Dr. Joe

tagged Vanessa Kightlinger's Hummus Variations* with Excellent 2012-12-15 12:43:15 -0500

Hummus Variations*













Make hummus.  Then make it three times a week so you’ll always have it on hand.  Freeze some.   

Compared to traditional hummus, this is much lower in fat because it uses less tahini.  You can make it even lower in fat by using “low-fat tahini” which is just as easy to get out of the jar as the regular variety.  Steer clear of the store-bought hummus which has a lot of added oil, and also too much tahini.

I have this most often as a sandwich on toast with sliced sweet onion or tomato.  It's unbelievably quick, and unbelievably delicious.  The tomato or onion slice does something magic, for example if your hummus isn't exciting enough by itself (like if you left out the tahini in a noble attempt to avoid fat). There's something about the onion or tomato that makes it taste great no matter what.  (The principle that food tastes better in combinations). 

Basic hummus with a small amount of tahini tastes great by itself, but without the tahini, it's a little bland.  Exceptions to this rule are olive hummus and pepperoncini hummus which are so flavorful (and salty!) that you could actually omit the tahini if you wanted to.  Basil and cilantro are also exciting additions, but they still need a little tahihummus_bowl_exp.jpgni with them.  (Unless you're having them with tomato or onion, like I mentioned).

See the essential recipe, a favorite, for toasted hummus tortillas, or even healthier, roll some in a blanched leaf of collard greens.  Plop a pile next to your stir fry or salad, like a side-dish.  Or serve it as a dip, sprinkled with paprika for looks.

If you're adding a salty ingredient, of course you don't need salt.  With tomato or onion in a sandwich, you probably won't need salt. Otherwise, a little salt may be welcome, especially for beginners who have not yet learned to love the taste of real food. 


  • Two 15-oz cans of chick peas, drained & rinsed (or 3 cups of cooked chick peas = approximately 18 oz. by weight). If you start ahead of time with dried chick peas, you would soak them for at least 4 – 5 hours, then either boil for about 40  minutes until tender – or pressure-cook for 8 minutes). 
  • 6 TBSP (or up to one-half cup) of lemon juice. 
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder   (or 2.5 Tablespoons sliced fresh garlic).  We just use the powder; it's fine.
  • 2 TBSP of low-fat tahini, (or regular tahini = sesame seed paste, available in the supermarket)
  • Optional:  ¼ - 3/8th teaspoon powdered cayenne / red pepper.  (The 3/8th is quite spicy).
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, if desired (optional).  (The Engine 2 recipe calls for 2 teaspoons of tamari or soy sauce instead)


Blend ingredients in a food-processor until smooth.   If more liquid is needed, add water.  (If too thin, it will firm-up in the fridge). 



(You should never make a single recipe unless you're showing off multiple variations as in the above photo).

  • One 15-oz can of chick peas, drained & rinsed (or 1.5 cups of cooked chick-peas)
  • 3 TBSP lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoons garlic powder or 1 TBSP of chopped fresh garlic
  • 1 TBSP of low fat tahini or regular tahini
  • Optional:  1/8 teaspoon powdered cayenne / red pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, if desired (optional), or 1 teaspoon of tamari or soy sauce.



1/2 - 1 cup of fresh basil leaves OR
1/2 - 1 cup of fresh cilantro     OR
1/2 cup of pitted Kalamati olives  OR
Several pepperoncini peppers (see photo), with stem removed.

Note that pepperoncinis taste out of this world in hummus for some reason, probably from all that salt.  You probably recognize them as salad peppers, see the photo:

tagged Sweet and Sour Vegetables* with Excellent 2012-07-09 11:34:06 -0400

Sweet and Sour Vegetables*



Dr. Joe:   The 6-oz. cans of pineapple and low-sodium V-8 juice are readily available in six-packs, and make this dish quick and easy. 
You can go with pretty large pieces of the veggies, which cuts down on chopping time.
If you don't have pineapple chunks, you could double the pineapple juice to add extra sweetness.
With the optional peanuts, you could call it "Kung Pao Vegetables."   Either way, your guests will want the recipe!

