November 2012
Volume 11 Issue 11

November 2012 Recipes

Spicy Pumpkin Soup
This soup is spicy, yet creamy, a perfect first course for your holiday dinner.  It’s easy to prepare ahead and reheat just before serving, another plus for those busy family mealtimes.
Preparation Time:  10 minutes
Cooking time:  20 minutes
Servings:  8-10 as a first course

2 ¼ cups vegetable broth
1 small mild onion, diced
1 teaspoon crushed garlic
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
¼ teaspoon white pepper
1  15 ounce can plain pumpkin
1 ½ cups non-dairy milk

Place ¼ cup of the vegetable broth in a large soup pot with the onion and garlic.  Cook, stirring frequently until onion becomes very soft.  Stir in all the spices and mix well.  Add remaining broth and pumpkin and whisk until smooth.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the non-dairy milk and heat through.
Using an immersion blender, puree the soup in the pot until smooth. (Or remove in batches to a blender and process until smooth.  Return to pan.) Soup may be refrigerated for later reheating at this time.
Heat slowly, being careful not to boil, and serve in small soup bowls as a first course for your holiday meals.
Hints:  1 ½ cups of any type of cooked, pureed winter squash may be used in place of the canned pumpkin.  Try Butternut or Acorn for the richest flavor.  If using canned pumpkin, be sure to buy the plain pumpkin, not the pumpkin pie mix variety.


NaraNara’s Potato Veggie Vegan Yum Soup
Serves 4

3 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, diced small
2 large Yukon gold potatoes, diced large
1 patty pan squash, diced large*
4 cups (or one carton) of veggie broth
1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 large handful of spinach
¼ cup cashews
2 Tablespoons nutritional yeast

*(or whatever tickles your fancy from the farmer’s market)

Saute garlic and onion in a splash of veggie broth. Add the remaining veggie broth, potato and patty pan squash. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until potatoes are soft. Turn off heat. Take 1 cup of soup (broth, veggies and all) and place in blender with cashews and nutritional yeast to make a “cheesy” sauce. Add spinach, garbanzo beans and blended sauce to the pot. Stir and cook 3 minutes more. Season with salt and fresh cracked black pepper as desired. Enjoy! Yum!

Mary’s note:  This recipe was sent to me by a long-time follower, Jen Duffie. She says her daughter, Nara, age 9,  is very adventurous in the kitchen.  She goes to the farmer’s markets and spends her own money on whatever interesting fruits and vegetables her $5 will buy and then comes home and concocts her own recipes and names them. This recipe is a particular favorite and Nara asked her mom to send it to me. I think it is fantastic that Nara is starting out at an early age loving to cook delicious foods in her family kitchen. She is an inspiration for all young people to get in the kitchen and start cooking!

Tea House Vinaigrette

By Linda Vallin

I love all of the tofu-based dressings, but sometimes I just want a big bowl of fluffy greens with a nice vinaigrette. My pre-McDougall standard was 1/3 c. red wine vinegar, 2/3 c. olive oil, 2 cloves garlic, salt and pepper.  I love Ann Esselstyn's magic walnut sauce, and something I stumbled on while surfing the web recently started me thinking about how to modify it into a vinaigrette. The article suggested lowering the fat in salad dressings by substituting black tea for some of the oil. This is what I came up with. It clings nicely to the lettuce leaves, has just the right amount of acidity, and tastes great!

1/3 cup walnuts
2/3 cup decaf black tea (cooled)
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
2 large cloves garlic
Black Pepper and salt to taste

Put the first three ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.  Squeeze the garlic through a garlic press and add to dressing ingredients. Season with black pepper and salt, if desired, while tossing with the salad ingredients.

*Substitute pecans for the walnuts and use fig or balsamic vinegar
*Substitute almonds for the walnuts and use rice vinegar and jasmine tea, maybe with a bit of ginger instead of the garlic
*Make the Oriental Dijon dressing from the Quick & Easy Cookbook (my all-time favorite), but use decaf oolong, green or jasmine tea in place of the water
*Use 1/3 cup green olives (cured in brine, no added oil) in place of the walnuts.
*Add fresh herbs

Lindsay NixonHappy Herbivore Abroad
New Book by Lindsay Nixon

In the last 10 years, Happy Herbivore chef Lindsay Nixon has lived in 8 states, visited 46, spent a year as an expat on a Caribbean island, and traveled to more than 35 places abroad.  As a celebration of Nixon’s jet-setter lifestyle, Happy Herbivore Abroad, combines traditional comfort foods from home with international inspiration and stories of her adventures.
A little of everything--basics, comfort food, international cuisine, and travelogue--Happy Herbivore Abroad provides your palate with more than 135 of Nixon’s crowd-pleasing recipes low in fat, high on health, and made with everyday ingredients.  True to the Happy Herbivore creed, these vegan dishes are easy to make, easy on your wallet, and completely plant-based.
Lindsay S. Nixon is a rising star in the culinary world and the author of the top-selling Happy Herbivore cookbook series, praised for her ability to use everyday ingredients to create healthy, low-fat recipes that taste just as delicious as they are nutritious. To learn more about Lindsay and sample a few more of her recipes go to  This book may be ordered on her website or on  The recipes that follow are from her new book.
Mary’s Note:  Another fabulous book from Lindsay Nixon, a McDougaller since 2008, with amazing recipes and no need to “adapt” them by leaving out the oil, etc.  These are recipes I would use in my kitchen everyday.

