Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Seitan Milanese with Panko & Lemon

"Seitan Milanese with Panko and Lemon" (page 308) is a quick and easy dish found in the Main Dishes section, but would also make a great appetizer or meal starter. The biggest challenge was figuring out how to prepare this without frying the seitan. Of course, anything can be baked instead of fried, but you won't end up with the same crispy golden crust obtained when you fry something.  In this recipe, chunks of seitan are breaded with seasoned panko crumbs, then pan fried (per the recipe), or, as I modified the recipe, baked (to omit the oil, yet retain the crumb topping). Instead of moistening the seitan chunks with water before breading, I used soymilk so they would brown a little better in the oven. Lemon wedges are served on the side to be used as desired once the seitan is cooked.  I also mixed up a cocktail style sauce, using ketchup and prepared horseradish, which made a wonderful dipping sauce. This is fun food!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Rotini Remoulade

As you may have noticed, I am not averse to substituting pasta varieties in recipes, based on what I have on hand, and personal preferences.  Such was the case with the "Rotini Remoulade" (page 93), where I used bow tie pasta instead of rotini. This is a simple salad that combines cooked pasta with small amounts of onion, celery, and bell pepper, then dresses it with remoulade, a mayo based sauce livened up with capers, relish, lemon juice, ketchup, mustard, and Tabasco sauce. Normally I find I need to cut back on the amount of pasta called for because I prefer a smaller ratio of pasta to sauce or dressing, but in this recipe 8-ounces (as written) worked perfectly. This is very easy to keep within McDougall guidelines if you choose an oil-free mayo. If you can stop yourself from eating all four servings in one sitting, the leftovers are delicious, too!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Rustic Cottage Pie

If you like shepherd's pie, you will adore the "Rustic Cottage Pie" (page 316), the vegan version of this fantastic comfort food.  Mixed vegetables (onion, carrot, celery, peas, and corn) and seitan are mixed with Mushroom Sauce (reviewed on this blog), spread into a casserole dish, topped with mashed potatoes, and baked in the oven. Not only is this a delicious and warming dinner, it is very healthy, chock full of colorful vegetables. It's easy to leave the oil out when sautéing the veggies, and instead of margarine, mash the potatoes with broth and a sprinkle of nutritional yeast.

Saturday, December 17, 2011


This time of year there is nothing I enjoy more than a hot bowl of soup. "Ribollita" (page 153), which literally means "re-boiled", is a Tuscan soup very similar to minestrone.  Chock full of veggies - onion, carrot, cabbage, kale, and potato - simmered in a tomato based broth, made hearty by the addition of white beans, and finally, ladled over pieces of toasted Italian bread. For the sake of the photograph, and to appease my husband, I floated the pieces of bread on top of the soup, rather than covering them, as you can see in the picture. The recipe called for 3 tablespoons of oil, 2 for sautéing the veggies, and 1 to drizzle over the individual servings.  I omitted the oil in both instances, and still had fabulous results.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Drunken Spaghetti with Tofu

Usually my husband prepares any recipe that calls for a wok, as he is the stir-fry king in our house.  But since the "Drunken Spaghetti with Tofu" (page 240) could technically be prepared in a wok or a large skillet, I decided to try this dish myself - in the large skillet, of course! Sautéed onion, bell pepper, garlic, and snow peas are combined with previously cooked strips of tofu, then tossed together with the prepared noodles, spicy Asian sauce, and fresh basil. According to the recipe notes, these noodles are called "drunken" due to the spiciness of the dish, since hot chiles are said to be a hangover remedy. To keep this dish McDougall friendly, I omitted the oil when sautéing both the tofu and veggies, using my non-stick skillet with excellent results.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Butternut Soup with a Swirl of Cranberry

The abundance of butternut squash available this time of year makes the "Butternut Soup with a Swirl of Cranberry" (page 170) a healthy and delicious way to enjoy this vegetable powerhouse.  The soup is a blend of puréed squash, onion, potato, and carrot, in a broth seasoned with allspice and ginger. It's so easy to make, and the cranberry swirl (a mixture of cranberry sauce and orange juice) is an especially pretty touch, offering a bright spot of contrasting color and flavor.  This soup would make a wonderful first course at a holiday meal. The only change I made to was to omit the oil when sautéing the veggies, thus keeping the dish virtually fat-free.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Seitan & Potato Torta

"Seitan and Potato Torta" (page 315) is a layered casserole, and a perfect dish when warm-out-of-the-oven food is what you want.  Sautéed onion and spinach are mixed with sliced seitan and seasonings, then layered with sliced potatoes in either a deep or shallow casserole dish. The final layer is a sprinkle of vegan parmesan cheese, right before popping into the oven for around one hour.  This gives you plenty of time to prepare any other dish(es) you might be having with the torta, or to clean up from the preparation.  To keep this McDougall compliant, I omitted the oil both when sautéing the onion, and when called for to brush the layers of potatoes (here I used a little broth instead).  Leftovers where just as good the next day.