December 2011 < Return to Newsletter Home Page Printer Friendly PDF Volume 10 Issue 11
Featured Recipes

The first 10 recipes were contributed by Tiffany Hobson.

Tiffany is the executive assistant to the McDougall’s.  She heads operations for all McDougall Programs and is the tour director for McDougall Adventures. She has a BA in Rhetoric from University of California, Berkeley and is nationally certified as a pharmacy technician.  She also assists Dr. McDougall when seeing patients.  Most recently, Tiffany has started helping Mary with recipe development.


Roasted Garlic
By Tiffany Hobson

3-5 heads garlic, excess paper removed and the tops cut off
¾ -1 cup vegetable broth

There are two ways you may make this:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Place the broth in a small bowl.  With the exposed side of the garlic tops, soak them in the broth for a few minutes.  When finished, place them in a small baking pan and pour the remaining broth over the tops.  Cover with aluminum foil, using parchment paper in between the garlic and foil, and bake for 1 hour.  The garlic should look “burnt.”

  2. Preheat the oven to 275 degrees.  The garlic will take longer to cook, about 1 ½ - 2 hours.  I have found if you cook the garlic longer it brings out a fuller flavor.


Nutty Parmesan Cheese
By Tiffany Hobson

1 cup walnuts
¾ cup nutritional yeast
½ teaspoon salt

Place all the ingredients in a food processor.  Using the pulse mode, blend the ingredients together.  Be careful not to over process the ingredients, otherwise the consistency will become “pasty.”

This may be refrigerated for up to a week.


Roasted Butternut Squash
By Tiffany Hobson

1 butternut squash

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Cut the squash lengthwise and remove the seeds.  Place the squash on a baking sheet with the flesh side face down.  Bake for 30-35 minutes.  You should be able to pierce the skin easily with a fork or knife.


Tasty Croutons/Bread Crumbs
By Tiffany Hobson

Preparation Time: 2-3 days
Cooking Time: 40 minutes

1 loaf sourdough bread
1-2 heads roasted garlic, mashed
1-2 cups vegetable broth
1-3 tablespoons rosemary

Cut the bread into cubes and place in a bowl for 2 to 3 days to allow the bread to dry.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Slowly pour some vegetable broth on the dry bread and mix.  You do not want to drench the bread in broth; it is there to coat the bread only.  Spread the bread out on a baking sheet and add as much garlic and rosemary you would like.  Bake for 30 to 40 minutes.  Make sure you check the bread often as it is baking, you want it to have a nice golden brown color and it should have a crunchy consistency. 

For Bread Crumbs: Once the croutons have cooled down, place in a plastic bag and crush them into small bits.

Note:  You may use any combination of herbs for this recipe.  I chose to use rosemary because it enhances the recipes that follow.


Absolutely Amazing No Queso Sauce
By Tiffany Hobson

The idea of this recipe came from both Mary McDougall (McDougall Program, p. 264) and Miyoko Schinner (her vegan cheese book will be out in the Summer of 2012).  This has become one of the most requested items since its inception from all of my friends.  

Preparation Time: 3 minutes
Cooking Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 2 cups

¼ cup raw cashews
1 cup roasted butternut squash
¾ cup water
8 ounces pimientos
¼ cup nutritional yeast
3 tablespoons cornstarch
½ teaspoon salt

Place all the ingredients in a blender and process until completely smooth.  If you own a Vitamix, this process will take 3 minutes; if you own a regular blender, the process will take about 5 to 6 minutes. 

Pour the mixture into a saucepan and cook at medium heat until the sauce thickens, about 5 minutes.

Note:  This cheese sauce is great on just about anything!  Pour it over a baked potato, have it on top of your favorite chili, or over some baked tortilla chips.  Instead of using 8 ounces of pimientos, try using 4 ounces and add in some chopped jalapeños or habaneros if you like it hot and spicy.


