Thursday, August 29, 2013

Spicy Southwestern-Style Pizza

"Spicy Southwestern-Style Pizza" (page 132) may seem a little unusual at first glance, but if you don't confine yourself to traditional pizza toppings, there really is no limit to what you can try. In this preparation, Basic Pizza Dough is topped with pinto beans, salsa, green chiles, kalamata olives, and cilantro. This is like having a burrito on a pizza, especially if you add the optional vegan cheese (I opted not to this time). And by the way, I did finally find a round pizza pan small enough to fit into the oven of my 5th wheel!
"Keeping it McDougall Friendly" checklist:

ü  Make or buy a whole grain oil free pizza dough.

ü  Omit the oil when preparing the bean topping - you won't miss it - just add the chili powder directly to the beans.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Carrot Soup with Ginger

What is it about creamy soups that make them so elegant? The "Carrot Soup with Ginger" (page 169) is made with the most unassuming of ingredients - onions, carrots, and potatoes - yet, when combined in a light broth with fresh ginger and a squeeze of lemon, these basic vegetables are transformed into something their humble "roots" wouldn't otherwise suggest. Once all the vegetables are simmered until soft, the soup is puréed in a blender, then topped with fresh snipped chives, or another herb of your choice, such as parsley, basil, or dillweed. This world class soup makes a great start to any meal, or just combine it with a big green salad and homemade bread and be more than satisfied.

"Keeping it McDougall Friendly" checklist:

ü Omit the oil when sautéing the veggies. Instead, use a non-stick soup pot and replace the oil with water, sherry, or broth.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Lemon-Drenched Banana-Macadamia Bread

"Lemon-Drenched Banana-Macadamia Bread" (page 403) was an instant hit in our house! Sweet, tart, rich, and satisfying, a little goes a long way and it is the perfect dessert bread sure to please all. It starts out as banana bread, but has elements of a Lemon Jello Cake, something my mother used to make when I was growing up (does anyone else remember this?). What really sets this bread apart from traditional banana bread is the lemon syrup that gets drizzled into the warm loaf after taking it out of the oven (after poking holes in it to catch the syrup). This infusion of flavor makes every bite "a flavor explosion", just like the recipe notes say! The recipe calls for 1/3 cup of oil, but I replaced this with a scant ½ cup of applesauce (one snack size container) and that, along with the bananas, provided plenty of moisture. The macadamia nuts are a nice switch from the walnuts usually found in banana bread, but be aware, they are also a lot higher in fat. I highly recommend this treat for any special occasion.
"Keeping it McDougall Friendly" checklist:
ü   Replace the 1/3 cup of oil with 1/3 to ½ cup of unsweetened applesauce.
ü    Use whole wheat pastry flour instead of all purpose (white) flour.
ü    Use a non-stick baking pan, one that does not need to be oiled first.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Black Bean & Walnut Croquettes

In his pre-vegan days my husband was very fond of salmon croquettes especially the ones his mother used to make when he was growing up. When I came across the recipe for "Black Bean & Walnut Croquettes" (page 267) I was hopeful these might become a new favorite for him, something to fill in the gap and augment his original memory of this dish. Of course, nobody can compete with Mom, especially in the kitchen, but I dare say we have found a very suitable and delicious alternative to call upon in the future. These croquettes are made from ground walnuts, green onions, black beans, and gluten (plus additional herbs and spices) which are shaped into small plump patties, coated in breadcrumbs (I used the panko variety for extra crunch), and (if you follow the recipe) fried in oil. Rather than frying them, I omitted the two tablespoons of oil and baked the croquettes on a non-stick baking sheet. The addition of the gluten adds a nice chewiness to the croquettes, along with the walnuts (which also add richness). I prepared a simple cocktail sauce of ketchup, hot chili paste, horseradish, and sugar for dipping each bite into. This dish will definitely make its way to our table on a regular basis.
"Keeping it McDougall Friendly" checklist:

ü Rather than frying the croquettes in oil, bake on a dry non-stick baking sheet, or line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
ü  Use whole-grain, oil-free breadcrumbs. Panko crumbs are usually a good option, but check the label, as some brands have begun adding oils to the ingredients list.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Chilled Beet Soup

Be prepared for a bowlful of red when you make this soup! Not only are there red beets in the "Chilled Beet Soup" (page 184), there is also red onion and crushed tomatoes - another recipe in this book that follows what I've affectionately tagged "The Theme of Threes":  Taking one of the ingredients and using it three different ways, whether it be the color of a food (as in this recipe), or using a single food in three different incarnations (such as using whole sesame seeds, tahini, and sesame oil). This close cousin of borscht is a puréed combination of cooked beets, potato, carrot, onion, and tomatoes, just slightly sweetened with the addition of apple juice. The soup is simmered on the stove top prior to blending, and then chilled for several hours before serving. Top with TofuSour Cream (page 574) and chopped fresh dill or chives. This is a wonderful soup to serve on a warm summer day.
"Keeping it McDougall Friendly" checklist:

ü Use a non-stick soup pot when sautéing the veggies; use water or broth as the sautéing liquid.