Monday, November 30, 2009

Vegan Feijoada with Brazilian Rice

What can you say about the national dish of Brazil? Well, for starters, it's pronounced fay-jho-ah-da. You can also say it's the antithesis of healthy vegan fare, as it is typically made with a variety of salted pork and beef products. (I'll spare you the details of the specific ingredients.) But at the heart of Brazilian feijoada are black turtle beans, (the word "feijoada" is derived from the Portuguese word for beans, "feijão.") So you do have the basis for a dish that is vegan and delicious.

Now I'm not saying that vegan feijoada tastes a lot like the classic Brazilian dish, but the combination of ingredients like cumin, red pepper flakes, celery, garlic, and onions, accentuated with a hint of orange do give this stew a unique flavor, which will not be confused with any other dish from any other Latin American country.

In Brazil, feijoada is usually served with rice and chopped refried collard greens. I prepared a lovely Brazilian rice for this dish and served it with Bryant Terry's Citrus Collards with Raisins Redux from his wonderful book, Vegan Soul Kitchen. Since his collard dish is flavored with garlic and orange, it made the perfect accompaniment to my vegan feijoada.

I "McDougallized" the following recipe from Mark Bittner (of all people!) And my Brazilian Rice is adapted from a recipe on



Cooking oil spray
1 6-oz. pkg. Lightlife Fakin’ Bacon smoky tempeh strips
2 15-oz. cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup vegetable broth
1/2 Tbs. cumin
salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 bay leaf
1/4 tsp grated orange zest
1 orange peeled and sliced for garnish
1 stalk of celery, diced
1 large onion, chopped
2 red bell peppers, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced (about 2 tsp.)
1 1/4 cup orange juice (divided)
parsley, minced (optional)


Spray pan, add tempeh strips, and sauté for 2 minutes on each side. Set aside. Put the beans in a large pot with broth over warm heat. Add cumin, bay leaf, salt, and pepper. Zest the orange and add to the beans, then peel and dice the orange, and set aside. Cook the onions, celery, and red pepper in a large skillet over medium heat, until softened. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Add to beans. Turn the heat under the skillet to high and add 1 cup of the orange juice. Cook, stirring and scraping to deglaze the pan for about 5 minutes. Add to the beans with the remaining 1/2 cup of orange juice and parsley, if using. Serve with rice and garnish with orange slices. Serves 4.

Brazilian Rice


1/4 cup vegetable broth
1 clove garlic, mashed
1 small onion, diced
1 tomato, chopped
1 tsp salt
2 cups water
1 cup rice long or medium-grain rice


Rinse the rice several times, until the water runs clear. Heat the vegetable broth in a saucepan over medium heat, and add the mashed garlic. Cook garlic for 1 minute. Add the chopped onion and tomato and cook, stirring until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the water and salt and bring to a boil. Add the rice. Lower the heat, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and leave rice covered for 5 minutes more.
Fluff rice with fork and serve. Makes 4 servings.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Today I Am Thankful

"How good it is to be well-fed, healthy,
and kind, all at the same time!" ~Henry Heimlich, MD

In keeping with the McDougall lifestyle, to my husband's chagrin, I did not go the Tofurky route this year. Instead, I started cooking days ahead for what I knew would turn out to be an even more satisfying holiday meal for us both. When all was said and done, Mark agreed! Pictured above is a glimpse of our holiday table. Clockwise from the top are Mary McDougall's Holiday Stuffing and Maple Mashed Sweet Potatoes, Mollie Katzen's Acorn Squash Stuffed with Apple-Almond-Cherry Basmati Pilaf, Ceasar Salad made with Mary McDougall's Creamy Ceasar Salad Dressing, and Susan Voisin's Impromptu Mushroom Gravy. And yes, that's canned jellied cranberry sauce in the upper right-hand corner. Mark likes it, and I wasn't going to argue with him just because I think homemade cranberry sauce is better. I was happy to find an organic brand that didn't have any nasty high-fructose corn syrup in it.

Also from Susan Voisin's Fat-Free Vegan Kitchen, I baked Spiced Pumpkin Bread for dessert, which of course, I topped with Purely Decadent Made with Coconut Milk Vanilla Bean ice cream. A heavenly finish, to a deliciously compassionate Thanksgiving meal.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

So Delicious Holiday Pumpkin Pie

Thanks so much to Pam Hornecker for sharing this delicious recipe! Of course, I served my own slice with a scoop of Purely Decadent Made with Coconut Milk Vanilla Bean ice cream! And since I'm being a good little McDougall girl, I didn't eat the crust.

