Monday, September 1, 2014

I had all but decided not to participate in Vegan MoFo this year, because I really didn't have anything new to post, when it occured to me that I ought to share the recipes and food creations from the McDougall Friends Facebook group.

What is the McDougall Friends Facebook group? I'm glad you asked! As a long-time fan of Dr. McDougall and a big Facebook junkie, I decided to start the McDougall Friends group a little over 2 years ago. I expected a few people might like to come together to chat about our experiences, what we were eating and support each other but I had no idea it would grow like it has. We are closing in on 4,000 members (at the end of August). It has become a terrific group and amazing place to get support from like-minded people.

So join me this month to see all the wonderful whole food, plant-based and no added oil recipes and creations the McDougall Friends have come up with.

Marinara Sauce by Michael P. Klunker

1 large onion, peeled
4 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
3-4 carrots, peeled and cut up
1 large red pepper, seeded and rough chopped

Combine all the above in a food processor. You want all the pieces to be very small. Mine were the size of oatmeal or smaller.  Add to a large saute' pan. Do not turn heat on just yet.

Add to the food processor one 8 oz. package of mushrooms. I used cremini mushrooms. Make sure they are clean of any debris. Pulse until they are also small chunks. Add to the other veggies in the pan and mix well. Turn on the heat to medium. You will want to add all the spices at this point and then stir and begin to saute.

1 tsp. kosher salt
4 tsp. oregano
2 tsp. thyme
1 T onion powder
1 T garlic powder
2 tsp. Italian seasoning

You want to saute all the above for about 10 min. until the onions and carrots are soft.  Now hold on, because we are not done. You will need a large crock-pot. Add all the veggies to the crock-pot and add:
6 15oz. cans of tomato sauce. I got a good deal on organic.
1 small can of tomato paste
1 tsp. browning sauce. This can be picked up at the store and used for many things. I make my own but this is what it looks like:
Mix everything very well with a wooden spoon and set the crock-pot to low. Now walk away. Don't be tempted to lift the lid or to stir. Let it cook for at least 6 hours. I let mine go 10 hours. One hour before you remove from heat, add 2 T sweetener of choice. I used agave nectar. You can use sugar, maple syrup or brown sugar, or no sweetener at all. (it really does make a difference though). 

This recipe made enough for 3/4 of a gallon. I have 1/2 gallon mason jars and it filled one up and 1/2 of another. It freezes well and keep in the fridge for a week. Make sure you let it cool well before you put in the freezer or fridge.

Adjust this recipe as you want. Add whatever herbs you want. Basil would be very good in this and experiment as you want. The main thing is that the cooking time be low and slow.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

I never know what to bring as a finger food that is McDougall friendly. This morning, though, I found this recipe in one of Dr. McDougall's letters and thought it looked perfect. I can't wait to try it.

Spicy Garbanzo Pinwheels
Chilling Time: 2 hours

1 15-ounce can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
2 green onions, chopped
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 ½ tablespoons grated fresh ginger
½ teaspoon minced fresh garlic
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
½ teaspoon honey (optional)
dash hot sauce, if desired
fat-free tortillas
shredded carrots
grated red cabbage
alfalfa sprouts
green onions

Combine the beans, 2 green onions, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, rice vinegar, honey, and hot sauce to taste in a food processor and process until smooth. Refrigerate before using to allow flavors to blend. Adjust seasonings, if necessary, after mixture has been refrigerated for at least 1 hour.

Spread the garbanzo mixture on the bottom of a large tortilla, almost to the edge. Layer with shredded carrots, grated red cabbage, alfalfa sprouts, and julienned green onions. Roll up tightly like a log, then slice into thick pinwheels, about 1 ½ inches thick. Serve cold or at room temperature.

Hint: If you are making these ahead of time, do not slice until shortly before serving. Roll the logs into parchment paper, then roll tightly in foil. Keep in the refrigerator until ready to slice.

This garbanzo spread also makes a delicious sandwich filling, dip for vegetables or crackers, or a stuffing for pita bread.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Most of the meals I make are not labor intensive and I don't spend much more than 30 minutes preparing and serving (cooking time varies).  Sometimes, though, I need meals that take even less time, especially on Sunday's after church and everyone is hungry and wants to eat NOW!

It's during these times that I turn to my favorite quick and easy meals that my helpers (crockpot, rice cooker, etc.) and I use to get food on the table quickly.

