Thursday, March 31, 2011

Creamy Vegetable Curry

Servings: 6

1 ¾ cups vegetable broth
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, sliced
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons curry powder
1 teaspoon ground coriander
¼ teaspoon cayenne (optional)
2 cups chunked Yukon gold potatoes
2 cups green beans in 1 inch pieces
1 15 ounce can chopped tomatoes
1 15 ounce can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
½ cup frozen peas, thawed
½ cup unsweetened soy, rice or almond milk
1/8 teaspoon coconut extract

Place ¼ cup of the broth in a large non-stick pot. Add the carrots, onions and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally until onion has softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the curry powder, coriander and cayenne (if using). Add the remaining broth, the potatoes, beans, tomatoes and garbanzos. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and cook over low heat for about 40 minutes, Add the peas and cook for an additional 5 minutes, or until all vegetables are tender. Mix the coconut extract into the soy, rice or almond milk. Add to the vegetable mixture and stir well to mix. Serve over brown basmati rice.

Hints: Curry powder is a mixture of spices that differs greatly by brand. Use your favorite in this recipe and if you like a bit more heat in your foods, definitely add the cayenne

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Fried Rice

Servings: 6

¼ cup water
½-1 teaspoon crushed garlic
½-1 teaspoon grated ginger
6 cups mixed chopped vegetables
4 cups cooked brown rice
¼ cup low sodium soy sauce

Place the water in a wok or large non-stick frying pan. Add the garlic and ginger and heat until water boils. Add the vegetables and cook, stirring frequently, until vegetables are crisp tender. Stir in the rice and soy sauce. Cook until heated through, about 2 minutes.

Hints: Use a variety of vegetables for color and flavor. Some examples are: carrots, broccoli, red peppers, green onions, celery, snow peas, bok choy, etc. Cut them into uniform sizes so they all cook in about the same length of time.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

SOUTHWEST RED POTATOES

Servings: 4

2 pounds red potatoes, cut into chunks
¼ cup chopped green onions
¼ cup oil free salad dressing
¾ teaspoon chili powder
½ to ¾ teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)

Boil potatoes in water to cover for about 20 minutes, or until just barely fork tender. Drain. Place remaining ingredients in a non-stick frying pan. Add potatoes, cook until coated with spices, about 5 minutes.

HINT: Adjust the seasonings slightly to suit your tastes. For example, if you don’t like spicy foods, eliminate the red pepper flakes. If you are not fond of cumin, just leave it out. Use different oil free dressings to change the flavor of these potatoes.

Monday, March 28, 2011

MIDDLE EASTERN GARBANZOS

Servings: 2

1/3 cup vegetable broth or water
1 onion, chopped
1 large ripe tomato, chopped
1 15 ounce can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon lemon juice
dash paprika
freshly ground pepper to taste
dash salt

Place the broth or water in a medium saucepan. Add onion, cook and stir over medium-high heat until onion is translucent and most of the liquid has evaporated. Add tomato and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add garbanzos and seasonings. Cook and stir until heated through. Serve over brown rice or couscous.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

BAKED POTATOES

Store all potatoes in a cool dark place. Fifty degrees is ideal.

Baked potatoes are a simple yet versatile meal. They can be eaten plain or with a wide variety of toppings. Potatoes may be microwaved if you are in a big rush, but the flavor and texture of the potato won’t be nearly as delicious as those baked in an oven. Our favorite potatoes for baking are the large brown-skinned russet variety.

Preheat oven to 475 degrees.

Scrub the potatoes well and prick them all over with the tines of a fork.

Bake potatoes directly on the oven rack, for one hour. They will be fluffy and delicious.

Never bake in aluminum foil. It makes potatoes pasty, instead of dry and fluffy. If you like potatoes this way, make sure you wrap them in parchment paper before using the foil.

Make extra potatoes for leftovers. Store unwrapped in the refrigerator. Eat them cold or reheat in the microwave.

Topping Ideas:
Salsa or barbecue sauce
Tofu sour cream and chives
Baked beans
Chili
Pea soup or bean soup
Fat free dressings
Almost any bean recipe goes great over baked potatoes.

