Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Everything Old Is New Again - Pioneer Baked Beans

While the UWL FB community is doing a challenge to make the recipes in the 21 DAy Recipe Guide, I decided to do a challenge of my own - to make some of the older recipes that got me started on the McDougall program in the first place. The first one of these is Jan Tz's Pioneer Baked Beans.

I've written about long-time McDougaller Jan Tz before. Her recipes go way back to the VegSource McDougall boards days, before Dr. McDougall even had his own web presence. They were always so easy to make, cooked up fast, and were as tasty as heck. These Pioneer Baked Beans was one of her first recipes I ever made:

Peeled and cored apple, cut into big chunks
Onion, sliced thinly and separated into rings
Vegetarian Baked Beans
Combine all ingredients in whatever quantities you need, put into a baking dish, and bake uncovered for 30 minutes at 350F.
Fresh out of the oven (See below)

First off, the original Bush Vegetarian Beans that Jan always recommended in her recipes is way too high in sodium for me at this stage of life, so I got the lower sodium ones. Since my husband is a big eater, I got 3 of those 16-ounce cans, the only size the lower sodium ones come in. I should have gotten 4, or used 2 cans of the Bush beans and 2 cans of no-salt added pinto or cannelini beans and added an 8-ounce can of no-salt added tomato sauce. That would have really cut the sodium down without sacrificing taste.

The Vidalia onion I used was gigantic, bigger than one of those bean cans. Like Jan suggested, I sliced it thin and separated the rings. Bad move. When it (finally) cooked down, some of those onion rings were as thin as threads and not too appetizing. Next time I make this I'll take the easier way out and just dump an entire 1-pound bag of frozen diced onions in the bowl.

I used 2 Fuji apples. Apples around here have really been tasteless for years now. Next time I'll add some no-sugar added applesauce along with 2 or 3 apples.

Cooking time. My oven is good - I use an oven thermometer and when I set the oven for 350ºF, by the time the 10 minute pre-heat is done it IS 350ºF. It was 350ºF when I put that bowl into it that night. I either should have used a regular flat casserole dish or lasagna pan or set the heat to 400ºF, because at the end of the 30 minute cooking time the bowl was red hot but the food, even the surface, was barely warm. The photo above was taken at this time. 

By now we were all getting hungry (Our son made his own dinner and was waiting for us so we could eat together) so instead of putting it back in the oven I stuck it in the microwave and popped it on the highest power and turned it on. It took 15 more minutes in the microwave before the onions cooked and the apples softened a bit. Next time it goes right into the microwave for 30 minutes, not the gas oven.

Sorry there's no photo of the final cooked product - we didn't want to wait any more to eat.

Even with all the mis-steps, it tasted delicious! With all that salt in it, how could it not? My husband is looking forward to having this again, but I warned him that if our blood pressure or weight go up form all the extra sodium in our diets, out it goes. He wasn't too happy hearing that, especially because he knows my weight rises just looking at a can of salty stuff. We'll see what the future brings.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Watch What Your Read - Post from Jeff Novick re: the McDougall on Social Media

The McDougall Message and Social Media

Unread postby JeffN » Mon Jan 15, 2018 10:09 am
Due to the increasing amount of complaints we get about the information provided in and by the many McDougall related social media groups, we are reposting this message.

Besides this forum, the following social media pages are the only ones that are officially endorsed by The McDougall Program. They are monitored, managed and facilitated by Dr McDougall and his staff.

John McDougall, MD

John McDougall, MD,

The McDougall 10-Day Program Alumni**

The McDougall 3-Day ASW Alumni**

The McDougall Travel Adventure Alumni**

**These groups require approval

We also maintain a closed FB Page for each of the private companies we work with and one for the graduates of The Starch Solution Course. These also require approval.

While we understand that there are many groups out there trying to share our message, we can not ensure that the message you will get there is accurate and inline with our program.

