinach, thawed and squeezed dry. Do not mix with the tofu, instead, layer over the tofu mixture before covering with the sauce. To add more vegetables to the sauce, sauté some onions and mushrooms in a dry non-stick pan until softened, about 5 minutes. Add this to the pasta sauce before using in the recipe. Other vegetables may also be added as desired. Another delicious option is to thinly slice some zucchini lengthwise and lay these strips over the tofu in each layer. No-boil lasagna noodles are available in most supermarkets and natural food stores. Look for whole grain varieties when possible. For a fantastic gluten-free option to the wheat lasagna noodles, use Tinkyada brown rice lasagna noodles. They also do not need to be boiled ahead of time before using in recipes.

By Jeff Novick

During the April McDougall 5-Day Program, Jeff Novick, RD, showed the participants his favorite fast and easy meals. He prepared six complete dishes in about 45 minutes, with enough food to last one person for at least 5 days. And they were all delicious meals that anyone could prepare, even with no cooking skills at all! All you need is a large pot, a spoon, scissors and a can opener. Now what could be easier than that!! To see all of Jeff’s Healthy Cooking Made Easy recipes go to the McDougall Discussion Board, Jeff Novick, RD, Favorite Threads, Quick Recipes.

Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4
6 cups water

1 15 ounce can diced tomatoes
1 15 ounce can crushed tomatoes
2 15 ounce cans beans (see hints below)
2 pounds frozen vegetables (see hints below)
1-2 cups cooked potatoes, grains, or pasta (see hints below)
Seasonings: 1) minced garlic, basil, oregano, hot pepper sauce
OR 2) minced garlic, grated ginger, smoked paprika, cumin, hot pepper sauce

Place all of the ingredients into a large pot and mix well. Bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes, until all vegetable are done.

Hints: Use any kind of beans that you like in this soup, either both the same kind or one can of each of 2 different kinds. (Jeff’s favorites are kidney and garbanzo.) Look for Eden Organic, No-Salt Added Beans. Also look for Pomi tomatoes in shelf-stable boxes. Frozen vegetables usually come in 1 pound bags. Look for California Blend (cauliflower, broccoli and carrots) or Italian Blend (zucchini, green beans, broccoli and red pepper). This is a good use for leftover cooked starches, such as potatoes, rice or pasta. Use one of the 2 seasoning suggestions for either an Italian-style soup or a Moroccan-style soup. (Leave out the hot pepper sauce, if desired.) Or use your favorite seasoning blend to make this soup even easier.

By Susan Voisin

This is a perfect springtime recipe when fresh asparagus is available everywhere. Susan writes a wonderful food blog, http://blog.fatfreevegan.com, that I subscribe to and highly recommend. She sends out new, very creative, fat free recipes each week making use of fresh vegetables in season. Her recipes will inspire you to get cooking! Also check out her website http://fatfreevegan.com for hundreds of other McDougall-style recipes.

Servings: 4

2 1/4 cups water
2 cups vegetable broth or "no-chicken" broth
1 cup polenta
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon dried basil

1/2 medium onion, chopped fine
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas (or canned, drained and rinsed)
1/2 cup vegetable broth or "no-chicken" broth
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon lemon zest (peel), freshly grated
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon arrowroot or cornstarch
1/4 cup water

12 ounces asparagus, ends trimmed and stalks cut into 1
1/2-inch pieces
1 teaspoon lemon peel, freshly grated
lemon juice, to taste
coarse or flaky salt (such as Maldon), to taste
4 teaspoons pine nuts (lightly toasted)

Bring the 2 1/4 cups water and the 2 cups vegetable broth to a boil in a pressure cooker. Add the polenta while stirring. Stir in the garlic and basil, lock the lid in place, and bring to high pressure. Reduce heat but maintain high pressure for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let pressure come down naturally. Stir well, salt to taste, and keep warm until ready to serve. (No pressure cooker? See note below)

While the polenta is cooking, sauté the onion in a medium-sized sauce pan until it begins to soften, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and drained chickpeas and stir for another minute. Add the broth, basil, and pepper. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the lemon peel and juice. Mix the arrowroot or cornstarch with 1/4 cup water and add it to the pan. Cook over medium low heat until slightly thickened. Keep warm.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and blanch asparagus for 2 minutes. Drain well and toss with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, 1 teaspoon of lemon zest, and coarse salt to taste. Divide the polenta among 4 plates, and top each with a quarter of the chickpeas and asparagus. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of toasted pine nuts over each serving.

