April 2011 <<< Return to Newsletter Home Page Printer Friendly PDF Volume 10 Issue 4

Featured Recipes

Swiss Chard Stew

I have a Swiss chard plant in my garden that is over 2 years old and over this past winter it really grew like crazy!  I love to go down to the garden and harvest the chard just before putting it into the pot for cooking.  This recipe is fast and easy, yet very satisfying, and it also reheats well the next day.

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

2 pounds Swiss chard
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/8 cup vegetable broth
1  26 ounce can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
1  15 ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 tablespoon slivered fresh basil (or 1 teaspoon dried)
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Dash sea salt (optional)

Put a large pot of water on to boil.  Cut the large stems out of the chard and discard.  Coarsely chop the chard and drop into the boiling water.  Reduce heat and simmer for about 8 minutes.  Remove from heat, drain in colander and set aside.

Meanwhile, place the onion, garlic, and red pepper flakes in a large pot with the vegetable broth.  Cook, stirring frequently until the onion is translucent and softened.
Add the tomatoes and bring to a boil.  Stir in the beans, cover and cook over low heat for 5 minutes. 

Squeeze chard to remove excess water, then add to the pot along with the basil, pepper and salt.  Continue to cook over low heat for another 3-4 minutes.  Serve over brown rice or other whole grains.


North African Chard Soup

Here is another wonderful recipe that makes use of all the chard I have in my garden.  Serve this in a bowl with some whole grain bread on the side.

Preparation Time:  15 minutes
Cooking Time:  25 minutes
Servings:  6

1 onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
6 cups vegetable broth
5 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup cooked garbanzo beans
¾ cup frozen lima beans
½ cup whole wheat spaghetti, broken into pieces
½ teaspoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
6 cups coarsely chopped Swiss chard leaves
¼ cup fresh chopped parsley

Place the onion, celery and garlic in a large soup pot with ½ cup of the vegetable broth.  Cook, stirring frequently, until onions have softened slightly.  Mix the tomato paste into the remaining broth and whisk until well combined.  Add to the pot along with the garbanzos, limas, pasta and spices.  Mix well, bring to a boil, reduce heat and cook for about 5 minutes.  Add the chard and continue to cook until chard is tender, about 10 minutes.  Stir in the parsley and let rest for 1-2 minutes before serving.


Yammy Kale

We grew several varieties of kale in our garden last year and they all kept producing over the winter months.  My favorite is the Lacinato blue kale because it is just a bit more tender than the other varieties. 

Preparation Time:  15 minutes
Cooking Time:  20 minutes
Servings:  4

2 Garnet yams, peeled and cut into chunks
1 ½ cups water or vegetable broth
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups Lacinato kale, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon vegetarian Worcestershire sauce
½ to 1 teaspoon Sambal Oelek chili paste
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Place the yams and water or broth in a large sauté pan.  Cover, bring to a boil, reduce heat and cook until yams are just barely tender, about 5 to 10 minutes depending on the size of the chunks.  Add the onion and garlic and continue to cook over medium low heat until liquid has been reduced by half.  Add the kale, Worcestershire sauce and chili paste.  Continue to cook until kale is tender, stirring occasionally.  Stir in the lemon juice just before serving.  Serve over brown rice or other whole grains.

Hint:  This may also be made with other varieties of kale, just remove the hard stem before slicing the kale. Garnet yams are the bright orange-fleshed sweet potatoes with reddish colored skins. 


Curried Kale Soup

Here is another use for delicious kale and yams, this time in a smoky, curried soup.
Preparation Time:  15 minutes
Cooking Time:  35 minutes
Servings:  6

1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups vegetable broth
1 cup peeled and diced Garnet yam
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 bay leaf
3 cups chopped kale
2  15 ounce cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
¾ cup water
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Freshly ground pepper to taste

Place the onion and garlic in a large non-stick pot.  Dry sauté until onion and garlic have softened and are starting to brown slightly, stirring frequently.  Add vegetable broth, yams, curry powder, paprika and bay leaf.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.  Add the kale and continue to simmer until kale and yams are tender, about 10 more minutes.

Meanwhile, puree one cup of the beans with the water.  Add to the soup pot along with the remaining whole beans.  Cook an additional 10 minutes.  Stir in the lemon juice and freshly ground pepper to taste.  Serve at once.


Many people have written me to ask how I make my favorite brownies now that Wonderslim Fat Replacer is no longer available.  I substitute Sunsweet Lighter Bake for the Wonderslim and I think they are even more moist and delicious than they were in the past.  I usually make them one day early because we like the taste of them after they have been refrigerated overnight.  Last month at the McDougall Program the chef turned these into a fantastic layered chocolate cake (see hints below) for a birthday celebration.  These may be fat-free but they are not calorie-free and they contain quite a bit of simple sugar, especially with the frosting, so save them for a special occasion.  I only make these a couple of times a year for birthday celebrations.