In Health

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Dr. McDougall Is BACK - Webinar Monday January 15th

Just got this email telling us that Dr. McDougall is holding a webinar this coming Monday, January 15th, at 9am Pacific time.

Register Now for this Monday's (January 15th) Free Welcome Back McDougall Webinar - 9:00AM (Pacific Time).

Title: Welcome Back Webinar with John McDougall, MD and Gustavo Tolosa, PhD, Moderator.

Details: Learn about some of our plans for the year, including weekly webinars, periodic breaking news publications, live-weekends, and more 10-day lifesaving programs with our medical team in Santa Rosa, CA.

Learn which guest speakers Dr. McDougall will be inviting as a routine part of the webinar schedule.

Find out how to join us on future webinars as a “guest patient.”

Please remember, there are over 200 free one-hour webinars for you to start watching now,  plus over 300 scientific practical newsletter articles to read, over 700 McDougall-style recipes, and over 200 videos. All to be enjoyed free on the website.

Serious Questions or Serious Help Needed? You can find us almost anytime at or call (800) 941-7111.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Dr. Esselstyn Explains why Greens are Important, and Ann Essesltyn Strips Again

Jane Esselstyn posted this to the followers of the Engine 2 Seven Day Recipe Rescue Facebook community yesterday for day 3 of the current challenge, then later it appeared on Facebook so all the world can see it.

As the title of this blog post says, once again Dr. Esselstyn explains why he recommends greens 6 times a day for his heart patients - and everyone - for endothelial health and is proud that he can still recite the "Greens Mantra" in rapid fire. After his talk, Ann takes over and shows how she strips and cooks the kale, how quickly it all goes, and how easy it is to add greens to all your meals.

Even if you're not participating in any of the challenges or even follow the Seven Day Rescue version of the Engine 2 or Dr. Esselstyn's Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease food plan, this is a good FB community to belong to. A number of quick and easy recipes that are all within Dr. McDougall's parameters, and many of the recipes and meal suggestions (They're big on "bowl" meals and batch cooking) can even be made MWLP compatible. Oh, and these appearances by the Esselstyn family are certainly a great bonus! There are a number of files in the Video section featuring one or more of them.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Correct Me If I’m Wrong

The main moderator of an Engine 2 Facebook community is still saying the new cookbook contains ALL new recipes.

So, am I going crazy saying I recognize recipes in it that are from other Esselstyn books and they ARE all new, or is she trying to pull the wool over everyone’s eyes?

If I AM wrong and they’re ALL new, I better go see my doctor for a checkup ASAP.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Engine 2 Cookbook - Edited

Just a reminder, this is MY opinion. Yours may be different. You may have a totally different opinion. Please, no hate notes in the replies.

What can I say about The Engine 2 Cookbook? I know this book was just released today, but I pre-ordered it. My paper version is on a UPS truck but the Kindle version I was able to download as soon as I woke up this morning.

First off, I'm disappointed in a number of ways. The "coaches" on the Engine 2 Seven Day Diet Facebook community assured everyone that the recipes are all new. They're not. From "Our Hummus" which was featured in the original Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease book to the Sweet Fire Sauce that was in the 7 Day Rescue book, there are many recipes that are repeats. Many are exact word for word of the original ones, a few are the same recipe with maybe one ingredient different or a different quantity. For instance, a lot of recipes that call for red bell peppers now say "ancient sweet red peppers" with the plain red bells as an alternate.

The second big disappointment is the fact that Dr. and Ann Esselstyn did this great review of the book the other day on Facebook:

yet many of the recipes contain things people following the Esseslstyn Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease food plan can not eat, like nuts, seeds, and pure sugars, like maple syrup (and I didn't even look at the desserts yet!). Of course, people following the McDougall MWLP or AJ's UWL can't eat these, either, nor should any McDougaller trying to lose weight or handle a medical condition.

And once again, instructions in some of the recipes tell you to cook various foods until super crisp, hard as a rock. I have no idea how those people's teeth can stand things like Mestemacher bread triple toasted, or baked oatmeal cooked so firm you can "knock on the crust for luck," as one recipe in this book says.