NOTE: To make polenta without a pressure cooker, use 2 cups broth and 1 cup water. Bring liquids to a boil in a heavy, deep saucepan, and slowly stir in polenta, garlic, and basil. Reduce heat and simmer gently, stirring frequently to prevent sticking, until very thick (about 30 minutes). (Be careful and use a long-handled spoon because mixture can bubble and spit hot corn meal on your hand.) Add salt to taste and keep warm until ready to serve. This may also be served over another starch, such as risotto, brown rice, quinoa, pasta or potatoes.

By Ann Crile Esselstyn

These are stunning – both beautiful and delicious - and so much fun to make they don’t feel like work. Substitute asparagus, other greens, even long carrot strips for the filling. ANYTHING is good in them. They make perfect hors d’oeuvres or use instead of sandwiches.

1 bunch collards
8 tablespoons hummus
2 green onions, chopped
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1/4 red pepper, cut in thin strips
1/4 small cucumber, cut in thin strips (skin optional)
1/4 cup shredded carrots
1/2 lemon

Put about 2 inches of water in a large frying pan and bring to a boil.

Choose 4 of the nicest collard greens. Lay them flat, cut off the thick stem at the point where the leaf begins then pile them on top of each other in the boiling water. Cover and cook for about 2 minutes. Collards are pretty tough and don’t easily break apart when cooked. Their flexibility makes them a perfect wrap.

Drain and then lay flat on a board or counter, thick part of stem facing up.

Down the center spine of the 4 collard leaves put a row of about 2 tablespoons hummus, sprinkle with green onions, cilantro and shredded carrots. Place thin red pepper strips and cucumber strips on top. Sprinkle with some lemon juice. Start with the side nearest you and flip that over the filling. Turn up the end piece on the non thick stem side and then gently roll into a long sausage shape. Repeat until all are rolled up.

With a sharp knife, cut into as many small pieces as possible. You should be able to get six or more pieces, but it will depend on your collards. Best of all, the roller gets to eat the end pieces!

Note: Ann made these during the September 2008 McDougall Advanced Study Weekend and everyone raved about them. To watch Ann prepare these wraps and to see Dr. Esselstyn talk about preventing and reversing heart disease, order the Advanced Study Series DVD, by Caldwell B Esselstyn, MD


These are light, yet moist and delicious. This is a dessert treat that is easy to make without any special fat or egg replacers. These freeze well, so don’t feel you need to eat the whole thing in one night!

Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 45 minutes
Servings: makes 16 brownies

1 cup unbleached white flour
1 cup Wonderslim cocoa powder
1 cup organic sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
Dash salt
¾ cup applesauce
½ box silken tofu (see hints below)
½ cup chocolate soy milk or almond milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine all the dry ingredients (first 6 ingredients) in a large bowl. Set aside.

Place all the wet ingredients (last 4 ingredients) in the bowl of a food processor and process until very smooth and creamy. Add this mixture to the dry ingredients and mix until combined, but do not overmix. Scrape this mixture into a non-stick square baking dish (see hint below) and bake until toothpick comes out clean and top is dry, about 45 minutes.

Cool in pan. Remove from pan and cut into squares.

Hints: Any cocoa powder will work in this recipe if you can’t find the Wonderslim variety. To easily cut a 12.3 ounce box of silken tofu in half, use a sharp knife and just cut directly through the box with the knife. Store the rest in the refrigerator and use within 2 days. You will need about ¾ cup of the silken tofu.