Hints: Sweet potatoes are also delicious when baked. They should be baked at a lower temperature, about 350 degrees, for 45-50 minutes. Prick them all over with a fork and place on a baking tray in the oven. (Or place on the oven rack and put a baking tray on the shelf underneath to catch the drips.) Eat plain, either warm or cold, or try them topped with baked beans. Use the Barbecued Bean recipe from the August 2003 newsletter; or open your favorite can of healthy fat-free baked beans, heat, and spoon over the top of the sweet potato.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Harlequin Rice

Servings: 4

1 onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup chopped green onion
1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
2 1/4 cups vegetable broth
1 cup uncooked brown basmati rice
1 4 ounce can chopped green chilies
1 4 ounce jar chopped pimientos
1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
1 tablespoon parsley flakes
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 cups packed chopped spinach
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Freshly ground pepper to taste

Place ¼ cup of the vegetable broth in a large pot with the onion, bell pepper, green onion and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables soften slightly, about 3 minutes. Add the remaining broth, the rice, green chilies, pimientos, corn, parsley and cumin. Cover, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 45 minutes until rice is tender. Stir in remaining ingredients and cook for 2 minutes longer.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Garden Potato Medley

Servings: 4

4 cups chunked potatoes
1 tablespoon vegetable broth
1 onion, chopped
1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
2 ½ cups chopped fresh tomatoes
several twists freshly ground black pepper
4 cups packed chopped kale
1 15 ounce can red beans, drained and rinsed
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon chili paste (Sambal Oelek)
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro

Place the potatoes in water to cover, bring to a boil, reduce heat and cook until fairly tender, about 6-8 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Place the vegetable broth in a large non-stick frying pan. Add the onion, garlic and jalapeno. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until vegetables are very soft, about 3-4 minutes. Add tomatoes and black pepper. Cook, uncovered over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes. Add the kale and stir gently to combine. Cover and continue to cook for about 2 minutes until kale turns bright green, then add the potatoes and beans. Cook, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes, then add the soy sauce, chili paste and cilantro. Cook an additional 5 minutes, until kale is tender.

Serve warm or cold.

Hint: Use a variety of tomatoes for an attractive, colorful dish. Use small, new potatoes cooked with the skins on for best flavor. Small red potatoes or a variety of fingerlings are delicious in this recipe. If you can’t get dinosaur kale (also called Lacinato Blue), use regular kale, but remove the stems first.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

White Beans Mexicali

Serves: 4

1 small onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
¾ cup water
½ teaspoon minced fresh garlic
3 – 15 oz. cans white cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 – 15 oz. can chopped tomatoes
3 tablespoons chopped green chilies
¾ cup vegetable broth
1 teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 cups chopped fresh spinach
hot sauce to taste (optional)

Place onion, celery, carrot, water and garlic in a medium sauce pot. Cook over medium heat for 10 minutes. Stir occasionally. Add beans, tomatoes, green chilies, vegetable broth, chile powder, cumin and crushed red pepper. Cook over low heat for 20 minutes, partially covered. Add spinach and cook for 3 minutes. Season with hot sauce to taste. Serve over rice.
Hint: This freezes well and reheats easily in a microwave.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Portabella Stack with Seared Oyster Mushrooms

Servings: 2

¼ cup pearled barley
½ cup of water or vegetable broth
2 portabella mushrooms
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
1 cup oyster mushrooms, chopped
1 roasted red pepper
1 16 ounce can fire roasted chopped tomatoes
2 tablespoon lemon juice
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon salt
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon capers
2 green onions, sliced
2 tablespoons fresh tarragon leaves
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)

Place the water or broth in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the barley, reduce heat, cover and cook until tender, about 35 minutes.

Meanwhile, remove the stems and gills from the portabella mushrooms. Set aside.

Place the roasted red pepper, tomatoes, lemon juice, pepper and salt in a food processor and process until smooth. Transfer to a saucepan and add the garlic, capers, green onions, tarragon and optional red pepper for more heat. Simmer over medium heat while cooking the mushrooms.

