September 2015      << Home             Printer Friendly PDF         Volume 14 Issue 09

Mary McDougall's Featured RecipesFeatured Recipes


During the fall months I usually make a lot of vegetable soups, stews and chili dishes. They are easy to start in the morning and then just let them cook for several hours.  You'll have enough for dinner and several days of leftovers for lunches.



This is our favorite vegetable soup.  It makes a wonderful meal with a loaf of fresh bread. It also reheats well and we like to have it for several lunches during the week.


Preparation Time:  30 minutes
Cooking Time:  3 hours
Servings:  8


1 ¼ cups dried red kidney beans
8 cups water
1 onion, chopped
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 stalk celery, sliced
1 carrot, sliced
6-8 fingerling potatoes, chunked
1 ½ cups fresh green beans, cut into 1½ inch pieces
1 cup tomato sauce
¼ cup parsley flakes
1 ½ teaspoon basil
1 ½ teaspoons oregano
½ teaspoon marjoram
¼ teaspoon celery seed
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
1  15 ounce can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1  15 ounce can chopped tomatoes
1 zucchini, chopped
1 ½ cups shredded cabbage
½ cup uncooked whole wheat elbows
Place the beans in a large pot with water to cover.  Bring to a boil, cook for 2 minutes, turn off heat and let rest for 1 hour.  (To eliminate this step, soak beans overnight.)  Drain off water.  Add onion, garlic and 8 cups of fresh water.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and cook for 1 hour.  Add celery, carrot, potatoes, green beans, tomato sauce and all the seasonings.  Return to a boil, reduce heat and cook for 45 minutes.  Add the garbanzo beans, canned tomatoes and zucchini.  Cook for another 30 minutes.  Then add the cabbage and pasta and cook for an additional 30 minutes. 


Hints:  I have many varieties of minestrone that I make throughout the fall and winter months, but this one is our favorite.  You may use any type of uncooked pasta that you like, we also like spaghetti broken into 2 inch pieces in this soup.  To change the flavor of this soup a bit, stir in a tablespoon or two (or more) of oil free pesto.


This is a meal in a bowl, very satisfying and filling.  It may be served with or without the Avocado sauce.  All you need is a good loaf of fresh whole grain bread to complete the meal.

Preparation Time:  45 minutes
Cooking Time:  60 minutes
Servings:  6

1  32 ounce carton vegetable broth
12 ounces boiling onions, cleaned and left whole
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Roma tomatoes, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 small sweet potato, peeled and chunked
2 medium red-skinned potatoes, chunked
1 carrot, sliced ¼ inch thick
¼ cup uncooked long grain brown rice
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
3 zucchini, sliced ½ inch thick
¼ to ½ head of cabbage, cut in large pieces
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro

Place the vegetable broth in a large pot.  Add onions, garlic, tomatoes, celery, potatoes, carrot, rice, jalapeno and cumin.  Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and cook for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add remaining vegetables, except the cilantro, and cook an additional 30 minutes.  Stir in the cilantro.  Season with some freshly ground pepper and a dash of salt, if desired.  Serve in a bowl and top with Creamy Avocado Sauce if desired.

Hints:  Frozen whole boiling onions may also be used to save time. Use about 1 ½ cups.  To clean fresh whole boiling onions, drop them into boiling water for a minute, then they will peel easily.


Preparation Time:  5 minutes
Servings:  6

1 ripe avocado
3 tablespoons fresh cilantro
1/3 cup water
½ to ¾ teaspoon Tabasco sauce
½ teaspoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon soy sauce

Peel and pit the avocado and place in a food processor.  Add the remaining ingredients and process until smooth.  Place in a bowl and use a small amount as a topping on each bowl of the South American Stew.


My family really likes bean dishes and so I am always trying out new and interesting recipes.  I have made this one several times during the past month with the different variations and served it in several different ways.  It is quick and easy to prepare and is also great for lunch or a snack the next day or two, if it lasts that long.

Preparation Time:  20 minutes
Cooking Time: 30-35 minutes
Servings:  6

1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup corn kernels, fresh or frozen
3   15 ounce cans white beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups chopped fresh tomatoes
1  4 ounce can chopped green chilies
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
3 cups fresh chopped, kale, chard or spinach
hot sauce to taste (optional)

Place 1/2 cup of the broth in a large pot.  Add onion and garlic.  Cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes, until onion is soft.  Add corn, beans, tomatoes, chilies, and seasonings.  Mix well.  Bring to a boil, cover partially and simmer over low heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add greens and cook for an additional 10 minutes (only 3 minutes for spinach).  Season with hot sauce to taste. 