Cuban Black Bean Soup
Serves 2
½ small onion, chopped
1 ½ tsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1 15-oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 ½ c vegetable broth
¼ c prepared salsa
1 ½ tsp lime juice
2 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped (garnish)
1-2 green onions, sliced (garnish)
corn chips, crumbled (garnish)
hot sauce or cayenne pepper (optional)

Line a skillet with a thin layer of water (or vegetable broth).  Sauté onion over high heat until translucent--about 2-3 minutes.  Add chili powder and cumin, and stir to combine.  Then add beans, vegetable broth, and salsa.  Bring to a boil, then reduce to low and simmer for 10 minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in lime juice.  Transfer half of the mixture to a blender and puree until mostly smooth.  Mix puree back in with soup.  Garnish with cilantro, green onions, and broken corn chips.  You can also drizzle with hot sauce or add cayenne pepper to taste, if desired.
Chef’s Note:  You can make your own corn chips from corn tortillas.  Crisp tortillas in a toaster oven or oven (350 degrees) for a few minutes until crisp.

Serves 3
8 oz vegetable broth
1 onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 carrots, skinned and chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
2 tbsp fresh thyme, divided
2 tbsp fresh parsley, divided
1 tomato, diced
2 tbsp tomato paste
1  15-oz can white beans (any kind), undrained
thyme sprig (garnish)

Line a large pot with a thin layer of vegetable broth and sauté onion and garlic over high heat until onions start to become translucent, about 2 minutes. Add carrots, celery, and remaining vegetable broth and bring to a boil.  Once boiling, reduce to medium, cover, and keep cooking until carrots are softer but still firm, about 5 minutes.  Add 1 tbsp fresh thyme, 1 tbsp fresh parsley, diced tomato, and tomato paste, stirring to combine.  Continue to cook until carrots are fork tender and soft, but not mushy or falling apart—about 4 more minutes.  Stir in beans (with liquid) until well combined and add remaining fresh thyme and parsley.  Reduce heat to low and cook until beans are warm. Ladle into a bowl and garnish with a thyme sprig.

Mediterranean Chard
Serves 2
Vegetable broth, as needed
8 garlic cloves, minced
red pepper flakes
2 tsp capers
1/3 c olives, sliced thin
2-3 c chard, chopped
1 tsp lemon (zest)

Line skillet with a thin layer of vegetable broth and sauté garlic and a pinch of red pepper flakes over high heat for a minute or two, until the garlic is golden in color, fragrant, and most of the broth has cooked off.  Add enough broth to line the skillet again, then add capers and olives.  Sauté for a few seconds, then add greens.  Stir to combine and continue to cook, using tongs or a spatula to stir the greens around, incorporating them with the other ingredients and to help cook them down.  Once greens are darker in color and softer, about 2-3 minutes, turn off heat.  Add lemon zest and stir to combine before serving.
Chef’s Notes:  Feel free to scale back the garlic. If you are not a garlic lover 8 cloves might be overpowering. While any olive will do here, kalamata olives are best.

Cheater Pad Thai
Serves 2
¼ lb thick rice noodles
2 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
1 tbsp smooth peanut butter
1 tbsp sweet red chili sauce
¼ tsp granulated garlic powder
¼ tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp hot sauce
3 oz bean sprouts
chopped raw peanuts (optional garnish)
lime wedge (optional garnish)

Prepare rice noodles according to package directions.  In a small bowl, whisk 2 tbsp warm water, soy sauce, peanut butter, chili sauce, garlic powder, ginger, and hot sauce together until combined.  It may appear too runny at first, but it’s not.  Taste, adding more hot sauce if desired.  Using tongs, toss prepared noodles with the sauce until all noodles are evenly coated.  Plate and top with bean sprouts.  Garnish with chopped raw peanuts and a lime wedge, if desired.
Variation:  Double the sauce.  Cook one 15-oz package of frozen stir-fry veggies according to package instructions and toss with the sauce and noodles.

Moroccan Vegetables
Serves 2
1 c vegetable broth
1 tbsp tomato paste
ground cinnamon
ground ginger
½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp ground coriander
¼ tsp paprika
½ red onion, diced
1 carrot, skinned and sliced
1 zucchini, sliced
1 yellow squash, sliced
¼ c raisins, chopped
cayenne pepper

In a measuring cup, whisk broth with tomato paste, a few dashes of cinnamon and ginger, cumin, coriander, and paprika until well combined.  Line a skillet with a thin layer of the broth mixture and sauté onions and carrots over high heat until onions are softer and translucent.  Add remaining broth and vegetables, plus raisins, stirring to combine.  Once boiling, cover and reduce to low and simmer until vegetables are fork-tender but not mush, about 5-7 minutes.  Enough liquid should be left to coat everything, but if not, add a splash of water or vegetable broth.  Add cayenne as desired plus salt to taste.
Chef’s Note:  Add some chickpeas with the vegetables if desired.  Serve over quinoa or whole wheat couscous.



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