Cauliflower Mac and No Queso
By Tiffany Hobson

Preparation Time: 15-20 minutes
Cooking Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 4-6

1 large cauliflower, cored and separated into large pieces
10 ounces whole wheat elbow noodles
2 ½ cups vegetable broth
1 cup Absolutely Amazing No Queso Sauce
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Freshly ground black pepper
¾ cup Nutty Parmesan Cheese
½-1 cup Tasty Bread Crumbs
Sea salt

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Cook the cauliflower in boiling water until it becomes tender, about 20-25 minutes.  Using a slotted spoon, transfer the cauliflower into a blender.  Add the whole wheat elbows to the boiling water and cook for 5 to 7 minutes.  Drain the elbows in a colander and rinse with cold water to stop them from cooking.  Place the elbows into a 3 quart baking dish.

Add the vegetable broth, No Queso sauce, Dijon mustard and several twists of freshly ground black pepper to the blender with the cauliflower.  Process until the mixture is smooth and creamy.  Add the mixture to the baking dish and toss the sauce and pasta together.  Sprinkle Nutty Parmesan Cheese and the Tasty Bread Crumbs on top.  Bake for 25 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbling and the bread crumbs are brown.  If desired, add salt and more pepper to taste.  Sriracha is also a nice condiment with this dish.

Note:  The sauce makes this dish very creamy and “cheesy.”  If you prefer to have a little more substance to this dish, increase the pasta to 16 ounces.   


Roasted Corn and Sugar Snap Peas
By Tiffany Hobson

I love the flavor of fresh roasted corn in the summer, and its something I always crave when corn is not in season.  I decided to try this recipe with frozen vegetables and was delighted with the result.

Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4-6

3 cups frozen corn
3 cups frozen sugar snap peas
1 cup vegetable broth
Freshly ground black pepper
Sea salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spread the frozen vegetables all over a baking sheet.  Pour the broth evenly over all the vegetables.  Bake for 30 minutes.  Using a slotted spoon, transfer the vegetables to a bowl and mix them together well.  Serve as is or, if desired, add salt and pepper to taste.


Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Caramelized Onions and Toasted Pine Nuts
By Tiffany Hobson

Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 4-6

1 pound Brussels sprouts
1 ½ cups vegetable broth
1 yellow onion, diced
2/3 cup pine nuts
Freshly ground black pepper
Sea salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Clean and peel off outer layers of Brussels sprouts.  Cut off the ends and cut Brussels sprouts in half.  Place them in a bowl.  Pour 1 cup of the vegetable broth over the sprouts and, using your hands, mix the sprouts well with the broth.  You want to make sure the sprouts are nicely coated.  Space the Brussels sprouts out onto a baking sheet, making sure they are not piled on top of each other.  Bake the sprouts for 40 minutes until they become brown. Remove from oven and set aside.

Place the onions in a non-stick sauté pan and spread out evenly.  Cook over medium heat.  Let cook until onions begin to brown on the bottom.  Stir up and spread out evenly again. (The trick with caramelized onions is that you do not bother them too much.)

Meanwhile, place the pine nuts in a non-stick sauté pan on medium heat.  Be careful: they toast much faster than you think.  It will take about 2 to 3 minutes for them to toast to a light brown color.  You do not need to stir them, just take the pan off the heat for a moment after 1 minute of cooking and shake before placing them back on the stove.  Once they have turned light brown, turn off the heat.

Add the Brussels sprouts and toasted pine nuts to the sauté pan with the onions and adjust the heat to low.  Add the remaining ½ cup of vegetable broth and mix well.  Cook for 2 to 5 more minutes.  If desired, add salt and pepper to taste.    


Roasted Potatoes and Carrots
By Tiffany Hobson

Preparation Time: 20 – 25 minutes
Cooking Time: 1 hour
Servings: 4-6

11 Yukon potatoes, peeled and sliced
20 carrots, peeled and cut into rough chunks
1 yellow onion, cut into rings
1 -2 heads roasted garlic
4 -5 cups vegetable broth
1 tablespoon poultry seasoning
½ - 1 tablespoon bouquet garni
Freshly ground black pepper
Sea salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Place the potatoes on the bottom of a large glass baking dish with the carrots and onions on top.  In a separate bowl, mix 4 cups of vegetable broth, roasted garlic, poultry seasoning and bouquet garni.  Pour the mixture over the vegetables.  Cover with aluminum foil, placing parchment paper in between the food and foil.  Bake for 45 minutes.  Take the foil off and add more vegetable broth, if needed.  Bake an additional 15-20 minutes.  If desired, add salt and pepper to taste.

