My husband and I have been following (loosely!) the McDougall diet. My husband's doctor recommended it to him to help lower his high blood pressure and to loose some weight. I did some research and learned that it would help lower my cholesterol and loose some weight as well.
One of the more interesting aspects to this diet is we can use our food storage almost exclusively. Being a fat free diet eliminates added oils, meat, processed foods and dairy. The bulk of the diet is green and yellow vegetables, rice, potatoes, other grains and some wheat and shou along with a little fruit. That's it.
When I first read about this my first thought was, "of course you loose weight, there's nothing you can eat!" How wrong I was. Fortunately I found www.fatfreevegan.com. All I can say is Susan is a terrific cook! She's a Southern girl like me, so flavor is of utmost importance.
I feel very blessed to have found her and her recipes. She makes following a stringent diet like this very easy. So much so that loosing weight has become difficult due to the wonderful recipes she posts!
Hands down, my favorite recipe is her Red Beans and Rice. As a sausage lover, I can honestly say that I really don't miss the meat all that much. Would I eat sausage with these beans if I didn't have 4 babies worth of weight to loose? Probably. Hey, I'm not called the Reluctant Vegan for nothin'. I'm just being honest here!
But since I don't have that option, I can say that we eat this at least once every 10 days or so along with her wonderful cornbread. It is the ONLY cornbread my husband will eat. It is good.
So without further adu here is the recipe for her red beans and rice:
Real Louisiana Red Beans and Rice
Recipe courtesy of:
Fatfree Vegan Kitchen
1 pound dry red kidney beans (if you're in Louisiana, only Camellia brand will do)
4 cloves garlic
1 very large onion (about 2 cups chopped)
4 ribs celery
1 large bell pepper (about 1 1/2 cups chopped)
3 bay leaves
2 teaspoons thyme
1 teaspoon oregano
1/4-1 teaspoon red pepper
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1-2 teaspoons chopped chipotle pepper, in adobo (this is not traditional but lends a smoky taste; substitute another tsp. of Liquid Smoke seasoning if you prefer)
1/2-1 tablespoon Tabasco sauce
1 teaspoon Liquid Smoke
salt, to taste
cooked rice, to serve
Tip: Start off lightly with the red and black pepper and Tabasco sauce; you can always add more at the end.
Cover the beans with water 2 inches over beans and soak overnight. Or, bring beans to a boil for one minute, remove from heat, and soak for at least an hour. Drain beans and rinse.
Put the beans back in the pot and cover them with water 2 inches above level of beans. Put over high heat to begin cooking while you prepare the other ingredients.
You're going to want to chop the garlic, onion, celery, and bell pepper very finely, and the fastest and best way to do this is in a food processor. I throw the 4 peeled cloves of garlic in first, and then add the onion, quartered, and pulse until finely chopped. Add this to the pot on the stove, and then do the same thing with the celery and bell peppers, adding each to the beans. Add the remaining ingredients, except the salt and the rice.
When the beans reach a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook, stirring every now and then, until they are completely tender and falling apart. This can take anywhere from 2 to 3 hours, depending upon the age of your beans. (Add more water as necessary to keep them hydrated.) When they are completely tender, add the salt to taste, and check the seasonings. Add any additional spices you want, and cook for at least 10 more minutes, until sauce is thick and beans are disintegrating. Remove the bay leaves, and serve over rice.
Note: If your beans are old, they may never disintegrate, or at least not in time for dinner. What you have to do is take out a bunch of them, mash them up well, and add them back into the pot (or use a hand blender right in the pot). Then proceed as though they had fallen apart on their own. I won't tell anyone if you don't!
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