Quick Recipes

Portobello Mushroom (Burgers) with Balsamic Vinegar*

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From Sharon McRae:   We sprinkle garlic powder, onion powder, and ginger over the mushrooms before baking. 


Portobello mushroom caps
vinegar (such as balsamic)
tamari or soy sauce (low sodium ideally) 
garlic cloves. 
black pepper 
(dried herbs if desired:  thyme, etc.)


  • Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Drizzle the gills with balsamic vinegar, tamari, fresh ground pepper, garlic powder (or cut-up garlic pieces).
  • (Some would recommend brushing with olive oil or sprinkling on salt.  You can try it the first time if you feel you need to, but totally delicious without these less healthy ingredients).  
  • Bake for about 15-20 minutes or until mushrooms are soft and have shrunken slightly.
  • If using tahini (sesame seed paste), before cooking add several small dabs of tahini around the mushroom.  Makes it even more delicious!

SERVE on hamburger buns with onion slices, tomato slices, & condiments.
OR, cut-up and add to a stir-fry, salad, or pasta.   
OR, cut-up and serve as a side dish, alone or mixed with other roasted veggies.    



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Baked Tortilla Chips*

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(Shown with chipotle corn and bean salad)

• Corn or whole wheat tortillas


Preheat oven to 375F.
Cut each tortilla into fourths.
Place on a cookie sheet covered with a Silpat,* parchment paper, or cooking spray **
Lightly spray or hand-pat each chip with water.
Sprinkle with herbs or seasonings, if desired.
Turn chips over and Bake another 8-10 minutes until crisp.

* A Silpat is a non-stick Silicone Baking mat. Nothing sticks to it and you can reuse.
** FYI "cooking spray" is 100% fat although the label says "fat free."   (If using the spray, a non-stick baking pan makes it even less likely that anything will stick).

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Curried Lentils*

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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




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Pasta, Beans & Veggies*

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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. 

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Potato and Chickpea Curry*

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from PCRM: Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.

Makes 10 1-cup servings  

  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds (or 1.5 teasp powder)
  • 2 lbs potatoes (about 5 medium-small) cut up into ½ inch cubes
  • 1 28-oz ounce can crushed or whole tomatoes (we prefer whole)
  • 2 15-ounce can chickpeas, undrained
  • 1 & ¼  teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 & ¼ teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoon salt
  • Add 1 – 2 sauteed onion

Note that all this is a lot of food and doesn't easily fit into a large frying pan, so cook items separately, i.e. cook the onions, remove from pan, then the potatoes.   The pre-cooked chickpeas don't need much cooking. 

Saute onions and cumin in a large pan – in water or wine.  Cook over medium high heat until onions are soft. 
Remove and set aside.
Scrub potatoes and cut into 1/2-inch cubes.  Dry-fry these (with some liquid if necessary).  
When potatoes are partially, or mostly, cooked, add all  other ingredients.  However, you may want to delay, until later, adding the onions (which were already cooked) so as not to overcook them.   Simmer, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are tender.

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Bean Enchiladas

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(from Dr. Joel Fuhrman's book, "Super Immunity")

Serves 6


1 medium green bell pepper, seeded and chopped

1/2 cup sliced onion

1 cup no-salt added or low-sodium tomato sauce, divided

2 cups cooked pinto or black beans or one (15-ounce) can no-salt-added or low-sodium pinto or black beans, drained

1 cup frozen corn kernels

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional

1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro

6 corn tortillas


Saute the green pepper and onion in 2 tablespoons of the tomato sauce until tender.  Stir in the remaining tomato sauce, beans, corn, chili powder, cumin, onion powder, cilantro, and cayenne (if using).  Spoon about 1/4 cup of the bean mixture on each tortilla and roll up.  Serve as is or bake for 15 minutes in a 375oF oven.

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Sweet Potatoes with Fruit Cut-up or Mashed**

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  • Sweet potatoes are delicious plain, but even better with fruit.   This is a staple for me.  
  • Mashed sweet potatoes (without skins) are pictured above, but it's quicker just to cut them up, with the skins.
  • The visual appearance of cut-up sweets isn't terrific, so the mashed version is good if you're serving it to others.    
  • The only reason to remove the skins is for visual appearance.  If you do, cut them into strips and broil them until they're a little crunchy, they're delicious.  
  • Everyone should keep cooked sweet potatoes in the fridge at all times, so they’re ready-to go.
  • Cut-up oranges seem to be the best fruit for this by far for some reason.  Blueberries are also great. Apples and other fruits work also. .  
  • This is a hearty, filling, satisfying and 100% healthy meal that you can have anytime: breakfast, lunch or dinner.
  • You absolutely don’t need butter or sweetener.  If you think you need a sweetener, get over it and add more fruit.  
  • Sweet potatoes taste a little better baked, but also delicious micro-waved or boiled.
    At 400 calories per pound, and with a very high satiety index, potatoes are a health food that helps people lose weight.  One of Chef A.J.s top three tips for ultimate weight loss is to "Eat Potatoes!"  ("You've been depriving yourself for far too long!")
  • Most (but not all) plant-based health authorities encourage consumption of white potatoes, but they all endorse sweet potatoes, which are even healthier.  



  • Cooked sweet potatoes, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • Fruit, such as cut-up oranges, blueberries, etc. etc.


  • Nuts and/or raisins make this fancier and even more delicious.
  • A dash of brandy is delicious with this (in no way healthy, mostly sugar)
  • Maybe cinnamon


Combine in a bowl!      See Below!




Here are the broiled, crunchy skins (ready to eat, or to mix back in with the mashed sweet potatoes)





And here are the sweets with the crunchy skins!




 Here are mashed sweets with mango & walnuts.  You can't see the brandy, but believe me, it's there.





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Sweet and Sour Vegetables*

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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.

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Toasted Hummus Tortillas*

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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). 


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