Place the oyster mushrooms in a large non-stick skillet and sear over medium heat until they brown. Remove and set aside. Reduce heat to medium, add the portabellas and the balsamic vinegar. Cook gently until the portabellas just begin to soften and sweat, adding tiny amounts of water to keep the vinegar from burning.

To serve, place the portabellas on individual plates, gill(less) side up. Divide the cooked barley into each mushroom, top with the seared oyster mushrooms, and ladle the sauce over the top.

Hints: This recipe may easily be doubled or tripled to serve more guests. The barley may be prepared ahead of time and reheated just before assembling. The sauce may also be prepared earlier and reheated. For presentation, sprinkle some extra fresh cut tarragon or chives over the top of the stack before serving. If you can’t find oyster mushrooms, any other small mushroom will work.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

EASY MAYAN BLACK BEANS

This will serve 2 people when used as a topping for baked potatoes or rolled up in a tortilla.

Servings: 2

1 15 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup fresh salsa: mild, medium, or hot
½ cup green onions, chopped
¾ cup frozen corn kernels
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro (optional)

Place all the ingredients except the cilantro in a saucepan and bring to a gentle boil. Reduce heat, cover and cook for about 12 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the cilantro, if desired, let rest for 1 minute and serve.

Hint: This also makes a wonderful topping for brown rice, or for a simple recipe variation, add about ¾ cup of cooked brown rice to the bean mixture about 5 minutes before the end of the cooking time. This recipe adapts well to precooking: double the recipe, cook ahead of time, refrigerate half for use within the next 2 days, freezing the remainder for later use.

Monday, March 21, 2011

SWEET THAI FRIED RICE

Servings: 4-6

2 cups long grain brown rice
2-3 medium carrots
1 red bell pepper
1 green bell pepper
1 large onion
2-3 stalks celery
1 ½ cups broccoli
20 ounces canned pineapple chunks
2 tablespoons soy sauce
¼ cup vegetable broth

Begin by putting the rice on to cook, either in a pan or rice cooker.

Cut carrots in half, then cut into matchstick pieces, about 2 inches long and ¼ to 1/8 inch thick. Cut bell peppers into ½ inch squares. Chop onion into ¼ inch pieces. Slice celery lengthwise, then into 1/8 inch thick slices. Chop broccoli into bite sized pieces, like mini trees. Set all the vegetables aside in one bowl.

Drain the pineapple and reserve the liquid.

Combine ¼ cup of the reserved pineapple juice with the soy sauce and the vegetable broth. Set aside.

When the rice is within 5-10 minutes of finishing cooking, preheat a large sauté pan or wok until very hot. Add the liquid mixture (it should instantly steam and boil). Pour all of the vegetables into the pan and sauté on high, stirring frequently. When onion starts to become clear and less pungent, the vegetables are done. Add the hot cooked rice to the vegetables and mix well. Stir in the drained pineapple chunks. Reduce heat to medium and continue to cook for about 5-10 minutes, adding a bit more soy sauce and/or pineapple juice to taste as desired. Serve hot from the pan.

Hints: The rice should be hot when added to the pan, so it needs to cook while you are preparing the vegetables. Tamari may be used in place of the soy sauce. Mushroom broth or water may be used instead of the vegetable broth. The vegetables need to be cut into pieces that will all cook in about the same amount of time, since they are all added to the pan at once. You may want to experiment with your own best sized pieces to use in this dish.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Spicy Moroccan Chickpeas

Serve this over whole wheat couscous or in a bowl by itself.