Modified from http://drmcdougall.com/newsletter/recipeindex.html


6 oz can of unsweetened pineapple juice
6 oz can of low-salt vegetable juice (V-8) or tomato juice
1 TBSP low-sodium soy sauce or tamari
2 teasp lemon juice
1 TBSP cornstarch


optional: 1/4 - 1/2 cup of dry roasted peanuts  (or other nuts; peanuts seem perfect for this somehow; the dry roasted ones are especially crunchy & satisfying).

Any combination of:   green or red bell peppers, carrots, onions (preferably sweet or vidalia), mushrooms, celery, pineapple chunks, approx 8 oz can of water chestnuts (cut up).   About 4 - 5 cups total of cut-up veggies is about right.  All of the veggies are cut into medium to large pieces.

(The water chestnuts and pineapple chunks are especially tasty in this dish, but still optional).     

Brown rice.


Combine the Sauce Ingredients in a saucepan.  (Before adding the cornstarch, mix it in a small amount of the liquid first to help it dissolve).   bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until sauce is thickened (may take 20 minutes or so).  

Meanwhile cut up the veggies into medium-sized pieces.

When the sauce is about ready, lightly saute vegetables VERY BRIEFLY without oil in a non-stick pan on medium high, or high, heat.  You can add a bit of water to avoid sticking but this usually isn't necessary.   If you let them cook awhile without stirring, they become nicely blackened.  Don't over-cook.  

Add the veggies to the saucepan with the thickened sauce.  

Salt is optional;  delicious without salt.

If using peanuts, add them just before serving or as a garnish.  (The peanuts are especially delicious in this dish).

Serve with or over hot brown rice.

published Spaghetti Sauce with or without "meat"balls* in Quick Recipes 2012-01-15 22:34:00 -0500

Spaghetti Sauce with or without "meat"balls*


The marinara sauce is modified from Lowfatveganchef.com

The "meat"balls are made from Gimme Lean (brand) 'Ground Beef Style Veggie Protein'

Editor:    "We were surprised to learn that about a third of the calories in store-bought spaghetti sauce come from fat, and loaded with salt.  Salsa is usually fat-free.  We liked this recipe better than "Simple Marinara Sauce" from PCRM's  'The Cancer Project,' maybe because of the tomato paste. 

The "meat"balls are primarily TVP:  textured vegetable protein, i.e. soy protein.  It is a processed food, not as healthy as whole foods, but head and shoulders healthier than ground beef!  Other brands tend to have about one third of calories from fat, with no significant difference in taste, so a brand like 'Gimme Lean' is preferable.  Let us know if you find another low- or no-fat brand that you like!


1  large onion, diced
5  cloves of garlic, minced
2  24-oz cans of crushed tomatoes, (or three 15-oz cans, which is not quite as much, but also works). 
    (If you use fresh, whole or diced tomatoes you would want to put the sauce in a blender, or use an immersion blender which is easier). 
1  6 oz. can tomato paste
1  Tbsp sugar or sweetener, or to taste
2  tsp dried oregano
3  tsp dried basil
OPTIONAL:  1 or 2 TBSP of white or red wine (generally you'll omit this because it isn't necessary, and not worth the trouble of finding some left-over wine).

Optional "Meat"balls:  'Gimme Lean' Ground Beef Style Veggie Protein (pictured below)
Optional BBQ sauce and maybe hot sauce for the meatballs.


In a large skillet or pot, add the onions and sauté for several minutes until almost translucent.  (If it's a regular pan, i.e. not 'non-stick,' you'll need a little liquid with onions).  Add the garlic and sauté another minute or so. Add the tomatoes and seasonings and simmer for 10 more minutes or so.   The wine is completely optional (we don't usually use it), but if you like you may mix in 1 or 2 TBSP of white or red wine.    

