August 2003

Vol. 2     No. 8  

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In the summer we like to serve quick and easy meals, simple to make and also delicious when reheated.  That way you can make the food ahead of time and simply heat on the stovetop or in the microwave for a fast supper.  One of my favorite easy meals is “sloppy joes”.  We really enjoy several of the bean varieties that are found in the Quick & Easy Cookbook;  for example, the Black Bean Sloppy Joes on page 134 and the Disorderly Lentils on page 116. The following recipe is delicious on whole wheat buns, with your favorite condiments, or serve it as a main dish over brown rice or other whole grains.

BARBEQUED BEANS

Preparation Time:  15 minutes
Cooking Time:  20 minutes
Servings:  6-8 

½ cup water or vegetable broth
1 onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
1 ½ teaspoons dry mustard
1 ½ teaspoons chili powder
½ teaspoon ground cumin
3  15 ounce cans pinto, pink or red beans, drained and rinsed
1  8 ounce can tomato sauce
1 ½ tablespoons molasses
½ tablespoon cider vinegar
Dash or two Tabasco sauce

Place the water or broth in a large pot with the onion, bell pepper and garlic.  Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until vegetable are soft and liquid is almost gone.  Stir in the mustard, chili powder and cumin.  Mix well.  Add remaining ingredients, stir well to mix, and cook over low heat about 15 minutes. 

Hint:  Use all one kind of bean, or try it with one can of each. 

For those of you that aren’t quite ready for a bean “sloppy joe” or would like a bit more variety, try this recipe for Soy Sloppy Joes.  This is also usually a favorite with those folks you’d like to convert to healthier eating.  These freeze and reheat very well.

SOY SLOPPY JOES

Preparation Time:  15 minutes
Cooking Time:  15 minutes
Servings:  8

1 cup vegetable broth
1 onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
1  12 ounce package soy “ground round”
1  15 ounce can tomato sauce
1  6 ounce can tomato paste
1 tablespoon brown sugar
½ tablespoon prepared mustard
½ tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
½ tablespoon cider vinegar
½ teaspoon chili powder

Place ½ cup of the vegetable broth in a large non-stick frying pan.  Add the onions, bell pepper and garlic.  Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until vegetables soften and start to stick to the bottom of the pan.  Add the remaining vegetable broth and repeat the process until the vegetables are very soft.  Then add the remaining ingredients and mix well.  Cook, stirring frequently for about 5 minutes until well heated. 

Serve on buns with your favorite condiments. 

Hints:  There are many varieties of soy burger crumbles on the market.  Look for ones with no  animal products or added fat.  The product that I use is made by Yves Veggie Cuisine.  It is called Ground Round, Veggie Original.  You may use bottled “fresh” minced garlic in this recipe to save time.  Look for vegetarian Worcestershire sauce in your natural food store.

My apple tree has an abundance of fruit this time of the year, so I always look for ways to use more apples.  I make a lot of baked apples, in the microwave or in the oven.  There is an easy recipe for Microwaved Baked Apples in the Quick & Easy Cookbook on page 271.  Another favorite is Apple Crisp.  This recipe is delicious with any kind of apples, although I prefer the tart green ones myself.

APPLE CRISP

Preparation Time:  20 minutes
Cooking Time:  40-50 minutes
Servings:  9

4 large firm apples, peeled and sliced
1 tablespoon lemon juice
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ cup raisins or currents
¾ cup Grape Nuts cereal
¾ cup rolled oats
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ cup maple syrup
2/3 cup apple juice
1 teaspoon cornstarch

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place the apple slices in a bowl and toss with the lemon juice and cinnamon.  Place in a non-stick square baking dish and sprinkle with the raisins or currents.

Mix the Grape nuts, rolled oats and cinnamon in a separate bowl.  Stir in the maple syrup.  Spread evenly over the apples.  Whisk the apple juice with the cornstarch until well mixed, then pour over the apples and topping.  Bake for 40 to 50 minutes until apples are tender.

Serve warm or cold.

We just returned from a fantastic McDougall Adventure trip to Costa Rica.  We traveled with 90 other people, some of them were avid McDougallers and some of them weren’t quite sure they wanted to eat vegan food.  Everyone ate the food and loved it.  We’ve even had people write and tell us they’ve stuck with the diet since returning home and are feeling great. (See Costa Rica article.) The native dish in Costa Rica is Gallo Pinto, a combination of black beans, rice and seasonings.  We enjoyed this for breakfast daily, along with many other delicious creations from the chef in our hotel.   Serve this topped with salsa and rolled up in a corn tortilla.  This keeps well in the refrigerator and also reheats well.

GALLO PINTO

Preparation Time:  15 minutes (need cooked rice)
Cooking Time:  30 minutes
Servings:  8-10 

Beans:
½ cup vegetable broth
1 onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
3  15 ounce cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon dried oregano

Vegetables:
½ cup vegetable broth
1 onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 tomato, chopped
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
4 cups cooked long grain brown rice
hot sauce

Beans:
Place the vegetable broth in a medium-large saucepan.  Add the onion, celery and garlic.  Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently until vegetables are softened.  Add remaining ingredients, mix well and cook over low heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Set aside. 

Vegetables:
Place the vegetable broth in a large non-stick frying pan.  Add onion and celery and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.  Add tomato and cilantro and cook for another 5 minutes.  Add the bean mixture and the rice.  Mix well.  Heat through and season to taste with the hot sauce.  Remove bay leaf before serving.

This is another delicious Costa Rican bean and vegetable dish.  Black beans are available almost everywhere is this country, either served plain with tortillas or combined with rice and/or vegetables. 

COSTA RICAN POTATOES AND BEANS

Preparation Time:  30 minutes (need cooked potatoes)
Cooking Time:  30 minutes
Servings:  4

½ to 1 cup vegetable broth
1 onion, chopped
½ teaspoon minced fresh garlic
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
2 ½ cups chopped fresh tomatoes
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
several twists freshly ground black pepper
4 cups packed chopped spinach
3 cups chunked cooked potatoes
1  15 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
hot sauce

Place ½ cup of the vegetable broth in a large non-stick frying pan.  Add the onion, garlic and jalapeno.  Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until vegetables are very soft, adding the rest of the vegetable broth if necessary.  Add tomatoes, cilantro and black pepper.  Cook, uncovered over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, drop the spinach into boiling water for 1 minute.  Drain and set aside.

Add potatoes and beans to tomato mixture.  Mix well and cook for 3 minutes.  Add spinach and cook for another minute.  Season to taste with hot sauce. 

Serve hot or cold.

Hint:  Use a variety of tomatoes for an attractive, colorful dish.  Use small, new potatoes cooked with the skins on for best flavor.  Cool slightly, then cut into chunks.     

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