Servings: 6

1 ¾ cups vegetable broth
1 onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon turmeric
¼ teaspoon black pepper
⅛ teaspoon cinnamon
⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 15 ounce cans garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 15 ounce can fire roasted chopped tomatoes
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Place ¼ cup of the broth in a large pot. Add the onions, celery, carrots and garlic. Cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes, until vegetables soften slightly. Stir in the spices and mix well. Add the remaining vegetable broth, the garbanzos, the tomatoes and tomato paste. Mix well, bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add cilantro and lemon juice and cook for another minute to allow flavors to blend.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

COSTA RICAN POTATOES AND BEANS

Servings: 4

½ to 1 cup vegetable broth
1 onion, chopped
½ teaspoon minced fresh garlic
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
2 ½ cups chopped fresh tomatoes
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
several twists freshly ground black pepper
4 cups packed chopped spinach
3 cups chunked cooked potatoes
1 15 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
hot sauce

Place ½ cup of the vegetable broth in a large non-stick frying pan. Add the onion, garlic and jalapeno. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until vegetables are very soft, adding the rest of the vegetable broth if necessary. Add tomatoes, cilantro and black pepper. Cook, uncovered over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, drop the spinach into boiling water for 1 minute. Drain and set aside.

Add potatoes and beans to tomato mixture. Mix well and cook for 3 minutes. Add spinach and cook for another minute. Season to taste with hot sauce.

Serve hot or cold.

Hint: Use a variety of tomatoes for an attractive, colorful dish. Use small, new potatoes cooked with the skins on for best flavor. Cool slightly, then cut into chunks.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Rainbow Rice

Servings: 4

1 onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
½ cup chopped green onion
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup water
1 cup long grain brown rice, uncooked
2 cups vegetable broth
1 4 ounce can chopped green chilies
1 4 ounce jar chopped pimientos
1 ¼ cups corn kernels
1 tablespoon parsley flakes
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 cups packed chopped fresh spinach
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
several twists fresh ground pepper

Place the onion, bell pepper, green onions and garlic in a large saucepan with the water. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 3 minutes, until vegetables soften slightly. Add the rice, broth, green chilies, pimientos, corn, parsley and cumin. Mix well, cover, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 45 minutes, until rice is tender. Stir in the remaining ingredients and cook for about 2 minutes longer. Serve hot.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

St. Patrick's Day Treat

Green Mashed Potatoes

1 1/2 cup lightly packed cups baby spinach leaves
3/4 lb. small potatoes, preferably yellow-fleshed
1 large garlic clove, peeled
1/4 cup finely chopped scallions, green part only
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Place spinach in food processor. Whirl, stopping as needed to scrape down sides of the bowl, until spinach is finely chopped and moist but not pureed. (This step can also be done with a large, sharp knife.) Set aside.

Place potatoes and garlic in a saucepan. Add cold water until the level is 2 inches above potatoes. Set over medium-high heat until water boils, then reduce heat and cook until potatoes are very soft, 20 to 25 minutes, depending on their size.

Drain potatoes and garlic in colander, then immediately return them to hot pot, shaking pan until potatoes look dry. With fork, roughly mash potatoes to break them up. Add spinach and scallions. Mash until potatoes are fluffy and bright green, with skins well mixed in. Spinach will be wilted rather than soft. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Gallo Pinto 2

One of the most common dishes in Costa Rica is Gallo Pinto, which is very often eaten for breakfast. It is served with either Salsa Lizano or with Pico de Gallo. Serve it on a plate or rolled up in a fresh corn tortilla.

Servings: 4

¼ cup vegetable broth or water
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cans black beans, drained (liquid reserved) and rinsed
3 cups cooked brown rice
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon salt
freshly ground black pepper

Place the water in a large non-stick frying pan and add the onion and garlic. Cook, stirring frequently until onion softens and begins to stick to the bottom of the pan. Add a bit more water or broth and repeat until onion begins to stick again. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Add a bit of the reserved liquid from the beans to make the rice look “dirty”, if desired. Cook until heated through. Serve hot with salsa on top.

Hint: To be more authentic, you can cook dry black beans in water to cover until tender (about 3-4 hours). You will need about 3 cups of cooked black beans. Save some of the cooking liquid to mix with the beans and rice.

GALLO PINTO

Servings: 8-10

Beans:
½ cup vegetable broth
1 onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
3 15 ounce cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon dried oregano

Vegetables:
½ cup vegetable broth
1 onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 tomato, chopped
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
4 cups cooked long grain brown rice
hot sauce

Beans:
Place the vegetable broth in a medium-large saucepan. Add the onion, celery and garlic. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently until vegetables are softened. Add remaining ingredients, mix well and cook over low heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Set aside.