If you're using "meat"balls, the Gimme Lean instructions say to form balls about 1/4," and brown in a pan with a bit of oil.  (Small meatballs tend to absorb the sauce & flavors better than larger ones).   If you want to boost their flavor, toss them with a little Barb-B-Q sauce, then broil them in the oven on aluminum foil, turning several times to get them brown.  You can't fry them in a pan with BBQ sauce which tends to ruin your pan.  Hot-sauce also boosts the flavor, if you like it:  mix some Tobasco into the BBQ sauce before applying it to the balls. 

Serve with pasta

Another variation, whenever you're having pasta is "pasta primavera!"  In other words, throw in a bunch of veggies: steamed or dry-fried.


   Without "meat"balls                                              These "meat"balls are fat-free & taste great.

tagged Toasted Hummus Tortillas* with Good 2013-01-21 13:53:58 -0500

Toasted Hummus Tortillas*


Inspired by Forks Over Knives (the book);  originally from Elise Murphy - T. Colin Campbell Foundation

The crunch of toasted tortilla complements the hummus perfectly.  The tortilla makes this a comfort food (careful not to over-do it)!   And it's a portable finger food as well: clean, neat, and perfect to bring to a meeting or pot-luck. These freeze well and defrost in seconds in the microwave.  Keep them around and you'll never be caught without something reasonably healthy to eat ever again. 

Here's some background if you care to know:  There was a recipe for this in the book 'Forks Over Knives,' ("Easy Quesadillas") which I thought needed to be simplified & modified it.  It included chick peas, nutritional yeast, and had a southwester flavor.  I made it many times, but was never completely satisfied with the filling.   Meanwhile I discovered some hummus variations that I really loved, and realized it was better, and easier, with just hummus as the filling.  Once again, the KISS principle is confirmed!  (Keep It Simple, Stupid). 


Your favorite home-made hummus    See some variations HERE
whole-wheat tortillas


Spread hummus on a tortilla, and cover it with another tortilla.

Dry-fry the tortilla in a non-stick pan until both sides are brown.  It's OK if they're a little bit blackened: they're crunchier this way.    Remove from pan and cut them into wedges.

Note that additions to the filling like cilantro leaves, chopped raw sweet onion, or salsa, sound like brilliant ideas, but they tend to cause the tortillas to not stick together, or become too watery in the case of salsa.

(As mentioned, these freeze very well, but when defrosted they've lost their crunch, FYI - still great, though, and you should definitely freeze them). 


tagged Fajitas* with Good 2012-07-09 11:19:51 -0400


"Quick, satisfying & works with almost whatever ingredients you have available.   We cook these in a panini-maker which has a top that holds the rolled-up tortillas together.   A similar grill would work. 

You can't go wrong - ALL INGREDIENTS ARE OPTIONAL except the tortilla.
Then use your imagination.  With salsa, beans, maybe cabbage etc. - you're good to go!

Spread onto a soft whole-wheat tortilla:
A shmear of canned fat-free refried beans (helps hold it together)
Some canned beans, rinsed & drained - such as pinto, black beans etc.
Raw chopped cabbage
Raw chopped onion
Fresh basil leaves  and/or fresh spinach leaves
Hot sauce
garlic powder or chopped garlic
avocado pieces
ETC . . . .

Directions:   Fold up and grill.

An ingredient that we don't recommend is vegan cheese.  Though tasty, it's very high in fat and not conducive to good health or weight loss.  Especially if you're just starting out, vegan cheese makes this taste more like the traditional version you may be used to.  Vegan cheese is likely to be a little healthier than dairy cheese.  Most people will find this to be delicious without the fake cheese. 

tagged Curried Lentils* with Excellent 2012-05-26 15:24:22 -0400

Curried Lentils*



Adapted by Vlad Konstantinov and Dr. Joe, modified from "Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease" by Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr., MD

NOTE:  You can cook this in one of two ways, the One Pot method is preferred.     

