Thursday, December 25, 2014

Pressure Cooking

I've been longing after the Instant Pot ever since I first saw Chef AJ cooking with an electric pressure cooker in her Chef and the Dietician videos on YouTube. I already own a Fagor for over 5 years now but rarely use it as a pressure cooker. I have a hard time getting it to seal, sometimes taking over 5 minutes just to get the lid on right, then it takes a few more minutes waiting for the water to boil and noticing it never comes to any pressure, so I have to turn off the heat, remove the lid, and start all over again. I love the Fagor pot itself, with its super thick bottom that retains heat for a long time. Soups and stews made in this as a plain old pot come out terrific.

Other times, no matter how long I cook a pot of beans, they never soften to my liking, which is as soft as beans from a can. No added salt, no added tomatoes, beans newly purchased, they just won't cook.

And let's face it, beans cooked from dry with no salt tastes a heck of a lot different than canned beans rinsed for a minute or so. I finally found a source for some no-salt added beans from Goya, but even though they cost less than Eden brand they're still sometimes twice the price of regular Goya beans with salt. 

My husband has told me I can go ahead and buy an electric pressure cooker after seeing me watch all those Chef AJ chili recipes again and sighing. He mistook the sigh to mean "she wants that pot," instead of "It's almost time to start dinner and I don't feel like moving" sigh, but if he's willing to let me spend the money, I won't argue!

I started looking around to find places besides Chef AJ's videos to get McDougall-safe recipes, and remembered the Vegan Pressure Cooker Yahoogroup, run by Susan V of Fat Free Vegan. I just rejoined today, and encourage others who are interested in healthy WFPB, no SOS cooking to also join up. I was surprised to see that although there are almost 200 members, there's been no activity for over a year! We can really use some new blood and activity over there, and if any of the current members are reading this, why not pop in again and say Hi to let us all know you're still around. And if you have a favorite PC recipe to share or even need help in transforming a non-PC recipe into a PC one, just give a shout. I'm sure somebody there will be be able to help with the conversion.

Now to find a good (cheap) source for organic heirloom beans. I've been on the wait list at Rancho Gordo for over a year now and the local HFS has been getting less and less dried beans, so I better start looking elsewhere so I'll have something to make right away when I do order my IP.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Smoked Paprika Vegan Cheese

Oil-, nut- and fat-free, too! 

You have GOT to make this recipe!


The blog it comes from is called Cooking With Plants, and basically, she takes a standard nooch sauce recipe and adds agar-agar thickened in water to it, pours it into molds (I just used my 3-cup plastic containers), and let it harden.

Be sure you use agar-agar powder and not the flakes. It's much more concentrated. If all you can find are flakes, use three times as much as the recipe calls for to make up the difference.

Watch the stove and keep stirring when heating the agar-agar! I expected it to take a while to thicken, but it was ready in about 2 minutes. And it really helps to use a non-stick saucepan, too. Any that stuck to the sides came right off before water was even added to the pot to clean.

The batch filled 2 of my three-cup containers, so a total of 6 cups of cheese. My containers are similar to these from Glad:

I left out the smoked paprika because I was making this cheese primarily for my son, who still uses dairy-based cheese and he doesn't like "spicy." Cheese is the one SAD food he still eats, but his latest cholesterol results are still pretty bad (LDL 105, HDL 48 and trigs 236), so he knows he has to give that up now. I'm glad he's doing this at age 30, not in his late 40's like I did or needs his own CABG like his dad.

He wasn't too thrilled with it for a few reasons. First, the texture - it's slimy. More of a slipperiness to it than slime, but if you've been eating processed American cheese-like food since before you had teeth, it's a lot different than you're used to.

Even without the smoked paprika it was a bit of a kick to it, most likely from the dry mustard. He's like Petey in the Cul De Sac comics:

But he said he'll give it a try, and had about a quarter-inch square nibble before declaring it something he would eat only if starving.

But my husband and I love it! Once it's sitting on a slice of bread you don't notice the texture at all, and it tastes great with that little bit of mustard in the sauce. I usually use the wet mustard in the cheese sauces I make, anyway, and wouldn't have even noticed it if not for my picky son pointing it out.

