February 2016    
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Featured Recipes


VICKI BRETT-GACH is a Certified Vegan Lifestyle Coach and Educator through Main Street Vegan Academy, and a Certified Personal Chef through Wellness Forum Health. Vicki completed training in Nutrition for a Healthy Heart, and earned a Certificate in Plant-Based Nutrition through the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies. Vicki is Forks Over Knives Plant-Based Certified, and is a chef with the Plant Based Nutrition Support Group team.


Vicki coaches individual clients, and teaches a variety of heart-healthy vegan cooking classes to groups of all sizes. Connect with Vicki's Ann Arbor Vegan Kitchen blog and on Facebook.

Slow Cooker Baked Apples

Makes: 3 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours


1/2 c water
3 baking apples (like Pink Lady)
1/4 c rolled oats
1 t cinnamon
1 t apple pie spice
6 small dried apricots, diced
1 pitted date, diced
1 T maple syrup


Pour the water into the bottom of a medium 3- or 4-quart slow cooker.

Wash and core the apples, taking care to avoid puncturing the base of the apples. (A melon baller or a teaspoon works well for this.) Peel only the top third of each apple.

Into a small bowl, add the remainder of the ingredients (oats, spices, dried fruit, and maple syrup), and combine very well. Stuff the apples evenly, using all of the filling mixture.

Carefully place the apples into the slow cooker. Cover and bake for 2 hours – on the low setting for a newer slow cooker, or the high setting for an older one, or until the apples are just tender. (Each slow cooker seems to have its own personality.)

Serve warm.

Salad Wraps with Beans and Greens

Makes: 2 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: none


2 large whole-grain tortillas
oil-free, tahini-free hummus or Baba Ghannouj
1 c fresh spinach leaves, chopped (or other salad greens)
6 leftover spears of steam-sautéed or roasted asparagus (or other cooked vegetable)
1 c leftover Spiced Beans, Peppers, and Onions* (recipe below)


Spiced Beans, Peppers, and Onions

1 onion, diced
1 green pepper, chopped
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 tablespoon Mexican Seasoning


Spread the tortillas with a layer of hummus.

Cover most of the hummus with the spinach, from one end all the way across to the other.
Add the asparagus down the center of each tortilla.

Spoon the Spiced Beans, Pepper, and Onions mixture over the top of each tortilla. Carefully roll the tortillas as tightly as you can.

To slice, cut the wraps into halves. Line up halves, and cut each one into halves again, and serve.

Directions for the spiced bean mixture:

Steam-sauté onion and green pepper in a hot pan until tender.

Add beans and seasoning, and continue to cook together until well combined, and heated through. Store in the refrigerator for preparing the wraps above.


Prepare the Spiced Beans, Peppers, and Onions mixture ahead of time and store in refrigerator for wraps any day of the week.

Time crunch? Just mix 1 cup of salsa with a can of drained and rinsed beans instead.



Easy Buddha Bowl

Makes: 1 serving
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes



1 to 2 c of fresh salad greens (red romaine, baby spinach, baby kale, radicchio, etc. )
1 to 2 c of a variety of raw or steamed chopped vegetables (carrots, celery, zucchini, bell peppers, broccoli, etc.)
1/2 to 1 c of cooked whole grain and/or starchy vegetable (brown rice, quinoa, butternut squash, corn, etc.)
1/2 c of cooked beans (black beans, chickpeas, edamame, hummus, tofu, tempeh, etc.)
Garnish (fresh herbs, dried fruit, olives, diced dill pickles, raw nuts, etc.)
Dressing (splash of salsa, flavored vinegar, fresh-squeezed citrus juice, etc.)


Place a bed of fresh greens at the bottom of your bowl.


Over the greens, place next to one other, just like friendly neighbors, the other vegetables, along with grains and beans.


Garnish with your choice of herbs, dried fruit, nuts, etc. Dress as desired.
Enjoy your creation.



Shortcut Brown Rice Risotto with Carmelized Onions, Butternut Squash, and Broccoli

Makes: 4 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes*
Cook Time: 20 minutes*
Total Time: 40 minutes*



1/2 medium sweet onion, diced
1/2 t fresh garlic, minced
2 1/2 c butternut squash, cubed
1 head broccoli, cut into florets
2 c water
4 c cooked brown rice (leftover cold rice works best)*
1 c vegetable broth
1/4 c dry white wine
1/4 c soy milk, plain unsweetened
1 t Kosher salt (or to taste)
1/2 t black pepper (or to taste)
Optional Crunchy Garnish:
Toasted whole grain breadcrumbs or/and finely chopped roasted pecans


In a large saucepan or electric skillet, sauté diced onion in a few splashes of the measured water (to prevent sticking) for 3 to 5 minutes, or until softened.

Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute more.


Add the butternut squash and the remainder of the water, and cook for several minutes on a fairly high flame until the vegetables are tender.


Then add the broccoli florets, and continue to cook just until the florets turn bright green.
Into the pan of vegetables, add the cooked brown rice, along with the broth and the white wine.


Lower the heat if needed to allow the liquids to simmer slowly with the rice and the vegetables for just a few minutes, until mostly, but not entirely absorbed.


Stir frequently to keep from sticking to the pan.

Once the broth and the wine are almost completely absorbed, add soy milk for a little creamy

finish. Combine briefly (but thoroughly) until the rice mixture is creamy. Remove from heat.

Season to taste, and garnish with toasted breadcrumbs or roasted pecans, if desired.

Serve immediately.

Tips: Leftover cooked (cold) brown rice works best in this recipe, and was not included in the cooking time.

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