February 2012
Volume 11 Issue 2

Featured Recipes


The following two recipes are included in the new book The Starch Solution.  These are two of my favorite recipes, so if you haven’t tried them yet put them on your “to do” list for next week.  I have a feeling they both might make it onto your favorite list also!

Tunisian Sweet Potato Stew
We serve this stew on the 4th night of the live-in McDougall Program and the participants always fall in love with this intoxicating combination of sweet potatoes, peanut butter and spices. This is served over rice or other cooked whole grain starches.  Couscous is the national dish of Tunisia and would be the traditional choice in this North African country.  Couscous is a small pasta made from wheat, it is not a grain, so be sure to use the whole wheat variety if this is your choice of starch.

Preparation Time:  20 minutes
Cooking Time:  40 minutes
Servings:  6-8

1/3 cup water
1 onion, chopped
2 jalapenos, seeded and finely chopped
2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
2 teaspoons ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
¼ teaspoon ground coriander
5 cups peeled and chunked sweet potatoes or Garnet yams
2  14.5 ounce cans chopped tomatoes
2  14.5 ounce cans garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup green beans, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 ½ cups vegetable broth
¼ cup natural peanut butter
¼ cup chopped cilantro

Place the water, onion, jalapenos, ginger and garlic in a large pot.  Cook, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes.  Add cumin, cinnamon, red pepper and coriander.  Cook and stir for 1 minute.  Add sweet potatoes or yams, tomatoes, garbanzo beans, green beans, vegetable broth and peanut butter.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes until sweet potatoes or yams are tender.  Stir in cilantro and let rest for 2 minutes. 

Hint:  I usually make this with yams because I like the bright orange color that they give to the stew.  The chefs at The McDougall Program almost always use the lighter fleshed sweet potatoes.  The stew tastes great either way, so use whichever is more appealing or convenient for you.  If I don’t have fresh green beans on hand, I will leave them out and add 2 cups of chopped Swiss chard or kale instead (because I always have chard or kale growing in my garden).  I add the greens about 10 minutes before the end of the cooking time. This may also be made with almond butter instead of the peanut butter for those with peanut allergies, or leave out the nut butters entirely for a lower calorie version of this stew.  Serve with some Sriracha hot sauce on the side to drizzle over the top for a bit of extra heat, if desired.

Tex-Mex Potatoes

These baked potato wedges are my idea of the quintessential Mexican meal.  Even though the recipe uses some canned ingredients, fresh tomatoes, green onions and cilantro keep it tasting fresh.  This is always my choice on Mexican night at the live-in McDougall Program.  I love it with a bit of warm enchilada sauce over the top and a squirt or two of Sriracha hot sauce.

Preparation Time:  20 minutes
Cooking Time:  40 minutes
Servings:  6

6 large red potatoes, cut lengthwise into wedges
2  15 ounce cans pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup purchased fresh salsa
1  4 ounce can diced green chilies
1 small onion, chopped
1-2 cloves garlic, crushed
½ teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 tomato, chopped
¼ cup fresh or frozen (thawed) corn kernels
2 green onions, chopped

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Place the potatoes on a baking sheet and bake until lightly browned, about 40 minutes
While potatoes cook, combine the beans, salsa, chilies, onion, garlic, chili powder, cumin and half of the cilantro in a saucepan.  Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes. 
Combine the tomato, corn kernels, green onions, and the remaining cilantro in a small bowl.  Set aside.
To serve, place the baked potato wedges on a serving platter.  Spoon the warm bean mixture over the potatoes and top with the fresh tomato mixture.

The Veggie Queen Pressure Cooks Whole Food Meals

By Jill Nussinow, MS, RD

Jill Nussinow is a culinary educator, Registered Dietitian, and freelance writer who has been teaching pressure cooking throughout the US for more than 15 years.  She is the author of The Veggie Queen: Vegetables Get the Royal Treatment and stars in the DVD, Pressure Cooking: A Fresh Look, Delicious Dishes in Minutes.  She is a culinary instructor at Santa Rosa Junior College in California and also teaches culinary classes at The McDougall Program in Santa Rosa, California.

This book may be ordered on Jill’s website or ordered on www.amazon.com.

Mary’s note: I am including a few of my favorite recipes from her new book this month.  All of the recipes are vegan, and the ones that do call for a bit of oil for sautéing can easily be modified to sauté in vegetable broth or water.  If you are unfamiliar with the advantages of pressure cooking, this book would be a great place to start learning. There is an abundance of information on choosing and using a pressure cooker, plus a lot of great recipes to get you started. 

Wendy’s Curried Barley and Eggplant

Serves 4

This recipe came together right in front of one of my McDougall cooking classes for Wendy who encouraged me in the process.  We made a few adjustments to the recipe afterwards but it turned out pretty tasty for an experiment.