Note:  This dish is a staple in my house.  I sometimes use a variety of potatoes (such as Yukon, Russets, Purple, etc.) to vary the flavor.  If you do this, make sure you cut the potatoes in a way that they all cook together evenly.  I always use poultry seasoning, but I will change up my herbs.  Thyme, marjoram and oregano are beautiful in this dish. 


Persian Dal
By Tiffany Hobson

Over the years, I have enjoyed many variations of Dal from India.  This particular recipe is a modification from the south of Iran.  To be precise, it is from the once thriving non-oil port city of Khorramshahr (Khorram – happy, shahr – city).  I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do.

Preparation Time: 45 minutes
Cooking Time: 1 hour
Servings: 4-6

1 ½ cups red lentils
4 cups plus 3 tablespoons water
2 Russet potatoes, diced
1 yellow onion, diced
7 cloves garlic, diced
3 ounces tomato paste
1 ½ teaspoons turmeric
½ - 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
½  teaspoon salt

Rinse and clean lentils with water until the water is no longer murky.  Place the lentils in a pot with 4 cups of water and let them soak for 45 minutes.  Once the lentils have puffed out, add the potatoes and cook over high heat.  Continually stir the lentils and potatoes.  Once the water starts to boil, continue cooking for 15 to 20 minutes.  As the lentils and potatoes are cooking they will foam up in the pot.  Using a spoon, remove the foam.  You will have to do this a few times while they cook.  After boiling the lentils and potatoes for 15 to 20 minutes, lower the heat to medium.

Place the onions and 3 tablespoons of water in a sauté pan and cook over medium high heat.  Spread the onions throughout the pan so they cook evenly.  You want the onions to turn translucent with a nice golden brown color; this will take about 5 to 10 minutes.  Once the onions become golden brown, add the garlic and mix well.  Cook for about 2 to 3 minutes, then add the tomato paste and mix well.  Once the tomato paste is mixed in, add the turmeric and mix well.  Add this mixture to the pot with lentils and potatoes.  If there is anything left in the sauté pan, add a small amount of water and scrape off the remaining ingredients and add to the pot of lentils and potatoes.  After mixing everything in the pot, add the crushed red pepper flakes and salt.  Mix well.  Cover and cook over low heat for an additional 20 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Serve over rice.

Note:  This dish is tasty all by itself, but Sriracha and Cholula hot sauce also go well with this.       


The following 6 recipes were contributed by Cathy Fisher.

Cathy Fisher has worked for the McDougall Program since 2006 and in 2010 began teaching cooking classes. Cathy also teaches weekly classes at True North Health Center in Santa Rosa. Her whole-foods recipes avoid the use of all animal foods, oil and salt. Cathy enjoys the challenge of giving familiar dishes a healthy makeover, but “they not only have to be good for you, they have to be full of flavor and pretty easy to make,” she says. To view more of Cathy’s recipes, visit or follow her on Facebook at

Marinara with Zucchini Noodles
By Cathy Fisher

This simple vegetable version of traditional spaghetti uses fresh zucchini as noodles instead of grain pasta.

Preparation: 25 minutes
Cooking time: 40 minutes
Serves: 4

¼ cup water
1 yellow onion, diced
1 medium red bell pepper, diced
1 medium yellow bell pepper, diced
8-10 cremini mushrooms, sliced
1 box Pomi brand crushed tomatoes (26 oz.) or 2 cans diced or crushed no-salt tomatoes (14.5 oz. each)
1 small can tomato paste
1 teaspoon garlic powder (or 1-2 cloves minced)
1 ½ teaspoons dried Italian spices
6 medium zucchini cut finely into “noodles” (see step 2)
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil


  1. Sauté the onion in the water on medium-high heat until soft, about 2-3 minutes. Add the bell pepper and mushrooms, and sauté 5 minutes on medium heat to soften (adding water as needed to prevent sticking). Add the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, garlic powder and spices, and turn down to simmer for 20 to 30 minutes.
  2. To make zucchini noodles, cut the ends off the zucchini first. Using a mandolin slicer, use the appropriate blade insert to create thin strings (like long matchsticks) of zucchini “noodles.” For short noodles, cut the zucchini in half before slicing. The zucchini cooks down, so make a bunch. Place noodles into a pot of boiling water and cook for about 5 to 10 minutes until zucchini is softened (but not breaking apart; underdone/al dente is better than overdone).
  3. Drain zucchini and combine with the sauce (or keep separate and serve the sauce over a bed of the zucchini noodles if you prefer). Add the basil to the sauce and simmer for 5 minutes before serving. Optional: Serve with grated walnuts on top.

Notes: Instead of making zucchini noodles, you may also add chunks of diced zucchini to the sauce.  Greens, such as kale or chard, may also be added (in thin strips) toward the end.  To grate walnuts that look like Parmesan, use a rotary style cheese grater.



Thai Vegetables with Couscous
By Cathy Fisher

This dish may be served as a salad or entrée. It is flavored with distinctive Thai ingredients, including garlic, ginger and soy sauce. The couscous and hearty vegetables—broccoli, cabbage, carrots and mushrooms—are sure to fill you up without leaving you heavy.

Preparation: 25 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes
Serves: 4 (entrée portions)

3 cups water
1 cup dry Israeli (large) couscous
2 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
2 tablespoons peanut butter
2 tablespoons low-sodium tamari or soy sauce
¼ cup water
½ cup water and more as needed
2 cups small broccoli florets
3 carrots, thinly sliced or julienned (like matchsticks)
8 mushrooms, diced
½ head of cabbage, thinly sliced
1 cup frozen green peas (thawed)
½ cup cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
4 scallions (green onions), chopped


  1. Chop and prepare all of your ingredients beforehand, as this dish cooks up quickly once it is started.
  2. To cook the couscous, bring 3 cups water to a boil then add dry couscous. Cook for 10 minutes until cooked through (a little al dente is better than over-cooked). Drain and rinse with cool water.
  3. While couscous is boiling, blend sauce ingredients—garlic, ginger, peanut butter, soy sauce and water—in a high-speed blender until smooth (check that peanut butter is completely incorporated). Set aside.
  4. In a large pot or skillet, add about  ½ cup water along with the broccoli, carrots and mushrooms, and cook on medium-high for about 5 minutes to begin softening. Add the cabbage and peas, and cook for another 5 minutes, until the broccoli, carrots and cabbage are softened (adding a bit more water if needed to prevent any sticking).
  5. Add the sauce, couscous, cilantro and scallions to the vegetables, and thoroughly mix through, cooking another minute or two. Remove from the heat, and serve hot or warm. Garnish with cilantro or hulled sesame seeds.

Notes: Israeli couscous is a wheat pasta shaped into small balls, found in bags or bulk sections of health food stores.  Frozen peas work best, as they maintain their firm texture better than canned; but canned or fresh can also be used.  If you are not a fan of cilantro, parsley or basil may be used in its place.

Substitutions: If you are trying to avoid sodium (in soy sauce and tamari), wheat (in couscous and soy sauce), and/or peanuts (a common allergen), you can make the following substitutions: For soy sauce, reduce the amount and add more water to make up the difference, or use all water. For the couscous, use two or so cups cooked brown rice or cooked whole-grain pasta shells (quinoa and rice pastas are great) and add ¼ more cup of water to sauce mixture.  Instead of peanut butter, use 3 tablespoons tahini (ground sesame seed paste) or 3 tablespoons hulled sesame seeds.

Persimmon Bars
By Cathy Fisher

These bars are lighter than traditional fruit and nut bars, and make a great traveling or backpacking snack—or a dessert cake when a bit of frosting is added. Refined sugar is replaced by dates, which have a brown sugar flavor that complements the persimmon and spices.