Since I made this the other day, I had about 2 slices and my husband is almost finished with the first container. Since it only keeps about a week in the refrigerator, when I sliced them up I immediately wrapped the second one in plastic wrap, popped it in 2 quart-sized freezer bags and tossed it right into the freezer. To make it easy to take out just a slice or 2 instead of having to defrost the whole brick I put cut-up pieces of plastic between each slice. This is a trick I've been using for years with freezer stuff, like bean burgers or un-meatloaf, or quickbread slices. I take the lids from things like oatmeal containers and cut off the lips, leaving a flat disk, and use those to make non-stick dividers. Works like a charm.

Back to the cheese - my husband has been making sandwiches with them on whole wheat rolls or on whole grain bread with "the works", and I had one slice unadorned to taste, the other between 2 slices of sprouted wheat bread and grilled. This makes the most delicious grilled cheese sandwich. It's dangerous - I can see myself eating 2 or 3 sandwiches a day. It's because of this addictiveness I have to refrain from eating this cheese more than once a week, if I know what's good for me. 

But it's SO GOOD!!!

Maybe just one more sandwich tomorrow after we get back from shopping. A quick lunch on another busy vacation day, the first day without rain all week. It'll be my reward if I don't break the budget in Bed, Bath, Beyond.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The Word Really IS Getting Out!

I love comic strips. As a child of the 50's and 60's, I grew up on them, and even now start every morning reading all my favorite strips. Yes, they're on-line instead of in newspapers now, but because of that I've found more comics to love than ever before.

Non Sequitur is one of those strips. Sure, they sometimes go off in tangents I don't care about, like the old New England fisherman rambling on about mermaids now and then, but it's usually pleasant enough.

On November 10th the artist started doing a story line that led up to a character's heart attack. Look at what today's strip is:

When comic strip artists start extolling the virtues of a plant based diet you know it's gone mainstream!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Chicken Adenovirus as Cause for Human Obesity?

Just think of how many of us fat people were told (or our parents were told, when we were fat kids) not to eat red meat, to eat skinless, usually broiled, chicken instead.

It's amazing how many studies in recent years are coming out which explain how people get obese, even if they eat and exercise exactly the same as the rest of their families. Heck, many of us eat even much less and exercise much more, yet we remain fat while their weight either remains stable or they lose while eating more and moving less.

The human body is an amazing thing! It doesn't follow the laws of physics, only those of biology.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Interview with Alan Goldhamer of True North

Howard Lyman, author of The Mad Cowboy, did an interview with Dr. Alan Goldhamer (co-owner of True North Center and co-author of The Pleasure Trap with Doug Lisle, PhD).

The first page is an introduction to Dr. Goldhamer and water fasting, and the links to the three parts of the interview are at the bottom of the page. It's an excellent interview and explanation about this way of eating, even though the emphasis here is on water fasting. 

The last page of the interview includes mention of the first cookbook Dr. Goldhamer put out called Simply Good: Recipes and More from C.C.C.T. (Center for Chiropractic and and Conservative Therapy, Inc.). This book came out long before The Health Supporting Cookbook and Bravo, the other books filled with WFPB, no SOS recipes. You can't find it for sale any more except used through vendors, but I found it for free in PDF format HERE. Many of the same recipes are in The Health Supporting Cookbook, too. 

Sunday, October 12, 2014

ANY Hope for Mankind???

The reaction to Susan V's (Fat Free Vegan) announcement of her breast cancer diagnosis and treatment on the McDougall forums is exactly why I don't mention my weight over there any more.

Here's one example quote:

I'm sorry but you can't be fat LONGTERM and call yourself fat free vegan, if you have been in this WOE for a couple years you need to be lean wise like Dr M. or Neal Barnard and if you are a female the equivalent version, no excuses, seems she was sneaking some burgers in or something :?

I got a similar reaction around 15 years ago when I mentioned my weight struggles, including an email from Dr. McDougall accusing me of "cheating" and telling me I "must be eating fat" because it's impossible to be fat using his food plan, that as long as no fat is eaten, all excess calories are magically burned off, no matter how many of them are taken in (I was restricting myself to 800 - 1000 calories a day at the time, so no excess anything was being taken in - I even mailed him my food logs). I was even banned from posting on the old McDougall forums on VegSource by the owner for daring to question the program. They were banning a lot of people for a while there. We were so happy when Dr. McD took over the forums and moved them elsewhere.

