Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Raw Vegan Lasagne; Cool On A Hot Day

For Father's Day, I made a raw vegan lasagne, courtesy of a recipe by Russell James.

It turned out amazingly delicious, with the flavors and textures of a Standard American Diet Lasagne, and it didn't heat up the kitchen.  The picture below doesn't do it justice.  Compare it to the pic taken by the food stylist at Russell James - the difference is amusing but it's still a great recipe.

My beloved husband enjoyed it, and after eating he said he felt satisfied and not at all bloated.  Success!

One thing that I liked best about it was that each layer was made in the food processor.  It wasn't necessary to wash the food processor between layers - just scrape it out with a spatula, because the flavors are all going to mingle in the end anyway.  So there was very little cleanup between layers.  Like many raw food recipes, it's necessary to soak nuts and marinate some of the vegetables.  It's necessary to plan ahead to make this one, but it's well worth the effort.

Next time maybe, we'll increase the ingredients for the walnut meat and the tomato sauce layers.  Because they were chunky, they were dotted on with a spoon and then spread out flat, but I would have liked to make those layers just a little thicker.  Another option would be to not try to repeat the meat and tomato layers, or add some portobellos .  The cheese and pesto layers were perfect because they were thinner and easier to spread. We did deviate a little from the original recipe.  We topped it with vegan "Parmesan cheese," which was really walnuts ground with nutritional yeast, herbs, and Panko bread crumbs.  Yes, I know Panko is not raw but it made up a very small portion of the recipe.

Because this dish contains such concentrated nutrients, it was enough for two or three of our meals, so we are having it again tonight. Perhaps that's one reason we used to overeat - the foods weren't as nutrient dense.

Speaking of Russell James, I signed up for his free mini series of video classes on raw vegan cooking.  After watching the classes, I bought downloads of his series of cookbooks.  Funds are tight, and I've been determined to do this by finding information for free online and at the library.  I made an exception in this case because what he has offered so far has helped us crack the code of raw food preparation. 

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So what do you think? Have you tried raw vegan food?