  • Use rice that you have precooked or, as I do, put your rice and water into the rice cooker while you get everything else going.
  • Put a small amount of water in a hot skillet and add frozen veggies (I like to use a California Medley).  You can also buy a blend that is put together specifically for stir-fry that might include mushrooms and water chestnuts.  I always include water chestnuts.
  • Put soy sauce and chowmein noodles on the table, serve up the rice and and your veggies.  Done.
Couscous topped with Black Beans
  • Start heating water for your couscous
  • The most time-consuming job for this meal is chopping your toppings and that takes very little time!  We use chopped onions, tomatoes, soy sauce and guacamole.
  • Heat black beans that you have previously cooked or use canned.
  • The very last thing you should do is cook your couscous.  It takes 5 minutes or less and when it is ready, you want to serve it immediately or it will clump - that is why I wait until everything else is ready to start cooking it.
  • Serve up the couscous and black beans and let everyone add their favorite toppings
Pad Thai (Happy Herbivore)
  • Put on water to boil for your pasta
  • Mix together your sauce (basically water, soy sauce, peanut butter, water and chili sauce)
  • Add frozen vegetables to the cooking pasta until they are heated through.
  • Strain pasta and veggies, return to pot and add sauce
  • Done!
Baked Potato Halves topped with Chili
  • Preheat oven to 350°
  • Cut potatoes in half and place face-down on a lined baking sheet, cook for 1 hour (I do this earlier in the day).
  • Prepare your favorite chili recipe earlier in the day.
  • At mealtime, top baked potatoes with chili and enjoy
What's your favorite Quick and Easy Go To meal?

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

This giveaway is closed. Congrats to our winner, Dawn!

I have heard so many good things about Better Than Vegan by Chef Del Sroufe so I did not pass up the opportunity to review it when the chance came my way.

First of all, let me just say that it is a beautiful book.  The full sized colored pictures makes me want to prepare everything I see!  I have long been a fan of cookbooks that don't jam 3 and 4 pictures on one page and this one fits the bill.  It's well laid out and easy to read.

The biggest problem I had with this book is knowing where to start first!  I went with simple to begin and chose the Tangy BBQ Baked Beans.   Mmm!!  It will go perfectly with the cornbread recipe I will share with you at the end of this post!

I am particularly anxious to try his Cauliflower Puree.  He uses it as a base in several recipes, such as to make a creamy sauce, and it just sounds wonderful!

Would you like to win a copy of this cookbook?  It is simple to enter - all you have to do is leave a comment and answer this question:  Do you follow a plant-based diet?  The giveaway will close June 30 and a winner will be announced on July 1st.


Serves 8

I love cornbread with soup or chili for lunch or dinner, or even with some apple butter on it for a quick breakfast. Applesauce is a good substitute for eggs and oil in baking and you won’t taste it.
1 1/2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
1 1/2 cups cornmeal
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons Best Date Syrup Ever (page 83)
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 cups unsweetened almond milk

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture by scooping the flour to the side of the bowl with a spoon, and add the date syrup, applesauce, and almond milk to the well. Then gently fold the liquid mixture into the flour mixture. Spoon the batter into an 8 × 8 inch square nonstick baking dish and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the pan comes out clean. Let cool before serving.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

I've been "dabbling" with plant-based food for a couple of years or so but it has only been in the last year that I finally decided I was going to try tofu.  I have used it in a recipe that creates a ricotta-like cheese in a pasta dish and I have baked it to use in stir-fry.  My family loves both recipes (I am not so crazy about the baked yet but I'll keep trying).  So, with more determination, I recently (in the last few months) decided to go for the tofu scramble - win!!!

We love it, oh yes we do!  I would have NEVER thought I would say that about tofu, but it's true.  Combined with the right ingredients it has a delicious taste; and while it looks like scrambled eggs and has some what of a eggy taste (thanks to the black salt), it isn't exactly like scrambled eggs.  Might I say it is a tad bit better?  I think so!

Here's how I did it step by step - this is the Happy Herbivore recipe I used.

Spinach and onions aren't in the original recipe but they are SO good added to the scramble.  I chopped them first so they would be ready to go.

I added the tofu and all the ingredients to my poor excuse for a skillet, turned on the heat and started mashing the tofu and mixing the ingredients.  Once it is heated through, it is basically through.

But first I had to add my spinach and onions and let it cook for a few minutes.

Oh my, doesn't this look good?  I wrapped my scramble in a warm tortilla and topped it with a little Siracha sauce.  I have some more tofu.  Maybe I should make one for dinner as well...

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

I was pretty excited about Happy Herbivore's new challenge.  I joined in with the #HH28 Challenge last  year and was so motivated.  To be honest, a new challenge every month would do me a world of good!

The new challenge (as you can see) is called the 28-Day Live Better Challenge.  Everyday Lindsay sends out an email to everyone who signs up to participate.  The first two are full of motivation and I can only expect that the others will be also!

Things You Should Know:

There's a Facebook Group:  28LiveBetter
Twitter hash tag:  #28LiveBetter
Sign up Here:  28 Day Challenge

I know I won't be blogging daily but I'll check in often.  I'm excited to actively work on specific things during this challenge.  Join now!