Many women have been bullied away from the McDougall forums by people, just like we've been bullied everywhere else in life, including by our own families and doctors. This particular thread is as vicious as some of the others in the past. Is it any wonder why Susan avoids the McDougall McDougall forums and concentrates on her own sites, such as her YahooGroups, blog and web site? I don't blame her at all!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

MWLP Newsletter Recipes (Up to 2009)

I know I've mentioned Letha, a former member of the McDougall forums, a number of times here. Back in 2009, when she was still an active member, she went through all the McDougall newsletters to find those that were MWLP safe and compiled them into a clickable list. I keep losing it, so let me transfer it here for future reference.

Letha, wherever you are, I do thank you, and wish you would return to the McDougall forums. Your advice was so helpful to many, not just me.

Entrees, Sides, Beans 

Shepherd’s Vegetable Pie 
Quick Yummy Meal 
Squash Fries 
Szechwan Eggplant 
Caramelized Onions 
Grilled Vegetables 
Spaghetti Squash Supreme 

Wicked Mushrooms 
Mushrooms McDougall 
Portabella Stack with Seared Oyster Mushrooms 

Thai Green Curry Rice 
Coconut Thai Rice 
Sweet Thai Fried Rice 

Stuffed Baked Potatoes 
Baked Potatoes 
Hash Browns 
Peppered Kale & Potatoes 
Grilled Potatoes 
Garden Potato Medley 
Roasted Potatoes 
Mashed Potatoes 
Roasted Potato Chunks 
Southwest Red Potatoes 
Tex-Mex Potatoes 
Baked Yams 

Moroccan Bulgur Casserole 
Spicy Moroccan Chickpeas 
Middle Eastern Garbanzos 

Gallo Pinto 
Gallo Pinto 2 
Costa Rican Potatoes and Beans 
Mexican Stuffed Peppers 
Mexican-Spiced Summer Squash 
White Beans Mexicali 
Southwestern White Beans 
Easy Mayan Black Beans 
Basic Mexican Bean Filling 
Brazilian Black Beans & Marinated Tomatoes 

Sherried Rice 
Fried Rice 
Rice and Beans 
Harlequin Rice 
Rainbow Rice 
Caribbean Rice 

Stovetop Bulgur Pilaf 
Baked Millet 
Two Grain Pilaf with Mushrooms 
Creamy Vegetable Curry 
Jamaican Three Potato Curry 
Bombay Vegetable Sauce 
Lentil-Potato Burgers 
Mediterranean Garbanzos 
Curried Mushrooms and Chickpeas 
Falafel Patties 
Barbecue Bean Sloppy Joes 
Garbanzo Delight 
Lima Bean Surprise 
Bourguignon Beans 
Deviled Beans and Greens 

Sloppy Lentil Joes 
Sloppy Lentils Too 
Baked Beans 
Black Beans and Tomatoes 
Barbequed Beans 
Hoppin’ John 
Squashy Black Beans 
Mardi Gras Beans 
Mixed Bean Toppings 
Layered Bean Casserole 

Sauces & Gravies 

Mushroom Gravy 
Spicy Mexican Sauce 
Easy Tomato Sauce 
Marinara Surprise 
Marsala Mushroom Sauce 
Mushroom-Tomato Sauce 
Spicy Cajun Sauce 
Barbecued Bean Sauce 
Red Pepper Sauce 
Marinara Sauce 
Sweet and Spicy Plum – Miso Sauce 


Three Bean Salad 
Barbecued Bean Salad 
Garbanzo Salad 
Garbanzo Spinach Salad 
Picnic Lentil Salad 
Curried Red Lentil Salad 

Southwest Couscous Salad 
Tomato Couscous Salad 
Quinoa Garden Salad 
Quinoa and Navy Bean Salad 

Italian Potato Salad 
Strawberry Radish Salad 
Vegetable Tabouli 
Tomato Vegetable Salad 
Bean & Tomato Salad 
Tomato, Corn, & Bean Salad 
Costa Rican Vegetable Salad 
Sparkling Jewel Salad 

Dips, Spreads, Salsas, & Dressings
Black Bean Dip 
Pico de Gallo 

Honey Mustard Dressing 
Honey Mustard Dressing 2 
Strawberry Salad Dressing 
Citrus Chili Dressing 
Grainy Mustard Dressing 
Fat-Free Oil Substitute for Salad Dressings 
Mango Raspberry Dressing 
Berry Vinaigrette 
Yellow Bell Pepper Vinaigrette 
Fat-Free Creamy Balsamic Vinaigrette 
Scramble Seasoning Mix 