Vegetables:
Place the vegetable broth in a large non-stick frying pan. Add onion and celery and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add tomato and cilantro and cook for another 5 minutes. Add the bean mixture and the rice. Mix well. Heat through and season to taste with the hot sauce. Remove bay leaf before serving.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Rice and Beans

Servings: 8-10

1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup vegetable broth
4 ½ cups water
2 cups long grain brown rice
3 15 ounce cans pinto beans, drained and rinsed
2 4 ounce cans chopped green chilies
1 teaspoon ground cumin
¼ to ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes

Place the onion, garlic and vegetable broth in a large saucepan. Cook, stirring frequently, until onion softens slightly, about 3 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients, mix well and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 45 minutes until rice is tender and liquid has been absorbed. Mix gently before serving. Season with a bit of sea salt before serving, if desired.

Hint: This may also be made with black or small red beans. This makes great leftovers for lunch the next day or two, or freeze half of this recipe for use later.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

SPAGHETTI SQUASH SUPREME

Look for spaghetti squash in the produce section of your market. It is a creamy yellow color, oblong shaped, and when cooked, the strands pull out like cooked spaghetti. It is very low in calories and makes an excellent substitute for cooked pasta.

Servings: 6-8

1 spaghetti squash

COOK BY ANY OF THE FOLLOWING METHODS:

1) Leave whole and prick the skin all over with the tines of a fork. Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 1 hour. Cut in half at once to stop the cooking process. Let cool briefly, then remove seeds. Rake the strands out with a fork.

2) Cut squash in half and remove the seeds. Place cut side down in a baking dish and bake for about 45 minutes. Turn over and rake out the cooked strands with a fork.

3) Cut squash in half and remove the seeds. Microwave for 10-15 minutes, cut side up in a baking dish with a small amount of water in the bottom. Rake out cooked strands with a fork.

4) Cut squash in half and remove the seeds. Place in a large steamer pot with about 2 inches of water covering the bottom. Cover and steam for about 30 minutes. Rake out cooked strands with a fork.

Serve the spaghetti squash with your favorite low fat marinara sauce for a delicious weight-loss meal. Or try the following delicious topping for your spaghetti squash.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Paella

Servings: 8

1 cup uncooked brown rice
2 cups boiling water
2 ⅓ cups vegetable broth
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
¾ cup julienned green bell pepper
¾ cup julienned red bell pepper
1 10 ounce package frozen baby lima beans, thawed
2 small tomatoes, chopped
1 teaspoon ground oregano
¼ teaspoon sea salt
⅛ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
pinch of saffron threads
1 15 ounce can water packed artichoke hearts, drained, sliced in half
1 cup frozen peas, thawed

Place the rice and boiling water in a bowl. Cover and let stand for 20 minutes, while preparing the remaining ingredients. Drain off water and set aside.

Heat the vegetable broth to boiling. Place ⅓ cup of the vegetable broth in a large slope-sided sauté pan (or use a wok). Add onion and garlic. Cook and stir over medium heat for about 2 minutes until onion softens slightly. Add peppers, lima beans and tomatoes. Cook and stir for another 3 minutes. Add the remaining hot vegetable broth and the drained rice. Stir in the oregano, salt, red pepper flakes and saffron threads. Bring to a boil, reduce heat , cover and cook for 30 minutes. Add artichokes and peas. Mix well, remove from heat, cover and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Friday, March 11, 2011

GRILLED VEGETABLES

Servings: 6-8

1 ½ pounds mushrooms, trimmed & left whole
1 long eggplant, cut in ¾ inch pieces
1 bell pepper, cut in 1 inch pieces
1 sweet onion, cut in wedges
1-2 zucchini, cut in ¾ inch pieces
1 pint cherry tomatoes
1-1 ½ cups fat free marinade or dressing

Prepare the vegetables and place in a large bowl. Pour the marinade or dressing over the vegetables and toss well to mix. Let rest for about 30 minutes, tossing occasionally to make sure vegetables are well coated with the mixture.