Silken tofu can be frozen and it will change the consistency of the tofu somewhat, although not as much so as regular tofu that has been frozen. Freeze silken tofu in the box, then thaw thoroughly and squeeze out all the excess water. As you are squeezing, the tofu will break apart into a soft, crumbled consistency, no longer smooth and silky, which is perfect for making soft scrambled tofu. It will not keep its shape and cannot be sliced after freezing as regular tofu can.

I make these in a square non-stick silicone baking pan. After it has cooled slightly (about 15 minutes) the edges loosen easily from the sides of the pan and then I invert it over a flat dish and remove the entire brownie from the baking pan. Cut into squares before serving. To freeze, wrap in squares in plastic wrap and place in freezer. They only need about 5 minutes to thaw before eating, and are still moist and delicious.


I really enjoy eating the heartier greens, although many people find that their strong flavors take some getting used to. I throw kale and chard into many of my vegetable soup recipes and they soften up nicely and add a delicious flavor to soups. I also like to steam kale with other green vegetables and serve them over rice or quinoa (see the August 2009 newsletter). One of my favorite ways to eat steamed kale is with the Walnut Dressing from Dr. Esselstyn’s book, Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease. (See the March 2007 newsletter for this recipe.) Also check out Ann Esselstyn’s recipe for Collard Wraps in this newsletter. Here are a few more suggestions for delicious ways with greens.


Thinly slice a large bunch of kale. Toss with 1 thinly sliced red bell pepper and 1 thinly sliced carrot. Drizzle about ¼ cup of your favorite dressing over the top and toss well to mix. Some of my favorites are: Oriental Dressing April 2008 newsletter; Thai Chili Dressing September 2009 newsletter; Peanut Ginger Dressing December 2007 newsletter.


Chop 2 large bunches of kale, Swiss chard or Collard greens (about 2-3 pounds). Place in a large pot with about 1/3 to 1/2 cup of water.  Cook over medium heat stirring occasionally, until wilted (about 5 minutes).  Drain and toss with Oriental-Dijon Dressing.

Oriental-Dijon Dressing:
¼ cup soy sauce
¼ cup rice vinegar
¼ cup water
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
¼ teaspoon minced fresh garlic
¼ teaspoon minced fresh ginger

Combine all ingredients in a blender jar and process until smooth.

Hints: Heat the greens mixed with the dressing briefly after tossing. This is also great chilled for serving later.


Place 2 tablespoons water, 2 tablespoons tahini, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1 teaspoon soy sauce and 1 teaspoon crushed garlic in a bowl and whisk together until smooth. Set aside.

Chop a large bunch of kale, Swiss chard or Collard greens (about 1 ½ pounds). Place in a large pot with about ¼ cup water. Cook over medium heat, tossing occasionally, until wilted, about 5 minutes. Drain and toss with sesame dressing.


Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add 8-9 ounces of uncooked soba noodles to the pot. Return to a boil and cook for about 5 minutes. Add 1 large bunch of chopped hearty greens, such as kale or collards. Continue to cook, uncovered, stirring frequently to keep the greens under the water, for about 5 more minutes. Drain and place in a bowl. This is an easy way to cook any type of pasta and greens together. Cook the pasta until it is about half-way cooked, then add the greens to the cooking water and continue to cook until both are done. Try this with asparagus and broccoli also.

Toss with any of your favorite dressings, or try this Creamy Japanese Dressing from Miyoko Schinner:

¼ cup soy sauce
¼ cup rice vinegar
¼ cup agave nectar
2 tablespoons tahini
½ cup silken tofu (optional)

Process in a high speed blender until smooth and creamy.

Hints: Miyoko serves this tossed with steamed spinach during one of her cooking demonstrations at the McDougall Program. She uses toasted sesame seeds for a freshly ground flavor, but to save time, sesame tahini can be substituted. To make with toasted sesame seeds, use about 1/3 cup, process in a high speed blender, then add the remaining ingredients and process again until smooth.

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