November 2003

Vol. 2     No. 11  

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Recipes

SOUTHWESTERN WHITE BEANS

My family really likes bean dishes and so I am always trying out new and interesting recipes.  I have made this one several times during the past month with the different variations and served it in several different ways.  It is quick and easy to prepare and is also great for lunch or a snack the next day or two, if it lasts that long.

Preparation Time:  20 minutes
Cooking Time: 30-35 minutes
Servings:  6

1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup corn kernels, fresh or frozen
3 cans white beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups chopped fresh tomatoes
1  4 ounce can chopped green chilies
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
3 cups fresh chopped, kale, chard or spinach
hot sauce to taste (optional)

Place 1/2 cup of the broth in a large pot.  Add onion and garlic.  Cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes, until onion is soft.  Add corn, beans, tomatoes, chilies, and seasonings.  Mix well.  Bring to a boil, cover partially and simmer over low heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add greens and cook for an additional 10 minutes (only 3 minutes for spinach)  Season with hot sauce to taste.

Serve over baked or roasted potatoes, whole grains, or rolled up in a tortilla.  This is also wonderful served in a bowl with some fresh bread on the side.

Hints:  When fresh corn is in season, slice the kernels off 1 or 2 ears to use in this recipe.  To use frozen corn, thaw first under cold running water (place in a strainer and hold under the water for about a minute).  Bottled minced garlic may be used, you'll need about 1 1/2 teaspoons.  If fresh tomatoes are unavailable, or not very appealing at certain times of the year, use drained, canned chopped tomatoes instead.  Any variety of canned white beans may be used. Try either small, white beans or large cannellini beans.  Smoked paprika is available in most natural food stores.  It adds a delicious flavor to this dish.  If you cannot find it, leave it out or use regular paprika instead.  Any leafy green is delicious in this recipe.  Adjust the cooking times according to the greens used.

POTATO ENCHILADAS

You will need a batch of the enchilada sauce from the May 2003 newsletter recipe for Bean Enchilada Casserole.  You may either make one-third of the recipe amount to use in this dish, or make the full recipe amount and serve the extra sauce on the side for those who enjoy more sauce on their food.  (It is easy to reduce this sauce recipe by thirds-I make this frequently to serve with our favorite bean burritos.)

Preparation Time:  15 minutes
Cooking time:  50 minutes
Servings:  4-6

4 medium-large firm potatoes, peeled and diced
1 onion, chopped
1-2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
1/2 to 3/4 cup vegetable broth
2 jalapenos, seeded and minced
1 teaspoon chili powder
freshly ground pepper
1 cup fresh spinach, thinly sliced
½ cup grated soy cheddar cheese
8 fat free flour tortillas
2 ½ cups enchilada sauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cook potatoes in water to cover until almost tender, about 5 to 7 minutes.  Drain and set aside.

Place the onions and garlic in about ¼ cup of the broth in a large non-stick frying pan.  Cook, stirring frequently until onion softens slightly.  Add jalapenos and another ¼ cup of the broth.  Cook for an additional minute.  Add potatoes, mix well and continue to cook and stir.  Add the remaining broth, the chili powder and several twists of freshly ground pepper.  Cook and stir for another minute.  Add the spinach and soy cheese.  Mix well.  Remove from heat and set aside.

Place ½ cup of the enchilada sauce in the bottom of a lightly oiled baking dish. (To lightly oil a baking dish, place a small amount of oil on a paper towel and rub over the bottom of your baking dish.)

Take 1 tortilla at a time and spread a line of about ¼ cup of potato mixture down the center of each tortilla.  Roll up and place seam side down in the baking dish.  Repeat until all filling is used.  Pour remaining sauce over the tortillas.  Cover and bake for 30 minutes.

Serve with extra enchilada sauce on the side or with some fresh salsa.

Hints:  Any type of fresh, firm potatoes may be used in this recipe.  Try red potatoes, Yukon Gold, Yellow Finn, white or purple potatoes.  Bottled minced garlic may be used instead of fresh garlic.  If you do not have fresh jalapeno peppers, use 2 tablespoons of canned, chopped green chilies instead.  Add some fresh or frozen (thawed) corn kernels to the potato mixture along with the spinach for variety, if desired.

SWEET POTATO BISQUE

This is the time of the year when sweet potatoes and yams are found in abundance in all of our markets.  Choose firm, smooth potatoes of either type for this recipe.  The varieties that are sold in most markets in the US are all sweet potatoes.  The yams are not really true yams, but are so labeled to distinguish them from the lighter fleshed sweet potatoes.  The ones that are labeled yams have a brighter orange color and their flesh is more moist.

