Cranberry sauce is a beautiful accompaniment for holiday meals, and so much better than any of the canned varieties. Fresh cranberries are sweetened with raisins and apple juice and flavored with orange and ginger, to give it a fresh, zesty taste. There is minimal prep involved, and the recipe can be doubled if you are feeding a crowd!
½ teaspoon fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated (or more to taste)
In medium saucepan, cook raisins in apple juice for about 10 minutes. Add cranberries and sea salt.
Cover, turn down to low, and simmer until cranberries have popped.
Remove lid and reduce sauce to desired consistency. Keep in mind that sauce will gel more when refrigerated.
Remove from heat. Stir in orange zest and ginger juice.
I like to use a microplane zester for both the orange zest and grated ginger. Be careful to very lightly zest the very outer portion of the orange peel, so that you don’t get the bitter white pith in your sauce. Sometimes I will squeeze the juice out of the grated ginger pulp and add that to the sauce rather than including the pulp.
Here is a meal using fresh cranberry sauce that I have been making for my students at The Natural Epicurean to demonstrate Fall Macrobiotic Cooking and Menu Planning. Clockwise from the top: millet-cauliflower mash with mushroom sauce, nishime style vegetables and pan-fried tempeh, fresh cranberry sauce, daikon pickle, and blanched greens with tahini-parsley dressing.
A tomato-free sauce is served with vegan meatballs to create a delicious Italian feast! Serve over capellini or your favorite pasta. The secrets of this recipe are using fresh lemon juice to create the tangy tomato taste and fresh cooked beet puree for color. In studying macrobiotics, I have learned that nightshade vegetables (such as tomatoes) can cause inflammation in the body and aggravate conditions such as arthritis and IBS. This recipe is perfect for those trying to avoid nightshades that really miss eating Italian food!
My macrobiotic teacher and friend David Briscoe comes to Austin to teach at The Natural Epicurean for the macrobiotic unit I teach there four times a year. He treats us to this Macro-Vegan Italian Feast each time he comes, and it is always super delicious and packed with nourishment. These dishes are complex in flavor and nutrient-dense. I hope you’ll make the effort to try these recipes as they are truly special!
The sauce starts with a saute of onions, carrots, olive oil, herbs, spices, and garlic.
After the vegetables are soft, they are pureed and returned to the pot for additional seasoning.
Finally, a puree of steamed beets is added to create a beautiful tomato-like color.
1 clove minced garlic (optional to add more to taste)
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cups carrots, cut into thin diagonal slices
1 teaspoon oregano
1½ teaspoons dry basil
1 teaspoon onion granules or powder
spring or filtered water
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 - 1½ teaspoons salt
1 -2 tablespoons kuzu, dissolved in ¼ cup water
Steam beets until tender. Puree until smooth and set aside in a bowl.
Saute the onions and garlic together in olive oil for 3 minutes. Add carrots, basil, oregano, and onion granules/powder. Continue to saute a few minutes.
Add enough water to almost cover the vegetables. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat. Cook covered until the carrots are tender, about 10 minutes. Do not allow the water to cook completely away.
Put the cooked vegetables into a blender, and then add all remaining ingredients EXCEPT THE BEETS. Blend until smooth. Add more water to the ingredients in the blender so they will blend into a thick sauce.
Place the blended ingredients in a pot. Slowly bring to a boil on a medium-low heat. Careful to avoid bubbling and splattering of the thick sauce. Reduce the heat. Slowly whisk in some of the pureed beets, until you create a reddish color like tomato sauce.
Taste for seasonings and add more salt and/or lemon juice if needed.
These mushroom and brown rice meatballs are the perfect complement to the no-tomato sauce
Pressure cooking the rice by far creates the best consistency for making these balls. Cook the rice with slightly more water to make it softer and stickier. Serve this on top of capellini or other pasta or solo, smothered in "The Great Stromboli" No-Tomato Sauce.
2 cups sauteed, chopped portabella mushrooms, measured after sautéing
½ cup chopped scallion, roots, white and green parts
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 tablespoons barley miso or red miso
⅓ cup chopped parsley
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Break the walnuts into pieces. Warm the oil in a frying pan, and then add the walnuts. Saute briefly.
Add the scallion. Saute briefly until the color turns a brighter green.
Add the miso and saute it with the scallions until the miso is evenly distributed throughout the scallion. Remove from heat.
Place the cooked rice, sauteed scallions, miso, walnuts, portabellas, parsely in a bowl. Mix well. Form the mixture into 1½ inch balls, cupping the mixture with your hands firmly like making a snowball.
Test to make sure the balls hold their shape. Place on a baking sheet and bake for about 15 minutes.
This recipe can be made gluten-free by using a gluten-free red miso (instead of barley miso) and puffed brown rice (instead of bread crumbs).
Add some fresh cooked pasta and a crisp salad and voila! An Italian Feast is born!
Round out your summer Italian feast with some pasta and homemade basil pesto (recipe from Monica Pesoli of Cook Like An Italian)! For a dairy-free version, omit Parmesan cheese and add 2 teaspoons sweet white miso or 1 teaspoon umeboshi vinegar and sea salt to taste.
An authentic Italian pesto, versatile and delicious. This would traditionally be used as a pasta sauce, but would also be good on bruschetta, meats, fish, or vegetables. Recipe courtesy of Monica Pesoli of "Like an Italian" cooking classes, language instruction, and Italy tours.
2½ cups of basil leaves (no stems), tightly packed
2 tablespoons parsley
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
¼ cup pine nuts
¼ cup Parmesan cheese
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, Montebello brand recommended
Use all organic ingredients to the greatest extent possible. Wash basil and parsley nonetheless; de-vein basil leaves w/ largest veins.
Add to a blender parsley, half the oil, garlic, nuts, cheese, and some salt if desired. Puree with lid on.
Turn off blender, and add all basil, drizzling remaining oil over leaves. With blender off and using a rubber spatula, help to direct leaves under the blades by forcing them down along the sides of the blender. With the lid on, pulse the blender switch a number of times, catching leaves in the blades to puree. Continue to alternate forcing leaves down the sides of the blender towards the blades (with blender off and lid removed), and pulsing blender switch with lid on to puree leaves.
Pesto is ready when leaves are evenly pureed, but mixture still has some texture (with no leafy bits). Use as pasta topping/sauce or on a multitude of other foods!
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Chef Rachel Zierzow helps people create healthy lives through her down to earth approach to cooking, eating, and enjoying life. Check out her delicious recipes and useful healthy living tips at cookloveheal.com.
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Join the Cook Love Heal Community!
Join the Cook Love Heal Community, and I’ll send you my Natural Health Starter Kit for free and you’ll find out about the online course as soon as it is available. I’ll also keep you updated with amazing recipes, yoga ideas and tips for how to live a balanced life. Look forward to meeting you!