So here is my attempt to recreate a delicious raw lasagna. Why raw lasagna? Well, as we all know, eating raw vegetables is good for you! Raw foods contain enzymes that contribute to overall health and assist digestion. Consider this a temporary replacement for your leafy green salad one day. Look at the number of vegetables, nuts and nutrients I packed into this yummy feast. Try it and I think you will be surprised by how good it tastes and how good you feel afterwards.
Raw Zucchini and Carrot Lasagna with Almond “Ricotta”
(found in the book Whole Foods to Thrive by Brendan Brazier)
* Start this recipe the day before or early in the morning because the vegetables need to marinate for at least 8 hours. Choose either a rectangle or square pan that is just long enough for each strip of zucchini. My pan was big enough to fit 3 strips of zucchini length-wise, four layers high.
– 3-4 zucchini, washed and thinly sliced into long strips (at least 12 slices, maybe more depending on the size of your pan)
– 2 large carrots, peeled and thinly sliced into long strips
– 4 Tbsp. lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
– 3 to 4 Tbsp. olive oil
– 1 tsp. sea salt divided
– 1 tsp. black pepper divided
– 1.5 cups raw almonds
– 2 cloves garlic
– 1 bunch of kale, ribs removed and coarsely chopped
– 1 cup of lightly packed basil leaves
– 3 cups of baby spinach
– 2 tsp. nutritional yeast (optional, but makes for a more “cheesy” taste and has loads of nutrients)
– 1 recipe for Rockin’ Raw Red Sauce or any tomato sauce of your choosing
– In a large bowl toss zucchini and carrots with lemon juice, 1 tbsp. oil, 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper. Cover and chill for 8 hours or overnight tossing gently 2 – 3 times. Place almonds in a bowl and cover with at least 2 inches of water. Let soak for same time as zucchini and carrots. When vegetables are marinated, drain well, reserving a little of the liquid, then lay the strips on paper towels till ready to assemble. Pat dry the zucchini and carrots and set aside till ready to assemble.
– Drain almonds and puree them with garlic and 1-2 tbsp. of olive oil till smooth. Transfer mixture to a separate bowl and set aside. In the same processor (don’t clean it out) pulse the kale and basil till finely chopped (you may need to do this in batches) then add this to the almond mixture and toss together. Add yeast if using at this point.
– Toss the spinach in the reserve marinade, squeezing with your hands to wilt, then wring it dry and discard marinade.
– Have all ingredients ready and remember not to add any liquid except for a small amount of the tomato sauce between layers. This prevents the lasagna from turning into a runny mess when cut.
– To assemble lasagna start by spreading a thin layer of red sauce on the pan, followed next by a layer of zucchini and carrots, then kale-almond mixture and spinach, then 1-2 tsp. of tomato sauce (just for taste) between layers. You should have at least 4 layers when done, finishing with a cover of zucchini slices. A sprinkle of nutritional yeast, fresh herbs, salt and pepper decorate the final layer.
– Cover with tin foil and chill for an hour or two.
– To serve, pour some of the tomato sauce on each plate, then top with a piece of lasagna. Garnish with a drizzle of tomato sauce and olive oil over each piece and maybe some more fresh herbs. Enjoy!!