Servings:  makes one 8 inch square pan
Preparation Time:  15 minutes
Cooking Time:  30 minutes

Dry Ingredients:
1 cup unbleached white flour
2/3 cup reduced fat cocoa powder (Wonderslim brand)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ cup chopped cashews or walnuts (optional)

Wet Ingredients:
1 cup Sunsweet Lighter Bake
1 cup organic cane sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons Egg Replacer mixed in ½ cup warm water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine dry ingredients in a bowl.  Set aside.

Mix Sunsweet Lighter Bake and organic sugar together in a separate bowl.  Stir in vanilla.

Mix Egg Replacer and water together and whisk until very frothy.  Add to sugar mixture and stir to combine.  Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir until mixed.  DO NOT OVERMIX.  Spoon into a non-stick 8 inch square baking dish and flatten.  Bake for 30 minutes.  Cool and remove from pan.  Cut into squares for serving.


Hints:  Sunsweet Lighter Bake is made from plums and apples and is an excellent fat replacer in baked goods.  Wonderslim makes the reduced fat and caffeine free cocoa powder.  Organic cane sugar is made by Wholesome Sweeteners. (Regular granulated sugar may be used instead, if desired.)  Egg Replacer is made by EnerG Foods.  It is sold in boxes in the natural food store.  It is used to replace eggs in baking. All of these products should be available in your natural food store.  Sunsweet Lighter Bake can be ordered online at www.sunsweet.com.  To make these brownies into a layer cake, double the recipe and make in two separate 8 inch pans.  Remove from pans after cooling and spread the top of one layer with strawberry or raspberry preserves (use the kind sweetened with fruit instead of sugar).  Place the other layer on top of the one with the preserves and press together gently.  Top with one of the sauces or frostings below, if desired.
Raspberry or Strawberry Sauce

Preparation Time:  5 minutes
Servings:  variable

1  10-ounce bag frozen, unsweetened, raspberries or strawberries, thawed
¼ cup sugar

Place the raspberries or strawberries and sugar in a blender jar.  Process until blended.  Strain the sauce through a fine strainer, stirring often, to remove most of the seeds, pressing down with the back of a spoon to get most of the fruit through the strainer.   Discard the remaining sauce with the seeds. Pour the seedless sauce into a covered container and refrigerate until ready to use.  Drizzle this sauce over the cake for a fruity topping.


Chocolate Frosting

This will make that birthday cake really special!

Preparation Time:  3 minutes
Servings:  frosts one 8 inch square cake

2 cups confectioners’ sugar (powdered sugar)
¼ cup Wonderslim cocoa powder
¼ to 1/3 cup soy milk
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract

Place the confectioners’ sugar and cocoa powder in a small bowl.  Mix well.  Stir in ¼ cup of the soy milk and the vanilla and mix well.  Add the remaining soy milk a little at a time until the frosting is a spreadable consistency.  Use to frost cakes or brownies.


Lemon Frosting

Preparation Time:  3 minutes
Servings:  frosts the top of one cake

2 cups confectioner’s sugar (powdered sugar)
1/3 to ½ cup lemon soy yogurt

Place the confectioner’s sugar in a bowl.  Gradually add the soy yogurt until the frosting is a spreadable consistency. You may need a bit more or less of the yogurt depending on which brand you use.  The frosting should be spreadable, but not runny.  Use to frost cakes or brownies.

Hint:  Any flavor of soy yogurt may be used in this recipe to vary the flavor of the frosting.


The following recipes are by Tiffany Hobson; executive assistant to Mary & John McDougall.


Black-eyed Peas and Collard Greens, New Orleans Style

This traditional dish is served in New Orleans every year on New Year’s Day.  The greens represent money, while the swelling of the black-eyed peas symbolizes prosperity.  Whether you are celebrating a New Year, needing some extra luck, or just want to eat some really good home style cooked food, I hope you enjoy this as much as I do.