(1)  ONE-POT METHOD:  Add lentils to boiling water, cook for 10 minutes, then add the veggies and everything will be perfectly cooked together.   It may end up like a soup depending on how much water you start out with.    (2)  The TWO-POT METHOD: Makes it easier to avoid a soup-like consistency, but more work, and the ingredients don't get to simmer together.  


  • 5 cups water
  • 2 Cups green lentils (= 16 Oz packet).  (We said green because we know how long to cook it;  other colors cook faster, also green looks good with the carrots and tomatoes).  
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 medium, or one very large onion, chopped (1 cup)
  • 1 cup of celery, chopped  (Optional):  
  • 2 cups of carrots, peeled and chopped
  • One large potato (or two medium), cut into generous bite-sized pieces.
  • 3 fresh ripe tomatoes, coarsely chopped (about 3 cups chopped), preferably heirloom or Italian if available.  (i.e., tomatoes that taste good).   Or a 24 oz can of tomatoes, without liquid, whole or chopped.  If whole, cut them up with a scissors.   
  • (optional):   4 skinny green chili peppers OR 1 jalapeño  OR 2-3  mild chili peppers, to taste, seeded and chopped, OR  1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper, or 1 - 2 dashes of Tabasco sauce.  
  • one-half bunch of fresh parsley (optional)
  • 2.5 teaspoons curry powder, or to taste
  • Fresh ground pepper to taste. 
  • Chopped nuts for optional garnish at end.
  • Optional salt to taste.  



    • Chop all veggies in advance, so they can be added at the right time.
    • Bring 5 cups of water to a boil in a large covered pot.   (At any time add a little more hot water if needed). 
    • Add lentils and boil for exactly 10 minutes, then add in the chopped carrots, potatoes and onion (NOT tomatoes).   
    • At the same time, add the 3 cloves of chopped garlic,  the one chopped jalapeno (or chili powder), the 2.5 teasp curry powder, and fresh ground pepper.     
    • (At any time add a little extra hot water if needed, but too much will result in soup.  Cook Covered; the steam helps to cook the veggies which are not fully  submerged).   
    • Continue boiling until lentils and veggies are done;  potatoes should be done but not too soft.  
    • Just before serving, stir in the fresh chopped tomatoes and parsley.   The tomatoes should remain raw.  If added too early they tend to disappear.  Tasty heirloom or other good-tasting tomatoes are excellent this way; otherwise use canned.  
    • If using salt, add just before serving, or let diners add their own salt.  (Freeze any unused portion without salt).    
    • Garnish with chopped nuts or more raw parsley, if using.  


    • Boil lentils until done, drain off all the liquid, reserving some in case it needs to be re-added. 
    • Boil the potato pieces and carrot pieces in a pan separate from the lentils, until done, then combine with lentils. 
    • Caramelize onions and celery in a separate non-stick pan without oil (i.e. brown on one side without stirring), then add to the lentils. 
    • Add all the remaining ingredients, stir, and correct the seasonings.  


Either method:  Other optional ingredients added near the end of cooking:   cilantro, chopped zucchini, green peppers, greens, etc!   If using greens, add them about a minute before serving, and add them only to the portion that will be consumed.  (Don't add greens to any portion that will be frozen).   

Serve hot or cold, with pasta or rice




commented on Mango Lime Bean Salad 2012-05-20 23:04:50 -0400 · Flag
I make this now with cooked (frozen) corn either instead of the beans, or with them. The key is a lot of lime juice (preferably fresh). I make this often for company; it looks fancy, it’s a crowd-pleaser, and it’s one of my favorites. I no longer measure the ingredients – you’ll know how much is enough.

tagged Barbara Bailey's Quick and Fancy Brown Rice* with Good 2012-04-11 20:24:58 -0400

Quick and Fancy Brown Rice*













Cook 1 cup brown rice by your favorite method
To the cooked rice, add any combination of whatever you have around.