Heat grill to medium.

Thread the vegetables on skewers or place in a grilling basket. Grill for 10-15 minutes until vegetables are tender, but not burned.

Serve with potatoes, rice or pasta.

Hints: If you use portobello mushrooms, remove the stems and chop into chunks before using. They are delicious and meaty tasting when they are grilled. If you prefer to use whole pearl onions instead of onion wedges, drop the onions into boiling water for about 30 seconds before peeling to make the skins easy to remove. When shopping for marinades, look for ones that are bottled without oil. There are many varieties available in supermarkets and natural food stores. If you have the time, it is also easy to make your own fat free dressing or marinade.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

MUSHROOMS MCDOUGALL

Servings: 4

1/4 cup water
1 1/2 pounds fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 bunch green onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 4 ounce can chopped green chilies
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup sherry
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
fresh ground pepper to taste

Place water in a large pan or wok. Bring to a boil, add mushrooms, green onions, garlic and chilies. Cook and stir for a minute or two, then add the remaining ingredients. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently until all liquid has been absorbed, about 10-12 minutes.

Serve rolled up in a burrito shell with fresh salsa; use on top of beans in a Mexican-style burrito; or serve on top of baked potatoes. This is wonderful on almost anything!

From Mary McDougall

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

WICKED MUSHROOMS

Servings: 4

2 cups vegetable broth
1 onion, chunked
1 green bell pepper, chunked
1 ½ pounds mushrooms, cut into quarters
2 bay leaves
¼ teaspoon thyme
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 cup red wine
¼ cup tomato paste
1 tablespoon parsley flakes
freshly ground pepper to taste


Place ½ cup of the vegetable broth in a large pot. Add the onions and bell pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms, bay leaves and thyme. Cook for an additional 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the remaining broth and other ingredients. Simmer slowly, uncovered, over low heat for at least 60 minutes longer until the liquid becomes a thick sauce. Remove the bay leaves and serve hot over brown rice or other whole grains or potatoes.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Stuffed Baked Potatoes

Almost anything can go into or onto a baked potato, whether it is a white potato or a sweet potato. Both kinds of potatoes can be prepared in a microwave oven in about 8-12 minutes, depending on the size of your potatoes. However, the flavor doesn’t come close to the ones prepared in a conventional oven. This is still a fast and easy meal.

Servings: 4

4 large baking potatoes OR 4 large sweet potatoes (yams)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Prick potatoes all over with a fork. Place the white potatoes directly on the oven racks, place sweet potatoes on a baking sheet. Bake until tender when pierced or squeezed.

Meanwhile prepare the topping for your potatoes.

1. Black beans and tomatoes.

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 chopped tomatoes
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon soy sauce

Place in a saucepan and heat through. Mash slightly with bean masher, if desired. Serve over baked potatoes or yams garnished with tofu sour cream and chopped fresh cilantro (optional).

2. Curried garbanzos

1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
¾ cup vegetable broth
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 cloves garlic
2 teaspoons curry powder
½ teaspoon cumin seed

Place all ingredients into a food processor and process until smooth. Place in a saucepan and heat through. Serve over baked potatoes or yams garnished with chopped green onions.

3. Leftover bean dishes, such as soups or stews, make wonderful toppings for baked potatoes.

4. Mushroom toppings are also a good choice for both kinds of potatoes.

Monday, March 7, 2011

SWEET POTATO BEGINNINGS

Servings: 2

2 baked yams or sweet potatoes
2 bananas, peeled and sliced
1 apple, cored and chopped
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

Peel and chop the baked yams or sweet potatoes. Combine with the bananas and apples. Mix in the cinnamon. Heat briefly in a microwave oven. Serve warm.

HINTS: Yams and sweet potatoes may be used interchangeably in this (and most other) recipes. These root vegetables are sold most of the year in your markets. Sweet potatoes usually are less moist with a pale orange skin and flesh, and the root vegetables sold as yams have a reddish skin and deep orange colored flesh. These are usually very moist. This recipe may also be served cold or at room temperature.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Mexican-Spiced Summer Squash

Serves 4

1 cup diced onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon cumin powder
½ teaspoon oregano
1 ½ teaspoons chili powder
4 cups sliced squash
2 tablespoons vegetable broth
Sprinkle of salt and pepper, to taste
Chopped cilantro, if desired.