Mango Salsa 
Tomato and Black Bean Salsa 
Carrot Salsa 
Quick Tomato Salsa 

Elephant Garlic Spread 
Squash Butter 
Artichoke Spread 
Roasted Garlic 2 
Spicy Red Hummus 
Spicy Garbanzo Spread 

Breakfast, Snacks, & Desert 

Easy Oats (or Cereal) For Two 
Steel Cut Irish Oatmeal 
Multigrain Hot Cereal 
Fantastic Overnight Cereal 
Quick Steel-Cut Oats with Blueberry Topping 
East-West Breakfast 
Sweet Potato Beginnings 

Frozen Fruit Smoothies 
Berry Sorbet 
Baked Apple Dessert 

Soups, Stews, & Chilies
West African Stew 
Saffron-Spiked Moroccan Stew 

Bean Soup 
Soldier Bean Soup 
Global Bean Stew 
Slow Chipotle Black Bean Soup 
Heirloom Bean and Vegetable Soup 
Quick Black Bean Soup 
Cannellini Bean Stew 
Sweet & Spicy Garbanzo Stew 
Garbanzo Stew 

Festive Dal Soup 
Hearty Dal Soup 
Cauliflower Dal 
Ventana Lentil Stew 
Gingered Lentil Soup 
Mediterranean Lentil Soup 
Barley Lentil Lemon Soup 

Pea Soup 
Hearty Split Pea Vegetable Soup 
Curried Split Pea Soup 
Simple Split Pea Soup 

Red Bean Gumbo 
Smoky Refried Bean Soup 
Caribbean Vegetable Stew 

Black Bean Chili 
Chunky Chili 
Tomatillo Chili 
Three Bean Chili 
Hearty Chili 

Gazpacho 2 
Fresh Tomato Gazpacho 
Chunky Gazpacho 
Lite Gazpacho 
Gazpacho Verde 

Lake Titicaca Soup 
South American Stew 
Mexican Bean and Rice Soup 

Potato and Parsnip Soup 
Potato Soup 
Mexican Potato Stew 
Potato Chowder 
Sweet Potato Bisque 
Curried Yam Stew 
Spicy Yam Stew 

Kitchen Sink Soup 
Rainbow Stew 
Marilyn's Greek "ish" Stew 
Stove-Top Stew 
Garden Vegetable Stew 
Vegetable Curry 
Asparagus Basil Soup 
Broccoli Bisque 

Chu’s Corn Soup 
Chu Visits the Southwest Soup 
Creamy Corn Chowder 
Creamy Corn Soup 

Mushroom Barley Soup 
Quinoa Chowder 
Curried Quinoa Chowder 

Pumpkin and Black Bean Soup 
Creamy Pumpkin Soup 
Chipotle Pumpkin Soup 
Butternut Squash Soup 
Curried Squash and Tart Apple Soup 
Tomato Basil Soup 
Curried Tomato Soup with Rice 


About the MWL and Non-MWL list of recipes from the McDougall Newsletters. 

On the MWL list I did not include recipes that had pasta, bread, tortillas, tofu, soy milk, nuts, peanut butter, tahini, sesame oil, flour, fruit juice or more than a tiny amount of dried fruit. 

I did include recipes with corn starch and couscous because there are recipes with those ingredients in the MWL Program book. I included a couple of recipes with sugar on the MWL list even though McDougall recommends only using sugar on the surface of food in the MWL book. 

In the MWL book McDougall specifically says to avoid soy milk but he lists fat free soy milk & rice milk as an acceptable milk substitute. So when I saw soy milk listed in a recipe I considered it not MWL. If it listed ‘soy or rice’ milk I considered it MWL. 

If there was a Non-MWL ingredient in the recipe’s ingredient list with (optional) after it, I did not include it on the MWL list. However, if in the hints it suggested adding a Non-MWL ingredient when serving the dish (such as a spoonful tofu sour cream on your chili or serving a soup with crusty bread) I kept it on the MWL list. 

Many of the non-MWL recipes could easily be converted to MWL by changing just one ingredient. Like changing the soy milk to fat free soy milk, or the tofu to beans, the pasta to brown rice, or leaving out the optional nuts or olives. 

As a final disclaimer, I made these lists as a helpful tool for myself and to share with other McDougallers. The two lists have nearly 500 recipes and I would not be surprised if I made an error or two when compiling the list. So please use your own judgment when deciding if a recipe would help you meet your health goals. Best wishes.