For the Pie Crust:

1 1/3 cups flour
¼ tsp salt
1/3 cup canola oil
2-3 Tbs ice water

Combine flour and salt in a bowl. Sprinkle flour mixture with oil, and mix with a fork, should look sort of crumbly. Sprinkle the flour mixture with water, 1 tablespoon at a time until it is moist and comes away from the bowl. Pat together into a ball, and put on a piece of waxed paper that has been set on a dampened counter to keep it in place. Top with another piece of waxed paper and roll out into a circle a little bigger than the pie pan. Transfer to pie pan, and flute top edge of crust with fingers or a fork.

For the Filling:

2 cups pumpkin (15 oz can or ½ of larger can)
1 cup So Delicious Coconut Milk Original Creamer
1 6-oz carton So Delicious Coconut Milk Vanilla Yogurt
¾ cup organic sugar
½ tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp ginger
¼ tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp allspice
2 Tbs tapioca (instant granulated)

Mix together pumpkin and creamer until blended, then add in the vanilla yogurt and sugar. Add all spices and blend thoroughly, then stir in tapioca until well blended. Pour into pie crust, and bake at 425° for 15 minutes, then reduce oven to 350°, and bake for another 40-45 minutes. It may still look like it's not quite set in middle, but as it cools it sets up. Let cool before serving, and refrigerate any left over. Makes 8 servings.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Sweet Potato, Eggplant , Tomato,
and Spinach Curry

Whether from India, (with its virtual kaleidoscope of flavors from each region), Thailand, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Pakistan, or Maylasia, curries do make the culinary world go round. No other dish can entice the nose or tantalize the tongue quite so much as curry. For this reason, I am always seeking out new curries to taste and share.

It's almost impossible to find delicious curry recipes that are made without oil or ghee, but you can leave out the extra fat and still end up with a dish that cooks up aromatically and tastes fantastic. A perfect example is this dish from A Life(Time) of Cooking, which I tweaked by replacing the oil with water, and adding tomatoes.


1/2 cup water, divided
1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 heaping tablespoon cumin seeds
1 large sweet potato or yam, peeled and cut into small cubes (I also used some pumpkin I had on hand)
1 15-oz can diced tomatoes
1 large eggplant, cut into small cubes
1 bunch of spinach, blanched, dried, and chopped
1 Tablespoon Madras Sambar Powder or a good Masala mix / curry powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder


Heat 1/4 cup water in a heavy-based saucepan on low heat. When hot, add the mustard seeds and allow to pop. Add the garlic and cumin seeds, and stir fry until garlic turns a golden brown color.

Add the sweet potato and tomatoes, and cook for about 8-10 minutes, until the sweet potato is half cooked. Stir occasionally. Mix in the eggplant cubes, spinach, salt, sambar powder, and turmeric. Cook on medium heat until the sweet potato and eggplant are tender. Serve with rice or naan. Makes 4 servings.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Warm Me Up! Thai Noodle Soup

Oregon winter has officially set in. I mean, it's 9:30 in the morning, and the temperature on my outdoor thermometer reads 37°. That's winter in my book.

I have a very cold house. It's great in the summer, as I only need to use the air conditioner three or four times a year when it's close to 100° outside. The downside is that when it's cloudy and cool, my house feels like an ice box. We start using the heat in October, although I would much prefer to drink hot cocoa and wear an extra layer, than live in the dry discomfort of forced-hot air heating. (Oh, how I miss my New Mexico in-floor radiant heat!)

Warming foods are also very comforting when we feel chilled to the bone. And Mary McDougall's recipe for Thai Rice Noodle Soup (you'll want to scroll down to the third recipe on this page,) really hits the spot. Mark and I got to satiate our cravings for coconut-milk flavored Thai food, (Friday nights used to be dinner at Manola's Thai restaurant), but without all the fat. Mary uses almond milk and coconut extract instead of coconut milk, and Sambal Oelek (an Indonesian chili sauce), for a spicy kick. The recipe makes about 6-8 servings, so we have more than enough left over to make hearty lunches for us both today. And that's good, because like I said, winter has arrived here in the Pacific Northwest.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Oriental Pasta

Mark and I both enjoy the simplicity of many Asian-inspired dishes. A little ginger, soy sauce, and some gently cooked vegetables over a bed of rice or noodles make for a very satisfying meal.