Preparation Time:  20 minutes
Cooking Time:  60 minutes
Servings:  6-8

1 onion, chopped
4 ½ cups vegetable broth
2 jalapenos, seeded and chopped
3 cups peeled, chunked sweet potatoes or yams
3 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 cup soy or rice milk
1-2 tablespoons fresh slivered basil
1 tablespoon brown sugar
dash cayenne pepper (optional)

Place ½  cup of the broth in a medium pot.  Add the onion and cook stirring occasionally for 3-4 minutes.  Add the jalapenos and cook for another 2 minutes.  Add the remaining broth, the potatoes and carrots.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and cook for about 45 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

Process in batches in a blender and return to pan, or use an immersion blender and process until the soup is smooth.  Add soy or rice milk, basil, brown sugar and cayenne, if desired.  Simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

POLENTA TRIANGLES with ROASTED RED PEPPER RELISH
By Jill Nussinow, MS, RD

Jill is our very talented cooking instructor at the McDougall Program in Santa Rosa, CA.  During our first McDougall Alumni Program that took place from November 7 thru November 10, 2003 she demonstrated some delicious holiday appetizers.  This is one of those recipes.

Preparation Time:  10 to 30 minutes
Cooking Time:  10 minutes
Servings:  8-10 as an appetizer

Polenta:
1 ¼ cups coarsely ground cornmeal
3 ½ cups water
1 teaspoon salt

Bring the water to a boil in a medium pot.  Stir in cornmeal.  Reduce heat.  Cook, stirring constantly for 5 to 10 minutes, or until spoon will stand straight up in the cornmeal mixture.  Pour onto a baking sheet and flatten into a thin layer.  Refrigerate for 15 to 20 minutes until cooled.  Cut into triangles and place on plate.  Serve at room temperature topped with the relish.

Variation: Add some fresh chopped herbs when cooking the polenta. To save some time: buy precooked polenta (sold in “logs” in natural food stores), slice and bake for 10 minutes.  Cool.  Cut each slice in half and proceed with the recipe.

Relish:
1 ½ cups roasted red peppers(sold in jars) or 2 large red peppers, roasted
2 tablespoons capers
1 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1 clove garlic, pressed
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar

Finely chop the roasted red peppers, either by hand or in a food processor (don’t let them get mushy). Combine with the remaining ingredients.  Let this mixture sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes to allow flavors to meld.  Serve on top of the polenta.

APPLE-PRUNE CRISP with HAZELNUT TOPPING
By Roberta Joiner

Roberta is a McDougall Program alumnus and she teaches a very creative cooking class at most of the regular McDougall Programs.  This is a recipe she adapted into a healthy dessert.  It is delicious!  This would make a wonderful addition to your holiday dessert menu.  Remember:  this is meant for a special treat, not an everyday dessert.

Preparation Time:  30 minutes
Cooking Time:  40 minutes
Servings:  9

Filling:
1/3 cup sugar
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon unbleached white flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon apple pie spice
2 large Granny Smith apples (about 20 ounces), peeled, cored and diced
½ cup pitted prunes, chopped

Topping:
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
¼ cup unbleached white flour
¼ cup rolled oats
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ cup prune puree (see hints)
1 cup hazelnuts, toasted and chopped (see hints)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Filling:
Mix sugars together in a large bowl.  Stir in flour, cinnamon and apple pie spice. Mix in apples and prunes.  Let stand about 5 minutes.  Place in a lightly oiled 8 inch baking dish.  (See directions in recipe for Potato Enchiladas on how to lightly oil a baking dish.)  Bake until beginning to bubble at edge, about 20 minutes.

Topping:
Mix sugar, flour, oats and salt in a medium bowl.  Add prune puree.  Mix with your fingers until clumps form.  Add hazelnuts and mix well.  (This is very sticky.  Use disposable gloves, if desired.)  Scatter topping over pre-cooked filling.  Continue to bake for another 20 minutes, until topping is golden and juices are bubbling thickly.  Cool slightly before serving.

Serve with soy ice cream or the vanilla sauce from October 2003 newsletter.

Hints:  There is an easy recipe for prune puree in the Quick & Easy Cookbook, page 281.  Store the extra puree in the refrigerator in a covered jar.  Use as a fat replacer in other dessert recipes. (Remember, when replacing fat in one of your old recipes, the general rule is to replace the fat in the recipe with half that amount of replacer.  For example, if you have a recipe that calls for ½ cup of oil or butter, use about ¼ cup of fat replacer.) Toast the hazelnuts in a non-stick pan, stirring almost constantly until lightly browned, or toast in the oven until lightly browned, then chop in your food processor.  This topping may also be used on other fruit desserts to replace the usual butter-filled toppings.

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