February -- the month of romance! And if the way to a lover's heart is through their tummy, then have we got you covered here. The very first time I made a raw lasagna meal was years ago, with the love of my life (thus far), a true carnivore who on that cool Autumn day, went above and beyond, and bought a raw-vegan cook book and learned the tricks of the trade in order to impress little 'ol me. Dinner was a great success, and I have since re-created my own version, adjusting and tweaking the flavours and seasoning just as my preferences, loves, and desires have ebbed and flowed.
RAW-sagna for two (or three)
• 1 Large Yellow pepper, sliced into very thin cross-sections (a mandolin works well)
• 1 Large zucchini, sliced in to thin cross-sectioned strips, sliced in half lengthwise
• 1 C cashews (or macadamia nuts), soaked and drained*
• 2 fresh cloves garlic, minced or grated
• 3 T fresh lemon juice
• 1 T dried chives
• 1 T nutritional yeast
• Salt & pepper to taste
• 1/4 C + extra water as needed
*Soak for at least 3-4 hours
Add all ingredients to blender, and process, scraping down sides of blender as needed. Add additional water until desired ricotta cheese-like texture is reached. Pour into bowl, rinse blender, and move onto marinara.
• 1 C grape tomatoes or 1 C sweet tomato of choice
• 1/2 Cup firmly packed sundried tomatoes
• 1 small clove garlic
• 1 t dried basil
• 1 t dried oregano
• 1/4 t salt
• 2 Tb olive oil
• dash pepper
Add all ingredients to high powered blender and pulverize. Pour sauce into a bowl and set aside, rinse your blender, and move onto the pesto.
Raw Basil Pesto
• 1/3 C firmly packed fresh organic basil
• 5-6 organic kale leaves, washed, trimmed, and torn into pieces
• 2-4 garlic cloves, depending on your tolerance!
• 1/3 C raw walnuts
• 1/4 C nutrition yeast
• 2-3 T freshly squeezed lemon juice
• 1.5 t sea salt
• 1/4 C extra virgin olive oil to start, adding more as needed
Again, add all ingredients to blender and process, scraping down sides of blender as needed, until smooth. Drizzle in extra oil if needed to reach sauce consistency. Pour pesto into a bowl and set aside. Proceed with assembly.
(These sauces can be made in advance and stored in the fridge for a day or two. They also freeze well.)
Raw-sagna Assembly (Individual portions)
1. Using a small spoon, drop a bit of pesto onto the centre of a serving plate.
2. Lay 2 pieces of zucchini noodles onto, side by side. This forms the base of your lasagna slice.
3. Scoop a spoonful of marinara and spread on top of zucchini. Top with a slice or two of pepper.
4. Add a layer of raw-cotta, and top with more zucchini.
5. Continue layering sauces and noodles until desired height and serving size is reached. You can drizzle on a bit of good quality olive oil between a few layers and on top for extra richness. You can also sprinkle in additional salt and pepper, or herbs of your choosing. Herbs De Provence is divine here!
Follow Meghan Pearson on Twitter: www.twitter.com/MAPWellness