Black-eyed Peas

Preparation Time: 35 minutes
Cooking Time: 1 ½ - 2 hours
Servings: 6-8

1 white onion, finely diced
5 large garlic cloves, minced
4 stalks of celery, finely diced
1 red bell pepper, finely diced
3 bay leaves
2 tablespoons powdered thyme
½ - 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 – 2 ¼ cups black-eyed peas
6-8 cups vegetable broth
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Sea salt to taste

First, sort through the black-eyed peas, making sure you have taken out any peas that are discolored or broken.  Set aside.  Place 1 cup of vegetable broth with the onion, garlic, celery and red bell pepper in a large pot.  Cook over medium high heat for 5-10 minutes, stirring frequently.  Once the vegetables become soft, add the bay leaves, thyme, cayenne and several twists of freshly ground black pepper.  Mix well.  Add black-eyed peas and the rest of the vegetable broth, mixing well.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 1 ½ - 2 hours with the lid slightly ajar.  Beans will have a creamy consistency.  Serve with rice and collard greens.

Hint: This recipe can be as mild or spicy as you like it.  I love spicy food.  I will use 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper and enough freshly ground black pepper to give any mere mortal carpal tunnel! 



Preparation Time: 1 minute
Cooking Time: 20-30 minutes
Servings: 6-8

2 cups of white Jasmine rice (traditional) or brown Basmati (healthier)
4 cups vegetable broth
1 bunch of green onions, cut finely

If you have a rice cooker: place the rice and broth in the rice cooker and turn it on.  It will work its own magic and let you know when it is done.  Stir the rice immediately.  If you do not have a rice cooker, place the rice and broth in a medium saucepan, bring to a boil and cook until rice is tender and liquid has been absorbed. Serve the rice with the green onions on top alongside the black-eyed peas and collard greens.


Collard Greens

Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 10-15 minutes
Servings: 6-8

2 white onions, chopped
4 bunches collard greens, stripped from stems and cut into large pieces
4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar (or to taste)
2 teaspoons brown sugar (or to taste)

In a large non-stick pan, cook the onions covered over low heat, stirring frequently.  Onions should cook until they are caramelized (very brown and sticky).  Add 2 tablespoons of the apple cider vinegar and 1 teaspoon of brown sugar.  Mix well.  Add the collard greens, 2 more tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and 1 more teaspoon of brown sugar.  Mix well.  Cook covered for 1 ½ - 2 minutes.  Adjust the flavor of the collard greens if necessary (you do not want them sickly sweet, nor do you want them extremely sour).  The flavor should be a perfect balance of a touch of sweetness, with a hint of sour flavor.  Serve with black-eyed peas and rice.


Orzo Salad

This is a great salad to take for a picnic.  Make sure you make this hours before consuming; the flavors blend together in the refrigerator to give this salad an “oily” mouth feel consistency.  I am often quizzed by my friends as to how I can produce a salad they swear has oil in it.  Enjoy!

Preparation Time: 4 hours (including refrigeration time)
Cooking Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 6-8

2 cups fresh fava beans (about 20-30 large pods)
4 ounces orzo
1 small red onion, minced
4 large garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon dried marjoram
6 tablespoons vegetable broth
½ cup sundried tomatoes, cut into 1/8’s
1-2 fresh lemons, juiced (Meyers are fantastic in this recipe)
½ - 1 ½ tablespoons fresh marjoram, minced
Freshly ground black pepper
Sea salt to taste

Fava Beans

Take the fava beans out of their pods.  Bring a large pot of water to boil.  Meanwhile, prepare a large bowl of ice water.  When water is boiling, add the fava beans and cook for 1 minute.  Drain the beans in a colander and immediately place them in the ice water.  Let them sit in the ice water until they have completely cooled, about 3-5 minutes.  Shell the fava beans.  Fava beans look like they have Mohawks; use your thumb nail to break the front of the Mohawk and pull to remove the “cap.”  Use your thumb and index finger to “pop” out the bean.  Set aside.


Bring a pot of water to boil.  Add the orzo and cook to an al dente consistency, about 5-10 minutes.  Drain, rinse with cool water and set aside.

The Salad

In a large non-stick pan, sauté the onion, garlic, and dried marjoram in the vegetable broth until soft (about 5-7 minutes).  Add orzo, fava beans, sundried tomatoes, and lemon juice and mix well.  Cook for 2-3 minutes. Add in the fresh marjoram and cook for 1 more minute.  Place salad in a glass bowl and refrigerate, uncovered, for 2 ½ - 3 hours.  Before serving, add freshly ground black pepper and sea salt to taste, if desired.

Hint: Marjoram is in my top 5 of favorite spices.  The dried marjoram blends beautifully with the onion and garlic.  Fresh marjoram adds a light freshness to this dish.  You may cut the fresh marjoram to ½ tablespoon or add as much as 1 ½ tablespoons, but I would do no more or no less.  For another variation to this salad, add a few drops of aged balsamic vinegar to the salad and toss just before serving. 

2011 John McDougall All Rights Reserved
Dr. McDougall's Health and Medical Center   P.O. Box 14039, Santa Rosa, CA 95402