Lani Muelrath has an impressive reputation as an author, speaker and teacher on plant-based and mindful living. She has a qualification in plant-based nutrition from Cornell University and is active in promoting a plant-based lifestyle in the US. In The Plant-Based Journey. she draws on her own 40-odd years of plant-based eating experience.
|Cranberry sauce with dates and oranges|
I mentioned that the book has a broad focus. It does this without being overwhelming because it is divided into distinct sections: why plant-based eating may be helpful (Section 1: Awakening), key nutritional principles for a plant-based diet (Section 2: Scout), how to start making the transition and make use of meal templates (Section 3: Rookie), how to integrate plant-based eating into travel and socialising (Section 4: Rock star), a 10-day plant-based makeover (Section 5: Champion), and then notes on exercise, case studies and specific recipes (Section 6: Key supporting players). I liked all of the sections but was particularly drawn to the meal templates and recipes.
I also liked the diversity of recipes included in the book. Dishes like black bean polenta pie, portobello pot roast and pumpkin muffins are particularly well-suited to our current autumn weather. The lime chipotle chickpeas (featured below) are suited to any weather and may be the best chickpeas I've had (which says a lot!). I enjoyed them hot and cold, in a jacket potato and on top of a bagel thin with kale. The flavour was amazing given the marinade took 5 minutes to make.
|Lime chipotle chickpeas|
The recipe I'm sharing with you is for cranberry sauce with dates and oranges. Fresh cranberries just don't exist in Australia (imported or otherwise) so it is still a novely to be able to buy cranberries and make things like cranberry sauce from scratch. If you don't have fresh berries available, frozen would work too, although I know even they can be tricky to source in some places.
It is worth finding cranberries if you're able to because this sauce is so much better than commercial options. In fact, I would put it in a completely different category. Whilst it would go well with savoury dishes, nut roasts and even (should you not be fully plant-based) turkey, it's also delicious in yoghurt, with sweet potato and probably even on oats.
Cranberry Sauce with Dates & Oranges
Recipe from Lani Muelrath's The Plant-Based Journey, published September 2015 by BenBella Books, Inc
Shared with the kind permission of Lani Muelrath and BenBella Books, Inc.
Yields about 2 cups
8 Medjool dates, pitted
Juice from 1 orange
1/4 cup water
1 (12-ounce) bag fresh cranberries (about 2½ cups or 200g)
1 tablespoon orange zest
1. Soak the dates in the orange juice for a few hours or overnight.
2. In a high-powered blender or food processor, blend the dates with the juice and the water.
3. Put the date mixture in a large pot with the cranberries and orange zest. Cook over high heat for 5 minutes, then reduce the heat to low and cook for about 15 minutes. Add more water as needed so the mixture stays liquid though dense, like thick, chunky applesauce. Remove from the heat.
4. Let cool and store in the refrigerator. Serve as you would any cranberry sauce: with holiday dinners, or on cooked whole grains, mashed potatoes, your morning oatmeal, or to perk up a sandwich.
Note. If you’re in a hurry, you can probably skip soaking the dates. If you do, cook them for a few minutes longer to soften.
I have a digital version of The Plant-Based Journey to give away. Entries are open worldwide! To enter, just leave a comment below. Entries close at the end of the month (30th November 2015).
I received a complimentary print version of The Plant-Based Journey. All opinions are my own.