Some ideas:

¼ cup cooked frozen peas
¼ cup cut-up & pan-roasted almonds
¼ cup raisins or dried currents
2 bunches of *very lightly* sautéed scallions
Some mild raw onion, chopped
A handful of raw chopped cabbage
Some beans (yum) - if canned: drained & rinsed
etc. etc. etc.  (just a few of these ingredients will be fancy enough).

tagged Barbara Bailey's Roasted Veggies* with Good 2012-04-08 19:48:28 -0400

Roasted Veggies*


(Great accompaniment to beans, rice, or beans & rice, etc.)


  • With or without oil.  You can try it with oil the first time to make sure it's delicious enough.  FYI, a half-teaspoon coats a big bowl of cut-up veggies.  Later you can experiment with less or no oil, which is healthier. 
  • Nuts and raisins are calorie-dense but are otherwise healthy and can enhance the taste.  
  • Recommend also cooking with vinegar (optional).  Balsamic or rice vinegar may be preferred because it is a little sweeter than others, but any vinegar is fine.
  • A light-colored vinegar may look better on some light-colored veggies (we use white balsamic). 
  • Cook similar vegetables together.  In my pre-heated oven at 400 degrees, cauliflower takes 30 minutes, squash (like acorn squash) takes 18-20 minutes (don't overcook squash!), potatoes or onions take about 30 minutes, carrots about 20 minutes, zucchini needs less time, etc.   Wait for oven to come to temperature before cooking for predictable cooking times, and record the time for your oven, for future reference.   You need a timer or stopwatch.  Aim for some browning without burning.   You can finish them off under the broiler for extra browning – but watch them like a hawk.   Usually turning is not needed.  
  • These are tastiest if several veggies are combined, or if combined with other ingredients (tomatoes, beans, purple onions, cooked corn, parsley or cilantro, etc.).   
  • Even non-stick baking pans will burn unless you use parchment paper or a reusable silicone making mat (which is easiest).   With either of these, you don't need oil. 
  • For white potatoes:  rosemary, and/or paprika, pepper, maybe seasoned or regular salt).   Can add dried or fresh parsley near the end or after cooking.   Also garlic, either powdered, or minced or with garilic press.
  • Sweet potatoes:  don’t need spices, cinnamon is optional.   Plain roasted whole sweet potatoes can be cut into pieces and mixed with orange pieces and/or blueberries and/or nuts:  fabulous.   Or, for a better visual appearance (if serving to others): mash without skin before adding above ingredients. (Broil the chopped skins and eat them separately).
  • Especially for Brussels sprouts (30 or more minutes at 400 degrees) or other non-starchy vegetables:  fruit (raisins,           blueberries, and/or sliced apples coated- with-lemon-juice, etc.) can be added during or after cooking, and/or a small amount of chopped nuts.
  • Garlic: powdered (or pressed with garlic pressed added after cooking) is good with just about everything.
  • Black pepper, thyme, dill, curry, (maybe oregano?) - are our favorites - good on everything.   
  • Benson’s Table Tasty is the best salt alternative IMO, available by mail order.


  • Veggies of choice
  • vinegar (balsamic is sweeter than most others) 
  • Tamari or soy sauce (low sodium)
  • (OPTIONAL):  SMALL amount of olive oil (if using)
  • Parchment paper or silpat (silicone non-stick, re-usable baking mat); the silpat is quicker to use.
  • Herbs



Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

  • Cut-up veggies, separated into those with similar cooking times.
  • In a bowl, toss with vinegar and tamari.  (About ¼ cup of vinegar for about a pound of cut-up Brussels sprouts, for example, is about right, but mostly you just sprinkle some in, amount not critical.
  • AND / OR:  toss with a very small bit of oil, if using (OPTIONAL).
  • Sprinkle with pepper, dried herbs or salt (if using)
  • Preheat oven (to keep track of cooking time) and bake most veggies at 400 degrees for 15 - 30 minutes, checking for doneness.  
  • Optional:  Run under broiler for extra browning. 


tagged Pasta, Beans & Veggies* with Excellent 2012-04-01 22:21:55 -0400

Pasta, Beans & Veggies*

This is one of many variations on a classic combination:  pasta (or grains), beans, veggies, and sauce.  It's ultra-fast, literally ready in minutes - IF you planned ahead (as you always should) and kept some of the main ingredients available and ready to go (i.e. cooked pasta and beans in advance).  This is a staple, good for the main dish, very satisfying.  Use whatever ingredients you have. 


