These sour red berries grow on a trailing shrub. You can buy them fresh in the Fall, or frozen at any time of year. Dried cranberries are a delicious addition to trail mixes. When buying fresh look for bright red shiny skins. Cranberries are a valuable source of iron, vitamin C and folic acid.
Cranberries are usually too sour to eat raw. First wash and remove any damaged berries. Then cook them with a little water and sugar, then puree them to make a sauce. Or you can add them to a recipe directly to add a contrasting flavor.
Zucchini, also known as a courgette, is a type of summer squash. Green or yellow in color, and shaped like a cucumber, this nutritious vegetable provides vitamin A, folate, potassium and manganese, plus antioxidants such as lutein and zeaxanthin. Like all vegetables, they have plenty of fiber.
Choose smooth, firm zucchini, and if you’re growing them yourself, don’t let them grow too large, as they become fibrous. You can store them in the refrigerator for several days, but use them before they start to soften and the skins become pitted.
Most famous, perhaps, in the classic French recipe, Ratatouille, zucchini are extremely versatile. They can be consumed raw, as sticks for dipping in hummus or salsa for example, or they can be sliced thickly for veggie kebabs or stews, sliced thinly and lightly fried with herbs, cubed and included in a stir-fry or even split in half, stuffed and baked in the oven. Adding them to muffins or baking zucchini bread is a great way to get young children to eat some vegetables unknowingly!
Serve these golden fritters with Chili Beans or with Ratatouille.
1 1/3 cups fortified soy- or rice milk
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup unbleached flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 medium zucchini
1 cup fresh, frozen, or canned corn
1 vegetable oil spray
Combine non-dairy milk and vinegar. Set aside. In a mixing bowl, combine cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Chop or grate zucchini (you should have about 1 cup), then add to cornmeal mixture. Add non-dairy milk mixture and corn. Stir to mix.
Lightly spray a non-stick griddle or skillet with vegetable oil and heat until a drop of water dances on the surface. Pour on small amounts of batter and cook until edges are dry, about 2 minutes. Carefully turn with a spatula and cook second side until golden brown, about 1 minute. Serve immediately.
Makes 10 1-cup servings
Ratatouille is a perfect dish for late summer and early autumn when tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants are at their peak. Serve with bread or pasta and a crisp green salad.
1/2 cup water
2 onions, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 large eggplant, diced
1 – 2 pound tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped, or 1 15-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 bell pepper, seeded and diced
2 medium zucchini, sliced
Heat the water in a large pot and add onions and garlic. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until onions are soft, about 5 minutes.
Stir in eggplant, tomatoes, basil, oregano, thyme, salt, and black pepper. Cover and simmer, stirring frequently, until eggplant is just tender when pierced with a fork, about 15 minutes.
Stir in bell pepper and zucchini. Cover and cook until tender, about 5 minutes.
Epazote is a pungent herb, available dried in Latin markets. It’s often added to bean dishes as much for its carminative (gas-reducing) properties as for its unique flavor. Chayote (pronounced chi-OH-tay) is a mild, pale green squash about the size of a pear.
12 small corn tortillas
1 medium onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon dried epazote
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes, drained and chopped
3 medium zucchini, cubed
3 chayotes, seeded and cubed
½ cup raisins
Minced fresh cilantro
Heat the tortillas on a hot griddle to soften them, then wrap them in foil to keep warm and set them aside. In a medium bowl, combine the onion, garlic, epazote, 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, and the tomatoes, and set aside. Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium heat and add the zucchini, chayotes and raisins. Sauté until the squash is just crisp-tender. Add the tomato mixture and sauté until heated through, being careful not to overcook the squash. It should have a slight crunch. Spoon the filling onto the warmed tortillas and sprinkle with the cilantro.
We’re excited to tell you that one of the chefs presenting at Vegfest this year (2017) will be Chef Ramses Bravo! Ramses is the executive chef for TrueNorth Health Center in Santa Rosa, California, where his delicious, healthful meals have inspired thousands of people who have transformed their lives at the center. Here we can share with you two recipes from his cookbook Bravo!: Health Promoting Meals from the TrueNorth Health Kitchen
Double Squash with Pecans and Dried Cherries
This recipe combines sweet butternut squash, pecans, and cherries with savory acorn squash, shallot, and sage. The flavors complement rather than overpower each other.
2 butternut squash,
3 pounds each, cut lengthwise and seeds removed
2 acorn squash, 1.5 pounds each, cut lengthwise and seeds removed
1/2 cup dried cherries
1/2 cup pecans, toasted (see notes below)
1 shallot, thinly sliced
10 fresh sage leaves, very thinly sliced, or 1/2 teaspoon dried
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.
Put the butternut and acorn squash cut-side down on the lined baking sheets and bake the butternut squash for about 30 minutes and the acorn squash for about 20 minutes, just
until tender. Let cool.
When cool enough to handle, peel and cut the squash into 1-inch cubes. Transfer to a large bowl. Add the cherries, pecans, shallot, and sage. Gently toss all the ingredients until well combined, taking care to keep the squash cubes whole. Serve at room temperature or thoroughly chilled.
Note: Butternut squash will generally take longer to cook than acorn squash, depending on their respective sizes. Be careful not to overcook the squash. When the squash is soft, the cubes will break apart. The flavor won’t be affected, but the look and texture of the dish will.
Toasting Nuts and Seeds
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spread the nuts or seeds on a rimmed baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for 3 to 5 minutes.
Raw or Toasted Nuts and Seeds?
Which is better: raw or toasted nuts and seeds? This is a question that many TrueNorth
guests have asked me. My answer depends on what works best for each person.
The style of cooking advocated at TrueNorth and described in this book is designed
for optimal health. To that end, I recommend raw nuts and seeds, which have
greater nutritional value. However, this diet is also restrictive, so I look for ways to make
the food as flavorful as possible. One way to do that is to use toasted nuts and seeds, which
I prefer. My reasoning is that people may return to bad habits if they find their food
bland, and they may be more likely to stay with the program if it is more flavorful.
This is a wholesome alternative to the greasy, fried, and overly salted, potato dishes often served at breakfast time. This dish can be prepared ahead of time, so all you need to do is bake it before serving. Note: It takes about 1 hour for the baked potatoes to cool down enough to be peeled. For speed and convenience, the potatoes can be baked 1 day in advance and stored in the refrigerator.
8 medium russet potatoes, scrubbed
2 cups small cauliflower florets
2 cups quartered white mushrooms
6 Roma tomatoes, cubed
1 small yellow onion, diced
1/ 4 teaspoon granulated garlic
1/ 4 teaspoon granulated onion
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil, or 1 tablespoon dried
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, or 1 tablespoon dried
Pierce each potato a few times with a fork or paring knife. Put the potatoes directly on a rack in the center of the oven and bake for 45 minutes, or until tender. The potatoes are done when a paring knife can be easily inserted in the center. Turn off the oven. Transfer the potatoes to a cooling rack.
When the potatoes are cool to the touch, peel and dice them. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Arrange the potatoes on the lined baking sheet. Scatter the cauliflower, mushrooms, tomatoes, and onion over the potatoes. Sprinkle with the granulated garlic and granulated onion. (At this point, the baking sheet can be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated for 8 to 12 hours.
When you are ready to bake the dish, bring the vegetables to room temperature while you preheat the oven. Remove the plastic wrap before baking.) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until all the vegetables start to brown. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the basil and parsley. Serve hot.