18 minutes high pressure; natural pressure release; 6 minutes stovetop cooking

1 medium onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2-3 teaspoons minced ginger
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 cup red and orange bell pepper, chopped
2 cups diced eggplant
1 medium potato, diced
1 medium apple, diced small OR 1/3 cup diced dried apricots
1 cup pearl barley
3 cups stock
Salt, to taste
1-2 yellow squash, diced
½ cup diced tomato, fresh or canned
Chopped cilantro, for garnish

Heat the cooker over medium heat.  Add the onion, garlic and ginger and sauté for 2 minutes, adding a bit of stock if the vegetables stick. Add the curry powder and peppers and cook another 2 minutes.  Add the eggplant, potato, apple (or apricot), barley and stock and lock the lid on the pressure cooker.  Bring to high pressure over high heat for 18 minutes.  Let the pressure come down naturally. Remove the lid, tilting it away from you.  Stir in salt to taste, squash and tomato.  Cook for 1-2 minutes on the stovetop.  Serve hot, garnished with cilantro, if desired.

Mediterranean Greens

Serves 4-6 as an appetizer on toasts or 4 as a side dish

I just love greens, especially in the winter when they taste the best.  Here they are paired with tangy, sweet and salty ingredients: a splash of balsamic vinegar, raisins or currants, and olives. This recipe is simple and delicious when served oil-free, which is what I do when I teach the McDougall program.

2 ½ minutes high pressure; quick pressure release

½ cup finely minced onion
2 pounds greens such as kale, Swiss chard, mustard, collards or a combination
   (washed but not dried, center ribs removed, cut finely)
¼ cup golden raisins or currants
Water or broth as needed (about ¼ cup)
2 tablespoons finely chopped kalamata olives
1-2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Heat a pressure cooker over medium heat.  Add the onion and dry sauté for 2-3 minutes, adding a small amount of broth if the onion starts sticking.  Add the greens and sauté for 1 minute.  Add the raisins or currants, olives and broth.  Lock the lid on the cooker and bring to high pressure over high heat for 2 minutes.  Lower the heat to maintain high pressure.  Quick release the pressure and remove the lid, tilting it away from you.  Check to make sure that the greens are cooked to your liking, if not, put back on the heat and stir for another minute or two over medium heat.  Stir in the vinegar.  Season with freshly ground black pepper.  Taste and adjust seasonings, if necessary.  Let cool a bit and serve as an appetizer on toasts or crackers or serve hot as a side dish.

Curried Quinoa Gravenstein Apple Salad

Serves 4

Quinoa is pared with in-season apples and sweet and pungent spices for an easy salad. I used local heirloom apples but use what you can get.  My husband who isn’t a quinoa fan tasted this and declared that he’d eat it anytime.  A great introduction to quinoa.

5 minutes high pressure; natural pressure release

1 cup diced onion
1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
1-2 teaspoons curry powder
½ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
½ cup broth or water
2 apples (1 chopped, 1 reserved for later)
3 tablespoons dried tart cherries
¾ cup apple juice
3 tablespoons toasted slivered almonds
Chopped Italian parsley or cilantro, for garnish

Add the onion to the pressure cooker and sauté for a minute.  Add the quinoa and cook until toasty.  Add the curry powder, cumin and cardamom and toast for 30 seconds.  Add the broth, 1 chopped apple, cherries and apple juice.

Lock the lid on the pressure cooker and bring to high pressure over high heat.  Lower the heat to maintain high pressure for 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and let pressure come down naturally.

Chop the remaining apple.  Carefully remove the lid from the cooker and fluff the quinoa, adding the reserved chopped apple and almonds. Taste and add salt and pepper, if desired.  Garnish with chopped parsley or cilantro.  Serve hot, warm, room temperature or chilled.

Bob’s Mighty Tasty Gluten-Free Cereal

Serves 3-4

I prefer to eat gluten-free cereal for breakfast as I usually feel better all day.  Luckily Bob’s Red Mill makes a mix that I like. You can find many other cereal mixes in the market, which would likely work just as well.  It’s important not to stir the cereal when you add it or when you take it off the heat. Doing so will likely result in cereal stuck on the bottom of the pan.

3 minutes high pressure; natural pressure release

1 cup water
2 cups non-dairy milk, such as unsweetened almond milk
Pinch of salt
1 cup Bob’s Red Mill Mighty Tasty gluten-free cereal (or ¾ cup cracked cereal with ¼ cup amaranth)
½ cup raisins
1 small apple, chopped
1-2 teaspoons cinnamon
3 tablespoons chopped walnuts
1-2 tablespoons agave nectar

Combine water, non-dairy milk and salt in the pressure cooker.  Stir and then sprinkle in the cereal, raisins and apple.  Do not stir.  Lock the lid on the pressure cooker.
Bring to high pressure over high heat and lower the heat to maintain high pressure for 3 minutes.  Remove from heat and let pressure come down naturally.
Remove the lid, carefully tilting it away from you.  Add the cinnamon, walnuts and agave nectar.  Serve warm.



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Dr. McDougall's Health and Medical Center
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