  • Caramelized onion (see below), or you can just chop onion into large-ish pieces and stir-fry without oil.  I use a non-stick pan, but it can be easily done in a steel pan, using water or other liquid as needed to prevent onions from sticking.   If you have other vegetables, saute them too, such as bell pepper, broccoli,etc. etc.  mushrooms and celery are terrific additions.   Raw chopped cabbage is excellent, can be added near the end and adds crunch.  If using green leafy vegetables (collards, kale, etc.), add them a minute or less before cooking is finished.
  • Boiled lentils (or other cooked beans). I'm partial to lentils here: they're delicious and cook quick, but any beans or legumes work well.
  • Cooked whole wheat pasta (I'm partial to the macaroni-shape).  A variation could be slices of polenta (corn meal), which comes in a tube.  Alternatively, just serve the dish on a bed of rice instead. 
  • For the "sauce," either cut up fresh tomatoes (such as Roma), or else add some marinara, tomato sauce or salsa.   Or instead you can stir in a small amount of Hoi Sin sauce, or plain old BBQ sauce. 
  • fresh ground pepper to taste.
  • Spices (optional):  This dish is so good that spices are optional. I used tobasco.  "Italian seasoning" is good, or, of course, garlic, etc. etc.   You can save time by using garlic powder.

  • Optional:  fruit of some kind, such as raisins, or you could use cut-up apples, etc.
  • (Optional:  salt to taste;  If your tastebuds have gotten used to the taste of real food, you'll need little or none).
  • (Optional):  Nuts, such as almonds, or others.  I generally only use nuts if the dish needs a lift, or tastes plain without them, and I minimize the quantity in order to avoid the fat content.  Though some authorities believe nuts have health benefits when combined with other food (but not as a snack), especially if you don't have heart disease.  Regardless, they certainly can add to the deliciousness factor of any dish.  This dish is already awesome so they're probably not needed.   


This requires a non-stick pan, onions are not stirred.  (Or you can saute them in without oil in a steel pan, but you'd probably have to stir them).  
Chop onions coursely. 
Add them to a non-stick pan.  (Optionally you may toss them with salt before cooking, which causes them to release some liquid)
Spread them on a non-stick frying pan so that all the onion touches the surface (you may need several batches)
Cook them on medium high heat without oil and without turning, try not to peak too soon.  Cook until they're brown or blackened on one side, ("caremilzed") but still crunchy. 
The caremalized side tastes sweet, but the onion is not overcooked and still crunchy. 
You can add a little water or other liquid to the pan to prevent burning if needed. 



Boil the lentils until done, 15 - 20 minutes.  You can stir-fry (without oil) the other items separately and then combine them.  Or you can cook them in one large skillet, adding the onions and hard veggies first, then others.  About a half-minute before cooking is finished is when you add the green leafies, if using. 

published "Salads" (Meal-In-A-Bowl) in General Advice 2012-02-10 13:01:24 -0500

Cooking Tips


The word "salad" conjurs images of boring bowls of iceberg lettuce.  Some people imagine that 'plant-based' means salad and little else.  Not true, of course.   You could eat a varied plant-based diet without ever eating a salad.  But you'd be missing out on a lot of great food.

Greens combined with various other ingredients are one of the great joys of healthy eating.   No other food comes close to green leafy vegetables for nutrient density, or the ability to satisfy with minimal calories.  Nothing else is in the same super-food category.  Greens are second to none in helping people lose weight.  (The more you eat, the *more* weight you'll lose, according to Joel Fuhrman, M.D.!)

