Thursday, May 31, 2012

Teriyaki Tofu Wraps

"Teriyaki Tofu Wraps" (page 115) make a wonderfully quick and tasty treat. Tofu strips are marinated in a teriyaki sauce, browned with red bell pepper, and rolled into a flat bread of your choice (I used flour tortillas). The recipe as written calls for a total of 4 tablespoons of oil, but I was able to reduce this to ½ teaspoon. Normally I would leave all oil out, but the marinade calls for sesame oil, which provides a distinct flavor. But instead of adding 2 tablespoons, I cut it down to ½ teaspoon, enough to capture the flavor, and used water to make up the difference. The next 2 tablespoons of oil are used to sauté the tofu and bell peppers, but with my nonstick skillet, no oil at all was required in this step. These wraps were so good, and so easy to make, I see them becoming a regular addition to my diet.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Chocolate-Banana Pudding

"Chocolate-Banana Pudding" (page 474) is pure chocolate decadence. Made with melted semisweet chocolate chips, the end result is not quite as soft as a traditional pudding (the final mixture firms up quite a bit); to me this had an almost fudge-like quality. The ingredients list is simple. Melted chocolate chips blended into puréed banana, maple syrup, and vanilla extract, and topped off with roasted chopped peanuts. The recipe serves six, and even though that might seem like small servings when you are dividing it up, this dessert is so rich the six servings recommendation makes perfect sense. Be sure to use vegan chocolate chips to keep this McDougall friendly. Not a lowfat dessert whatsoever, but occasionally I find comparable recipes in the McDougall books and newsletters. Definitely to be reserved for very special occasions!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Tempeh-Walnut "Chicken" Salad Wraps

I never get tired of sandwiches, and find myself enjoying them for lunch, dinner, and sometimes even breakfast. The recipe for "Tempeh-Walnut 'Chicken' Salad Wraps" (page 113) suggests using sliced bread or bagels as an option instead of a flatbread (wrap), and I chose to put this sumptuous filling on slices of sourdough bread. This almost reminded me of a Waldorf salad, with the inclusion of walnuts and celery, along with green onions, red bell pepper, and parsley, tossed together with steamed tempeh. The dressing was a blend of seasoned mayonnaise and Dijon mustard. Curly leaf lettuce adds a bit of green, and finishes the sandwich off quite nicely. Be sure to use an oil free vegan mayonnaise to keep this as healthy (and McDougall friendly) as possible.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Mushroom Goulash

The hearty "Mushroom Goulash" (page 326) is so delicious and the flavors are so addictive, I could probably eat this every day. A savory vegetable medley of onion, garlic, portobello mushrooms, and potato (surprised me too, but it worked!) are simmered in wine, broth, and tomato paste. Caraway seed provides the traditional seasoning you are looking for in a goulash, and instead of cabbage, this recipe calls for sauerkraut, a wonderful replacement as far as I'm concerned. Vegan sour cream is mixed into the cooked veggies, and the finished product is served over wide noodles. To keep this oil free, sauté the veggies in a non-stick skillet, and make or purchase an oil-free sour cream. With all the varieties of pastas on the market, it is getting easier and easier to find your favorite variety in a whole grain.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Quick Apple Crisp

My husband's favorite desserts are fruit based, and his favorite fruit in a dessert is apple. So, when I asked him what dessert he would like me to make for his birthday, he requested "Quick Apple Crisp" (page 472). The recipe consists of sliced apples sweetened with maple syrup, topped with a crumbly mixture of flour, oats, walnuts, brown sugar, and margarine, then baked in the oven until the apples are done and the topping is crisp. The biggest challenge was how to omit the ½ cup of margarine. In my experience, if you want that "crisp" in a dessert, it requires a fat of some kind. However, I was willing to sacrifice the crisp in order to keep the dish lower in fat, so I used a concoction of 2 tablespoons cashew butter mixed with ¼ cup applesauce to replace the margarine. This mixture provided the necessary moisture to the topping, as well as flavor, and reduced the fat from 70 grams from the margarine to just 16 from the cashew butter. My husband loved his birthday dessert!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Tempeh with Maple, Mustard, & Balsamic Glaze

In every cookbook there seems to be a handful of recipes that make me say "this recipe alone is worth the price of the book!", and the "Tempeh with Maple, Mustard, and Balsamic Glaze" (page 299) definitely falls into this category. I don't eat a lot of tempeh, and I'm sort of picky on how it's prepared, but this is hands-down the best preparation I've ever had. The tempeh is first cooked in a simmering water bath for 30 minutes, then browned in a skillet (where the recipe calls for oil, but wasn't necessary in my non-stick skillet), cooked further in a broth, then coated with the glaze. The flavors are bold and the texture is perfect. I served this alongside mashed potatoes and sautéed greens for a complete and wonderful meal.