I love this quick and easy-to-prepare Oriental Pasta recipe from The McDougall Quick & Easy Cookbook. You can find a similar recipe here on Dr. McDougall's website, where it's called Oriental Pasta Salad. In the dish pictured above, I used pad Thai rice noodles instead of buckwheat soba noodles, added baby corn, sliced red bell pepper and snap peas, and served it piping hot.

While culinary herbs are one of my passions, I've recently become more interested in medicinal herbs. So for something a little different, check out my latest article over at, and discover the power of the neem tree.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie
and ... The Winner is ...

My very favorite thing about this time of year (aside from all of the spectacular foliage), is pumpkin pie! And not just pumpkin pie, but also pumpkin pie brownies, pumpkin pie cupcakes, pumpkin pie ice cream (hint to Turtle Mountain), and just about anything else that can be made with pumpkin and the dreamily aromatic combination of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves. Inspired by this recipe I recently found at, I decided to try my hand this morning at my own version of a vegan pumpkin pie smoothie. The result was rich, creamy, and delicious, with just a hint of coconut and all the spicy goodness of pumpkin pie. My version is not only dairy- and gluten-free, but soy-free, too.


2 cups So Delicious Coconut Milk Beverage (I used Original, but you could use Vanilla, too)
2 tablespoons agave nectar (or sweetener of choice, to taste)
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 ripe banana
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice -or- 1/4 tsp ginger and 1/4 tsp nutmeg and a pinch of cloves
1/2 tsp vanilla extract (use 1/4 tsp, if you are using vanilla coconut milk beverage)


Blend all together, pour, and enjoy! Makes 2 servings.

The winner of three free Turtle Mountain product coupons is ... shakay. Congratulations! Your coupons are in the mail, and I hope you'll soon be enjoying more of your favorite So Delicious and Purely Decadent treats. Many thanks to everyone for your very delicious ice cream flavor ideas. Perhaps we'll see a few them come to fruition!

Monday, November 02, 2009

Creamy Spinach Pasta and
Three New Purely Decadent Flavors!

I'm really loving my McDougall cookbook. Even though there are more than 300 recipes to explore, I tried some recipes that we enjoyed so much, I'm already making them again. One of these is this simple, yet very delicious Creamy Spinach Pasta. (In the link, it's called Spinach Pesto Fettucine–4th recipe from the top.) I made it with Mrs. Leeper's Corn Rotelli for my gluten-intolerant friend, Meryl Ann, when she was visiting me a couple of weeks ago. I think corn pasta is the best-tasting pasta around. And although it's expensive, I discovered that a 12-oz bag will go as far as a 16-oz box of semolina pasta. I know, it still costs a lot more, but I think it's worth it—especially for those who are wheat-intolerant, or if you're like me. I can't eat wheat pasta without feeling terribly weighted down and lethargic, so I avoid eating it.

Look how bright and colorful this dish is! And if you love pesto, this recipe is packed with creamy basil and garlic. But it's also low fat, because it's made without any added oil!

After such a delectable dinner, I wanted to treat myself to an equally tantalizing dessert. I treated myself to a small taste of the three new Purely Decadent Made with Coconut Milk frozen desserts. I had a spoonful of each!

The Chocolate Brownie Almond flavor was light, creamy, and chocolatey, just like the chocolate coconut milk flavor, but with tasty bits of almonds and brownie pieces. Cherry Amaretto had lots of nice big hunks of black cherries in a marzipan-like creamy base. It made me dream of how heavenly a pistachio-cherry coconut milk ice cream would be. Oh, Turtle Mountain, could you please do this one small thing for me?

My favorite flavor of the three is Turtle Trails. I surprised myself with this one, because it's not my favorite soy flavor. But the chocolate-coated pecans and caramel sauce blended beautifully in the coconut milk ice cream. It tasted light, fluffy, and rich, and I think my tongue left my mouth and took a short trip to nirvana.

Mark on the other hand, can stand to gain a few pounds, so he can always treat himself to as much ice cream as his heart desires. He chose Chocolate Brownie Almond for his first round. And as you can see from the photo, it's a chocolate-brownie-lover's dream!

So here's a new contest: Visit the Turtle Mountain website, and check out all of their amazing flavors. Come back here, and leave me a comment telling me what your dream flavor is. One creative person will win 3 VIP coupons good for any of your favorite So Delicious or Purely Decadent products! I can't wait to read your responses! Good luck!