The secret to a delicious "salad" is to add a great variety of ingredients, so that your salad resembles a meal-in-a-bowl.   Or add greens to your meal and it resembles a salad!  You may not know what to call it but you'll quickly see that combinations make food delicious.  This is a culinary law of nature:  Foods Taste Better As Combinations.    'Beans & Greens,' chili, etc. etc. are among countless variations on this concept.

Discover which greens you like.  We're partial to collard greens or cabbage  (Cabbage keeps well in the fridge), others like kale, etc. etc.  Raw is probably the most nutritious, or you can dry-fry them a few seconds if you want.   

Some popular ingredients are any of the following (partial list):  beans (any beans), fruit (maybe cut-up apple, mango, raisins, tangerines, etc. etc),  nuts, grains (cooked pasta, cooked barley, etc. etc.), cooked or raw veggies of your choosing (left-over broccoli, asparagas, zucchini, onions, etc.).  I like mushrooms lightly sauteed, and raw purple onion or vadalia onion.  Herbs can be nice like fresh parsley, maybe dried or fresh dill, thyme, "italian seasonings," pepper, garlic powder, etc. etc.  These combinations add so much flavor that salt is generally not needed.

For a dressing, it's important to avoid a lot of oil, or any oil ideally.  Oil is pure fat and the most calorie-dense food known to man, while greens and other veggies are the least calorie dense.  Find ideas and recipes for fat-free dressings on the website here.  It's best to make the dressing yourself; it's unlikely that you'll be able to find a good-tasting store-bought fat-free dressing.  You may find one that you can combine with your own ingredients, but avoid store-boughts with high-fructose corn-syrup.  We recommend that you also avoid "low fat" store-bought dressings because they contain oil which you really don't want.  Because combinations of ingredients make the salad so flavorful, the need for a salad dressing is minimized.  A squeeze of lemon or lime juice may be all you need to achieve amazing deliciousness.  A good basic dressing is balsamic vinegar with prepared mustard and fresh-squeezed lime or lemon juice, sometimes with plack pepper, garlic powder, and/or dried herbs, and sometimes with tahini (or low-fat tahini) mixed in.

Many health authorities recommend having a big bowl of "salad" every day and we agree - if you *love* what you're eating. 


published General Advice 2012-02-10 12:59:57 -0500

General Advice


tagged Vanessa Kightlinger's Low-Fat Tahini* with Excellent 2012-12-15 12:44:45 -0500

Low-Fat Tahini*

Tahini (sesame seed paste) is the basis for many terrific spreads and dressings and is readily available in supermarkets. Unlike oils, it's not a processed food; it's just ground up sesame seeds.  (Make sure your brand includes no added oils).  But it's naturally high in fat like other seeds & nuts. (For that reason, some healthy hummus recipes omit tahini, even though that compromises the taste quite a bit).

Buy tahini in a jar where you can see that the oil has separated and risen to the top.   Normally you would have to stir the oil back in.

Pour the oil down the drain.  Then transfer tahini to a bowl big enough to stir it up.  Add water until it's creamy.  This takes a lot of stirring (the same as if you were stirring the oil back in).   What you now have is Low Fat Tahini; you've just removed the great majority of fat & calories.

Low-fat tahini mixed with either lemon juice or vinegar makes the best low-fat salad dressing IMO, especially with garlic powder, pepper, dried dill weed, and maybe salt.  On this website, tahini is used Lemon Tahini Dressing and of course hummus.  (Tip: if adding tahini to a salad dressing, use a jar with a lid - it's much easier to mix by shaking the jar). 

The low-fat version of tahini doesn't keep well in the fridge.  (Ordinary tachini keeps a very long time even unrefrigerated).  I divide mine into small containers kept in the freezer.  When I need tahini I defrost it in the microwave for a few seconds, then return the unused portion back to the freezer.



 The oil from a jar of hummus!



suggested Calabaza y Camote Al Horno for En Español 2012-02-05 15:41:50 -0500

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Dr. Joe
medical doctor, primary care, administrator of www.nutritionasmedicine.org, Baltimore.