Put the pressure cooker over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté for 1 minute.
Add the garlic and spices and sauté for another 30 seconds. Add the squash and vegetable broth and lock on the lid. Turn up the heat to high and bring to high pressure. Cook for 45 seconds. Quick release the pressure. Open the lid, tilting it away from you. Taste, carefully as it is very hot, and add more seasonings, and salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot, sprinkled with cilantro, if desired.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

BASIC MEXICAN BEAN FILLING

You can use this rolled up in a corn tortilla, as a topping for a salad, as a spicy stew base, to top a baked sweet potato, added to Bean Enchiladas, or even as a topping for pizza. Ideas on how to use the filling for all of these follow this basic recipe. This may be made ahead of time and refrigerated or frozen for later use. This basic filling is easy to make over the weekend for several quick meals during the week.

Servings: makes 6 cups

1/3 cup water
2 large onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno, minced (seeds removed, if desired for less heat)
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground coriander
4 15 ounce cans pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
¼ to ½ cup enchilada sauce

Place the water and onions in a large pan. Cook, stirring frequently until onions soften slightly. Add garlic and jalapenos, stir and cook until slightly softened. Add chili powder, cumin and coriander. Mix well. Add the beans and tomatoes, stir and continue cooking for about 15 minutes. Slightly mash the mixture with a bean masher while still in the pot. Stir well. Add the enchilada sauce to taste and heat through.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Hash Browns

Servings: 2

4-5 cups shredded potatoes

Preheat a non-stick pan for 30 seconds, then add the potatoes to the dry pan. Flatten slightly, cover with a lid, and cook over medium-high heat for 5-8 minutes before turning. (Fresh shredded potatoes will cook faster than frozen shredded potatoes.) Then turn over and cook for another 7-10 minutes on the other side, turning as often as you like for even browning.

Hints: Shredded potatoes may be purchased in supermarkets and natural food stores, either frozen or fresh. Check to make sure there are no added oils. Or you can easily shred your own potatoes using a food processor. Chopped onions and peppers also make a delicious addition to Hash Brown potatoes.

weekly weigh-in

Well, I am down 1.6 lbs this week. I am very happy with that loss considering the weeks I have had previously. This way of eating seems to be working for me. It is a healthy way of feeling satisfied and I am loving some of the meals I have come up with. Last night I had rice with corn, mushrooms and tomatoes and beans and zucchini and some spices and it was really yummy and satisfying.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Szechwan Eggplant

Servings: 6

2 medium eggplants
1 ¾ cups water
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon grated ginger
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 green onions, chopped
¼ to ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Slice eggplant into ½ inch slices. Place on a non-stick baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside. Reduce oven heat to 350 degrees.

Meanwhile, combine the remaining ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly until mixture thickens and clears. Remove from heat and set aside.

Place the eggplant in a 9x12 inch baking dish, overlapping slices as necessary. Pour the sauce over the eggplant and bake for 20-30 minutes until eggplant is very tender.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

SOUTHWESTERN WHITE BEANS

Servings: 6

1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup corn kernels, fresh or frozen
3 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.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

SQUASH FRIES

Servings: 2

1 butternut squash

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Peel the squash and remove the seeds. Cut into french fry shapes. Place on a non-stick baking sheet in a single layer. Sprinkle with salt, if desired. Bake for 20 minutes, then flip over and bake for an additional 20 minutes. They will get lightly brown and crispy, but still be a bit soft in the center. Delicious!

**NOTE TO MY FRIENDS**
Come on in for a nice cup of coffee and a chat about my weight loss journey as well as all the healthy recipes I have found, including WW points and/or nutritional information if available. I am eating a vegetarian diet and concentrating on getting healthy and hopefully weight loss will follow. Thank to all my readers for their ongoing support.