Monday, November 28, 2011

Potatoes Stuffed With Fennel & Peas

Any kind of stuffed potato is bound to be a hit with me, and the "Potatoes Stuffed With Fennel & Peas" (page 342) didn't disappoint. Sautéed onion and fennel, green peas, green onions, and spices are added to previously baked and mashed potatoes.  All this is scooped back into the potato skin shells and baked for a while longer to heat everything through. The recipe calls for sautéing the onion and fennel in olive oil, but I just used a little water instead.  It also calls for drizzling more oil on top of the potatoes before the final bake, but I skipped that altogether, and sprinkled a little paprika on them for color.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Mexican Fideo Soup with Pinto Beans

Converting the "Mexican Fideo Soup with Pinto Beans" (page 159) to an oil free dish presented a bit of a challenge. You are supposed to fry the fideo noodles in two tablespoons of oil before adding to the soup, and having had traditional fideo dishes in the past, I'm quite sure the frying step is integral to the intended outcome of this dish.  However, I decided I would be content with the altered texture of the non-fried noodles, and proceed with the recipe using boiled pasta instead of fried.  That being said, I followed the rest of the recipe as written and ended up with a very tasty Mexican style soup, replete with the rich flavors of chilies, cilantro, oregano and cumin.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Chickpea & Vegetable Loaf

The "Chickpea and Vegetable Loaf" (page 265) is one of the few recipes I've come across so far that did not include oil, and required no changes to keep it McDougall friendly. I was more than pleased about that!  The loaf is a mixture of shredded vegetables (carrots, onions, potatoes), combined in a food processor with chickpeas, flour (gluten or chickpea - I used gluten to give the loaf more chew), seasonings, and spices. The only moistener in the recipe outside of the chickpeas, is 1 tablespoon soy sauce, which was not enough liquid to hold all the ingredients together.  As I have had to do with other burger and loaf recipes from this book, I ended up adding a small amount of broth to the dry ingredients to help pull everything together. The end result was a delicious veggie loaf that was wonderful served with potatoes and gravy the night I made it, and just as satisfying as a vegan "meatloaf" sandwich filling later on.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Chickpea & Fennel Soup

The "Chickpea and Fennel Soup" (page 156) is a delicious, warming soup that uses fresh fennel, both the bulb and the fronds, as well as ground fennel seed.  The tomato based broth uses canned crushed tomatoes, and with the addition of orzo, the final outcome is a little minestrone-like (only much simpler).  The only change I made to keep this soup within the McDougall guidelines was omit the oil when sautéing the onions. A sprinkle of vegan parmesan cheese at the table is a nice addition.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Pear Crumble

Trying to convert most desserts to an oil-free, whole-grain version can be quite challenging.  By nature, dessert tends to be sweet (lots of calories), dense (processed grains), and usually include some sort of oil or fat that can't be easily replaced with another ingredient. For that reason, I don't indulge in them very often. But when pears came into season this Fall, I got the urge to try one of the fresh fruit desserts in this book.  I chose the "Pear Crumble" (page 473) and made a few adjustments to keep it on the healthier side.  I replaced the all-purpose flour with whole wheat pastry flour, the ½ cup margarine with 2 tablespoons each of cashew butter and baby food prune puree, and I cut the sugar down by ½ cup. Sliced fresh pears are sprinkled with sugar and spice, topped with a crumbly mixture of flour, oats, and sugar, and baked in the oven until done.  Even with my adjustments, this was a wonderful dessert, not too sweet, not too fat, but still tasted very rich and satisfying.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Three-Bean Chili

Chili is such a vegan friendly dish.  With all the different beans, veggies, spices, and optional meat substitutes to chose from, the combinations are endless.  The "Three Bean Chili" (page 249) combines black, white, and red kidney beans along with onion, garlic, tomatoes, mild green chiles, plus a little zing from chili powder and canned chipotle.  If you used canned beans, you can have chili on the table in about an hour, and the flavor improves over time (a good thing, since this makes a very large pot of chili for just two people).  The only alteration needed to keep this within the McDougall guidelines was omitting the oil when sautéing the onion.