Our First Raw Meal
My fiance and I have been wanting to lose weight, more so to get rid of health problems than for vanity reasons. He wanted to give the raw food trend a try. I was skeptical, because I like vegetables but they’re cooked. After talking to a few friends who have done the raw food lifestyle, we decided to take the plunge.
For a lot of the raw food diet recipes out there, it requires a dehydrator. This machine “cooks” the raw stuff by drawing the moisture out of the food. However, a dehydrator can be very expensive, and we weren’t ready to make such an expensive purchase yet. I put my Google skills to work and found a recipe that didn’t require a dehydrator and it would provide a small taste of the raw food lifestyle.
I would like to point out, this is not my recipe. It is the work of a popular raw food chef in the UK, Russell James. You can find more information about him here: http://therawchef.com/.
When we had this lasagne the other night, we were pleasantly surprised. It tasted like a wonderful vegetable lasagne! We were hooked. The walnut meat layer tasted like a spicy ground meat, and the cheese had a reminder of parmasean cheese. I was fooled into thinking I was eating a traditional meat lasagne. It was delicious.
It is best to do the prep work in the morning so it has time to set in the fridge.
Now, on to the food!
– Serves 9 large portions. Can be made in a lasagne dish, or made as individual portions on the plate.
2 cups macadamias, soaked 4 hours or more
1 cup pine nuts
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 yellow pepper
2 tablespoons fresh parsley
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup water as needed
– Process all ingredients together adding as little of the water as possible until a fluffy consistency is achieved.
Walnut Meat Layer
1/2 cup walnuts, soaked 1 hour or more
1 cup sun-dried tomatoes, soaked for 1 hour or more
1 tablespoon dark/brown miso
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons dried sage
1 tablespoon nama shoyu
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon agave nectar
– Grind all ingredients in a food processor, leaving the mixture slightly chunky.
1 1/2 cups sun-dried tomatoes, soaked 2 hours or more
2 soft dates
2 cloves garlic
2 cups tomato, seeded and chopped
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1/3 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
– Process in a food processor until smooth.
2 cups tightly packed basil leaves
3/4 cup pine nuts or walnuts
1/2 cup olive oil
1 clove garlic
1 tablespoon lemon juice
– Process all ingredients, leaving plenty of chunkiness!
6 cups torn spinach
5 tablespoons dried oregano
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
– Place all ingredients in a bowl to marinade and wilt for 1 hour or longer, putting the covered bowl in a dehydrator will help this process but it’s not essential.
Needed For Assembly
– 5 medium courgettes (zucchini), cut lengthwise and marinated in 1 tablespoon of salt and 3 tablespoons olive oil for 10 minutes. Pinch black pepper
– Line the base of your dish with a layer of the courgette strips that slightly overlap.
– On top of this put down a layer of the walnut meat, then the cheese, then tomato sauce and finally the pesto on top.
– Finish this with another layer of slightly overlapping courgette strips.
– Repeat step 2 but before adding the final layer of courgette, take your wilted spinach and create an additional layer with that.
– Placing the whole dish in the fridge for several hours will firm it all up slightly which will make it easier to cut into portions.