Serve over baked or roasted potatoes, whole grains, or rolled up in a tortilla.  This is also wonderful served in a bowl with some fresh bread on the side.

Hints:  When fresh corn is in season, slice the kernels off 1 or 2 ears to use in this recipe.  To use frozen corn, thaw first under cold running water (place in a strainer and hold under the water for about a minute).  Bottled minced garlic may be used, you'll need about 1 1/2 teaspoons.  If fresh tomatoes are unavailable, or not very appealing at certain times of the year, use drained, canned chopped tomatoes instead.  Any variety of canned white beans may be used. Try either small, white beans or large cannellini beans.  Smoked paprika is available in most natural food stores.  It adds a delicious flavor to this dish.  If you cannot find it, leave it out or use regular paprika instead.  Any leafy green is delicious in this recipe.  Adjust the cooking times according to the greens used.


I make many variations of chili during the fall and winter months.  Some of them take a long time to cook and seem to warm up the kitchen while they are cooking.  This chili only takes 40 minutes to cook but it will warm you up when you eat it.  It is just the thing for those days that never seem to have enough hours for cooking.  It also tastes great reheated so you can take it with you for lunch (it will stay warm in a thermos).

Preparation Time:  15 minutes
Cooking Time:  40 minutes
Servings:  6-8

1 large onion, chopped
½ green or red bell pepper, chopped
½ yellow or orange bell pepper, chopped
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/3 cup vegetable broth
2  15 ounce cans stewed tomatoes
2  15 ounce cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1  15 ounce can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1  15 ounce can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 ½ tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
dash salt
several twists of freshly ground black pepper


Place the onion, bell peppers, garlic and vegetable broth in a large pot.  Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes.  Add remaining ingredients, mix well and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Serve in a bowl with some bread on the side, or serve over brown rice or a baked potato.



Soups are the perfect one pot meal.  All you need for dinner is a hearty soup and a great loaf of fresh whole grain bread.  This is also the time of year that many gardens have an abundance of vegetables ready to harvest for your soup.  This soup can easily be varied to contain whatever is most prolific in your garden this year.  This also reheats well and freezes well.
Preparation Time:  45 minutes
Cooking Time:  60 minutes
Servings:  8

½ cup water
1 onion, chopped
2-3 teaspoons minced fresh garlic
2 carrots, peeled and sliced into rounds
2 stalks celery, sliced
3 cups chopped Roma tomatoes (about 12)
6 cups vegetable broth
2 15 ounce cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 cups sliced zucchini
2 cups small cauliflower florets
2 cups thinly sliced green cabbage
2 cups thinly sliced Swiss chard
½ cup small uncooked pasta
¼ cup slivered fresh basil
several twists freshly ground black pepper


Place the water, onion, garlic, carrots, and celery in a large soup pot.  Cook, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes.  Add tomatoes, broth, beans, and soy sauce.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and cook for 10 minutes.  Add zucchini, cauliflower, and cabbage.  Continue to cook for 15 minutes.  Add Swiss chard and pasta and cook for an additional 10 to 15 minutes, or until pasta is done.  Stir in fresh basil and pepper.



This is the time of the year when sweet potatoes and yams are found in abundance in all of our markets.  Choose firm, smooth potatoes of either type for this recipe.  The varieties that are sold in most markets in the US are all sweet potatoes.  The yams are not really true yams, but are so labeled to distinguish them from the lighter fleshed sweet potatoes.  The ones that are labeled yams have a brighter orange color and their flesh is more moist.


Preparation Time:  20 minutes
Cooking Time:  60 minutes
Servings:  6-8


1 onion, chopped
4 ½ cups vegetable broth
2 jalapenos, seeded and chopped
3 cups peeled, chunked sweet potatoes or yams
3 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 cup soy or rice milk
1-2 tablespoons fresh slivered basil
1 tablespoon brown sugar
dash cayenne pepper (optional)


Place ½  cup of the broth in a medium pot.  Add the onion and cook stirring occasionally for 3-4 minutes.  Add the jalapenos and cook for another 2 minutes.  Add the remaining broth, the potatoes and carrots.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and cook for about 45 minutes or until vegetables are tender. 


Process in batches in a blender and return to pan, or use an immersion blender and process until the soup is smooth.  Add soy or rice milk, basil, brown sugar and cayenne, if desired.  Simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.


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