September 2003

Vol. 2     No. 9  

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CHOCOLATE CAKE

We always serve dessert after dinner at the McDougall 10-day live in program in Santa Rosa, CA.  Many people do not feel that dinner is finished until they have dessert.  The first night we usually have brownies as a special treat and they are always a welcome surprise.  My favorite brownie recipe is in the Quick and Easy Cookbook on page 272.  They are very rich and moist and we like them even better when they have been refrigerated for a day before serving.  This chocolate dessert was developed with a more cake-like texture.  This makes a wonderful birthday cake for your special someone!  John made me promise I would caution you that these treats are for special occasions only.  They are not recommended to be a part of your daily healthy meal plan.  I make these when we are having guests over for dinner or family members are visiting from out of town.

Preparation Time:  15 minutes
Cooking Time:  25 minutes
Servings:  9-12

1 ½ cups unbleached white flour
1 cup Sucanat
¾ cup Wonderslim cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 ¼ cups chocolate soy milk
1  6-ounce container vanilla soy yogurt
1 tablespoon Wonderslim fat replacer
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ cup slivered almonds (optional) 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 

Place the flour, Sucanat, cocoa powder and baking soda in a large mixing bowl and mix well.  In a separate bowl, add the soy milk, soy yogurt, fat replacer and vanilla and mix until very smooth.  Pour this mixture into the dry ingredients and stir until well mixed.  Add nuts, if desired, and stir into batter.  Turn into a square non-stick baking pan (8 x 8 inches) and flatten into the corners with a spoon.  Bake for about 25 to 30 minutes, until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.  Cool.  Remove from pan and cut into squares.

Hints: I make this in a square, non-stick, SiliconeZone baking pan with excellent results.  After the cake has cooled slightly, remove it from the baking dish by inverting the pan before cutting into squares for serving.  If you are going to frost the cake, do so after removing from the pan but before cutting into squares.  Serve with Vanilla soy ice cream for a wonderful special occasion treat.

CHOCOLATE FROSTING

People have been asking for a frosting recipe for many years and I finally have one that I know you will enjoy.  This will make that birthday cake really special!

Preparation Time:  3 minutes
Servings:  frosts one 8 inch square cake
2 cups confectioners’ sugar (powdered sugar)
¼ cup Wonderslim cocoa powder
¼ to 1/3 cup soy milk
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract

Place the confectioners’ sugar and cocoa powder in a small bowl.  Mix well.  Stir in ¼ cup of the soy milk and the vanilla and mix well.  Add the remaining soy milk a little at a time until the frosting is a spreadable consistency.  Use to frost cakes or brownies.

WEST AFRICAN STEW

This recipe was sent in by Cheryl Christensen.  She says it is a family favorite and she often makes it for “carnivorous” company because it is so exotic.  Cheryl and her family are “Star McDougallers”.  Their story can be found on our web site.

Preparation Time:  40 minutes
Cooking Time:  30-40 minutes
Servings:  12

1 yellow onion diced
6 cloves minced garlic
3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled, 1/2 inch cubes
1 small eggplant, peeled, 1 inch cubes
1 1/2 cups mushrooms, sliced
1 each: red, yellow, green pepper, 1/2 inch pieces
2 cups okra, sliced (fresh or frozen)
1  32-ounce container of vegetable broth
1/2 teaspoon cayenne (add more if you like spicy dishes...traditionally this is hot)
3/4 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup molasses
2  28-ounce cans diced tomatoes
1/2 pound green beans, washed and tipped
1 bunch kale, collard or turnip greens, chopped in thin strips (about 3 uncooked cups)
3-4  15-ounce cans garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed 

Put the onion, garlic, sweet potato, eggplant, mushrooms, peppers and okra into a large stock pot.  Pour in the vegetable broth, and add the spices.  Cover pot and bring to a boil.  Let the veggies cook until they are just soft.

Add the molasses, tomatoes, green beans, kale, and garbanzo beans and bring pot back to a boil.  Cook for another 5-10 minutes or until the green beans are just tender. 

Serve over Basmati rice with fresh baked whole wheat bread.  This makes a lot of food but is great as leftovers. 

Hint:  If you can’t find okra in your local market, just leave it out.  It tastes just fine without the okra, but okra is a traditional African vegetable, possibly introduced into the southern US by slaves.

CANNELLINI BEAN STEW

This is another recipe that is a favorite at the McDougall Program.  It is very easy to prepare and the leftovers are great the next day.  This recipe may easily be doubled for more servings. 

Preparation Time:  5 minutes
Cooking Time:  15-20 minutes
Servings:  2

½ onion, chopped
½ -1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic (or bottled minced garlic)
½  cup vegetable broth or water
1  15-ounce can cannellini beans
1 tomato, chopped
1-2 tablespoons slivered fresh basil
several twists freshly ground pepper 

Place onion and garlic in a saucepan with the broth.  Cook, stirring occasionally for 2-3 minutes until onion softens slightly.  Add remaining ingredients and simmer for about 15 minutes to blend flavors, stirring occasionally.

Serve plain in a bowl with some bread or ladle over whole grains, pasta or potatoes.

Hints:  If fresh tomatoes are not in season, use canned diced tomatoes instead.  Substitute ¾ cup of drained, canned diced tomatoes for every 1 tomato.

RED LENTIL SURPRISE

I am always looking for quick and easy meals, and also ways to improve recipes that I have been preparing for a long time.  This is one of our favorite fast meals.  I like it because it is easy to prepare and I don’t have to attend it constantly while it is cooking.  John likes it because it is very filling and it tastes great!

Preparation Time:  10 minutes
Cooking Time:  40 minutes
Servings:  8

½ cup water
1 onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
½ teaspoon fresh minced garlic (or bottled minced garlic)
1  32-ounce box vegetable broth
1  15-ounce can tomato sauce
2 cups red lentils
1 carrot, grated
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons parsley flakes
1 bay leaf
½ teaspoon basil
1  7-ounce package baked tofu, sliced
 

Place the water in a large saucepan.  Add the onion, bell pepper and garlic.  Cook, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes, until vegetables soften slightly.  Add remaining ingredients, except for the tofu.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add tofu, stir gently and heat for about 2-3 minutes.  Serve over whole grain toast or rolls.

Hints:  This may also be made without the tofu and it is still delicious.  You could also serve this over rice or potatoes.  This reheats well so it is great as a leftover!

ISRAELI COUSCOUS SALAD

Israeli couscous can be found in most supermarkets in the ethnic foods department.  It looks like large couscous.  If you are unable to find it, another small pasta may be substituted.  Follow directions for cooking time on the individual packages.

4 cups cooked Israeli couscous
1 cups frozen corn kernels, thawed
½ cup diced green onions
½ cup diced red pepper
½ cup diced yellow pepper
½ cup minced fresh parsley
¼ cup chopped black olives
¾ cup fat-free dressing (see hint)
1 teaspoon soy sauce
¼ to ½ teaspoon fresh chopped dill weed
dash Tabasco sauce
freshly ground pepper 

Place the cooked couscous in a large bowl.  Add all the vegetables and mix well.  Combine the dressing, soy sauce, dill weed and Tabasco.  Pour over the salad mixture and toss to mix.  Season with pepper to taste.  Chill before serving.

Hint:  This is delicious with many different kinds of dressing.  Try fat-free Italian, Honey-Mustard, Raspberry Vinaigrette, Sesame or your favorite dressing.  This keeps well in the refrigerator and it easy to pack for a lunch on the go.  It is one of my favorite salads and I usually make a double batch.

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