October  2002    Vol. 1   No. 10

We serve delicious Asparagus Basil Soup at The McDougall Program in Santa Rosa, CA.  There are a couple of ways to prepare this soup, one of them takes much less time and is just as delicious, although the asparagus flavor may be more pronounced in the one that takes more time.  Both versions follow:


Preparation Time:  30 minutes
Cooking Time:  60 minutes
Servings:  4

5 cups water
3 cups chopped asparagus
1 cup chopped onion
2-4 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon thyme
2 potatoes, chopped
1 bunch fresh basil, chopped

Place the water in a large pot, add asparagus, onion, garlic, and thyme.  Bring to a boil, cover and cook for about 30 minutes, until asparagus is falling apart.  Puree and return to pot.  Add potatoes and cook until potatoes are soft, about 20 minutes longer.  Puree, add basil, and simmer for 5 minutes.  Season to taste.


Preparation Time:  10 minutes
Cooking Time:  10 minutes
Servings:  4

2 cups vegetable broth
2 cups chopped asparagus stalks
1 cups frozen chopped hash brown potatoes
1 cup water
1 cup asparagus tips
1 cup soy or rice milk
cup chopped fresh basil

Place the broth, asparagus stalks, and potatoes in a medium pan.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and cook for 5 minutes, or until asparagus is just barely tender.  Remove from heat and puree until smooth.

Meanwhile, place the water and asparagus tips in a small saucepan.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and cook for 5 minutes.  Drain and set aside. Add soy or rice milk to pureed soup, mix well.  Add basil and heat through.  Stir in asparagus tips. Adjust seasonings to taste and serve at once.


In the September 2002 newsletter there were several recipes for wraps.  Since that time we have enjoyed other wraps, usually because of something that was leftover from the night before.  Wraps are a great way to use leftovers for lunches the next day or two.  I also received an e-mail from Laurie on the East Coast telling me that she found a healthy lavash made in Massachusetts.  She also mentioned a wrap idea that she enjoys, also by using leftovers from the day before.  She used a leftover bean filling from tortillas (mashed kidney beans, jalapeno peppers, cayenne pepper, and garlic) and added coleslaw that had marinated a few days in apple cider vinegar and spices.  Another wrap that we have really liked was made using Black Bean Chili, Avocado Salsa, and Tofu Sour Cream (newsletter recipes from June 2002) tossed with Chili Garlic Tofu Cubes (recipe follows) and folded into a whole wheat tortilla.  E-mail us some of your favorite wrap ideas.


Preparation Time:  10 minutes
Cooking Time:  30 minutes
Servings:  4-6

1 pound firm tofu, cut into cubes
cup vegetable broth
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon lime juice
to 1 teaspoon Chili Garlic Sauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix the broth with the seasonings in a medium bowl.  Add the tofu cubes and toss to mix.  Place in a single layer in a non-stick-baking dish.  Bake for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Hint:  Use as a condiment in various wraps.  Chili Garlic Sauce is sold in many supermarkets in the ethnic section.  It adds a wonderful spicy flavor to many dishes.


This recipe was created by Roberta Joiner of Santa Cruz, CA, who was a participant in the July 2002 McDougall Program in Santa Rosa, CA.  Roberta is an excellent cook and she has been back to the program twice already to teach an alumni cooking class with much success. We look forward to having her with us in future programs.

Preparation Time:  15 minutes
Cooking Time:  50-55 minutes
Servings:  makes 1 square baking pan

Dry Ingredients:
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup whole wheat flour
cup fat free granola
cup unbleached white flour
cup chopped walnuts
1 teaspoon baking powder

Wet Ingredients:
2 bananas, mashed
2/3 cup applesauce
2/3 cup soymilk
2 teaspoons vanilla 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine dry ingredients in one bowl and beat wet ingredients together in another bowl.  Mix briefly, just until moistened.  Place in a square or round non-stick baking pan, smooth out the top, and bake for 50-55 minutes, until top is browned and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Hint:  This loaf may easily be varied by changing the ingredients used in the recipe.  For example, to make a wheat-free loaf, use spelt flour instead of the whole wheat flour and brown rice flour instead of the unbleached white flour.  Try raisins instead of the cranberries and/or rice milk instead of the soymilk.  This may be cut into squares and frozen for later use, or cut into wedges and bag separately for a snack on the go.

Product Information:  I make this in a round cake pan from SiliconeZone.  It is a bright red, plastic non-stick baking dish that is flexible.  It goes in the oven and is very easy to clean.  When removing from the oven, let cool briefly (bakeware is cool to the touch in about 2 minutes) then invert while peeling away from the baked goods.  SiliconeZone makes a variety of this red, non-stick, flexible bakeware:  loaf pans, square baking dishes, muffin tins, baking trays, and small trifle pans to name a few.  Watch for more recipes using this product over the next several months.

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