Another peeve, a few of the 130 recipes aren't really recipes. For instance, Banana Butter on page 103 tells you to peel and chop a banana and spread it like butter on some of the various dessert breads. Really?? Fire Roasted Corn tells you to wet ears of corn and put them over a fire on a barbecue grill. Really?!?! Best Damn Fries tell you to cut Yukon Gold Potatoes into fry shape and roast them in the oven. Oh, come ON now!!!! Pita chips, corn chips, taco shells, roasted peppers - each its own recipe, each part of the count. We're now down to less than 100 actual recipes in this book. Maybe even less than 50 if you want to count only new, never before published ones.

Tex-Mex and The Acid Queen strike again. Yes, many of the recipe require sriracha, cholula, or other hot, spicy sauces or hot peppers. This was one of my complaints with early recipes by Mary McDougall, too. And you can see Ann Esselstyn's influence in all the vinegars and citric juices as ingredients in recipes. I'm not a fan of either. If you are, you won't be disappointed.

All these gripes and I'm only up to page 130 scanning this book on my Kindle! So far I haven't seen one recipe I would even attempt to make, but I haven't even hit the Salads or Main Dishes yet. I still have hope this book will redeem itself.

Okay, if someone was VERY new to whole food plant based eating and needed transitional meals and never bought any cookbooks or looked at any recipes on-line, this would probably be a good beginner's book. But even if you have a rudimentary knowledge of how to cook this way, or own any other Engine 2 book, you will be as disappointed as I am. 

Time to go get the laundry on. I'll study this more later and keep my fingers crossed that I'll find at least a soup or casserole that looks interesting and hasn't already been published elsewhere.

Later the same day . . .

One recipe that may have redeemed the entire book is the one for brats. When I first heard there was going to be a brats recipe I (wrongfully) assumed it would be another vital wheat gluten based one. I have loads of those going back to the 1970's. I was pleasantly surprised to see it's made with cannelini & pinto beans, rice and oats (think Jeff Novick and his Burgers and Fries DVD). And it uses rice paper wrappers for the "skin" part of the sausage. Unfortunately for me, just like when Shayda posted her famous stir-fry spring roll wraps on the UWL FB community (Sorry, you have to be a member for that link to work), I won't be making them as-written because I have no easy access to rice paper wrappers. Yes, I can order them from Amazon, but with the luck I have with fragile things and Amazon, they would probably arrive ripped to pieces and be unusable. At least the book offers a variety of flavorings for the sausages, but then again, so does Jeff in his DVD.

A few of the chilis look interesting, but familiar, as do the lasagnas.

I took a quick skim of the desserts section, and as feared, it's full of nuts, sweeteners, even tofu. There's a very unappetizingly named thing they call "Bear Scat" that's made with chocolate chips and fruit.

Am I still disappointed I bought this book? Yeah. Will I return them for a refund? Probably not. Right now I've been cooking very simple meals, but perhaps in the future I may look for more complex recipes again. I already own every other Essesltyn book out there, whether it's the father, mother, son, or daughter. Each book has something I can use, even if the recipes need to be tweaked to suit our family's requirements, which most resemble those of Dr. Esselstyn, thanks to my husband's past CABG surgery and my cardiomyopathy, and gluten-free and potato-free thanks to my auto-immune diseases. 

My recommendation requirements still stand. If you're a family in transition from the SAD way of eating, if you have no medical conditions, and if you were born into a family of tall, thin people like the Essesltyns, go for it and enjoy all the recipes as written. Enjoy the nuts, the maple syrup, the tofu! For the rest of us, there's a lot of tweaking and substituting to do. If you already own the other Esselstyn books and don't like repeats, do the Look Inside the Book feature on the bookstore web sites and take a peek at the table of contents or the index first and then decide. Like me, you may wind up buying it anyway.