Preparation: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 50 minutes
Makes: 15 bars (1 ½ x 2 ½ inch)

3 medjool dates, pitted and diced, and soaked in ¼ cup water for 30 minutes
1 cup rolled oats (regular, not quick or instant)
1 ¼ cups oat flour (or 1 ¼ cups rolled oats ground into flour in a high-speed blender)
1 teaspoon baking powder
¾ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
1 medium-large, very ripe Hachiya persimmon, peeled and quartered
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup soy milk (or other non-dairy milk)
½ cup raisins
½ cup chopped walnuts


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8×8 baking pan with parchment paper. (If using a non-stick metal pan, just line the bottom; if using a glass dish, line the bottom and sides. Or use a silicone baking pan, which requires no lining.)
  2. Combine the dry ingredients—oats, flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves—in a bowl.
  3. In a high-speed blender, blend the dates (with their soaking water), persimmon, vanilla, and non-dairy milk until very smooth.
  4. Pour wet mixture into bowl of dry ingredients and mix with a fork until fully combined; fold in raisins and nuts.
  5. Scrape batter into your pan, cover with aluminum foil, and bake for 30 minutes on the center rack. After 30 minutes, remove the foil and continue baking for 15-20 minutes, until the bars are browned on top. (The foil allows the bars to stay moist without over-browning the top.)
  6. Let bars cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove them (still uncut) from the pan all at once by gently turning the pan upside down onto a cutting board (use a butter knife to loosen the sides from the pan first if they have not already come away); remove the parchment paper and promptly flip over and leave to cool further. Cut into any size you like. I usually cut mine into 15 bars about 1 ½” by 2 ½”.

Notes: I like to grind my own oats into flour using my Vitamix or Tribest personal blender, but if you don’t have a blender like this, you can use any whole-grain flour.  Hachiya persimmons are the larger, acorn-shaped persimmons (as opposed to the Fuyus, which are flatter and tomato-looking, and are most commonly eaten firm like an apple).  Finely grate whole nutmeg for the best flavor.  These bars are only slightly sweetened, so feel free to add another date or two if you like a sweeter bar.  If you are not partial to raisins or walnuts, feel free to leave either out; the bars will still taste great.  If you don’t have a high-speed blender, you can use a regular blender, but the bars may be more crumbly.  Eat plain or with one of the optional frostings below.  When persimmons are out of season, substitute with 1 sliced medium banana.

Optional Frostings
To serve these bars as a dessert cake, add one of the following three simple frostings. (The Persimmon-Date Frosting is lowest in fat, and is more like a fruit spread.) Frost the bars close to the time you will be serving them.

Creamy Cashew Frosting
3 dates, pitted and diced, and soaked in water for 30 minutes
½ cup raw cashews, soaked in water for 30 minutes
½ cup water (you can use the soaking water if you like)

After the cashews and dates have soaked, remove them from the water and place them into a high-speed blender or food processor along with the 1/2 cup water. Blend until mixture is smooth and creamy (add tiny amounts of water as needed). If you would like a lemon flavor, replace ¼ cup water with ¼ cup lemon juice. (Meyer lemons, a cross between a true lemon and either a mandarin or common orange, have a great flavor.)

Lemon-Tofu Frosting
4 dates, pitted and diced, and soaked in water for 30 minutes
4 ounces firm tofu, diced
3 tablespoons lemon juice
Water as needed to thin (you can use the soaking water if you like)

After the dates have soaked, remove them from their water and place them into a high-speed blender along with the tofu and lemon juice. Blend until mixture is smooth and creamy, adding water as needed until the desired consistency is reached.

Persimmon-Date Frosting
2-3 dates, pitted and diced, and soaked in water for 30 minutes
1 medium-large, very ripe Hachiya persimmon, diced and peeled
Water as needed to thin (you can use the soaking water if you like)

After the dates have soaked, remove them from the water and place them into a blender along with the persimmon. Blend, adding water as needed until the desired consistency is reached.

Clockwise from top: Creamy Cashew Frosting, Lemon-Tofu Frosting, no frosting, and Persimmon-Date Frosting.


Email this page to a friend or coworker

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