Saturday, December 29, 2012

I am giving up dairy in 2013 and in preparation for that, I have been trying to come up with substitutes for many of my favourite dishes. This one blew my socks off (not to toot my own horn or anything)! I actually like it better than most dairy based cream sauces I've tried! 
Giving up dairy is going to be quite a challenge for me, as I've been addicted to cheese for as long as I can remember, but I know that dairy is negatively effecting my health and it's time I let go of my cheese addiction! If you'd like some more information on some of the negative effects dairy can have, check out some of these links.

Sautéed Kale & Fusilli in a Tahini Garlic Cream Sauce
serves 2

➽ Finely dice shallots and garlic.
➽ Chop kale into 2-3 inch pieces. I removed the stalks from the bottom portion of the kale as they were pretty thick.
➽ In a large pan, melt coconut oil under medium heat. Add shallots and cook until they are translucent. 
➽ Add kale to pan and wilt.
➽ Add garlic and cook for about 30 seconds (do not let garlic brown).
➽ Add tahini, coconut cream, red chili flakes (if you like it hot), salt & pepper. Stir until the tahini is melted (about 20 seconds).
➽ Add cooked pasta and some of the cooking water to achieve your desired consistency of cream sauce.
➽ Divide into two bowls and enjoy :)

Often when I make my Raw Lasagna I have a bunch of leftover filling. So I thought I'd share some of the ways in which I use it up. 

Lasagna Bites
These are great for parties.
I used a mandoline slicer to cut the zucchini into strips that are about 3-4mm thick.
Then I cut them into bite sized pieces - about 4cm wide.
Now assemble them on a platter:
⇰ Zucchini on bottom
⇰ Layer of Lemon Pepper Vegan Ricotta
⇰ Zucchini
⇰ Layer of Tomato Ragu
⇰ Zucchini
⇰ Pesto on Top
One thing to note: zucchini likes to let go of it's water content once it's cut so your platter may become watery if these are not served and consumed right away. But no worries if this happens... just use a paper towel to soak up the excess water and clean up the plate :)

Half & Half Raw Spaghetti

This is one of my favourite things to bring for lunch. It takes about 5 minutes to prepare and is SO delicious. You'll need a Spiralizer or a Julienne Peeler to make the noodles out of zucchini or yellow zucchini. Depending on the size, I use one or two zucchinis for my lunch.
⇰ Toss half the noodles in the tomato ragu and the other half in the pesto.

Stuffed Peppers

This is another favourite lunch of mine. And again, it's SO fast and easy to make.
⇰ Just cut a pepper in half and remove the pulpy white inner cavity.
⇰ Now fill with Lemon Pepper Vegan Ricotta, Tomato Ragu and Pesto. 
These can be prepared the night before and hold up well in the refrigerator too. 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

raw vegan lasagna
This one is a bit of a labour of love, but it's totally worth the effort... IT'S SO DELICIOUS!
Also, there are a lot of variations for how to use these ingredients in different ways. I'll post these variations in another blog post.
 All three sauces can be made a day in advanced and kept in the fridge.

Lemon Pepper Vegan Ricotta
  • 2 C Pine Nuts or Cashews (soaked for at least 8 hours and rinsed)
  • 2 Tbls Fresh Lemon Juice
  • Zest of 1 Organic Lemon
  • 1 Tbls Fresh Ground Black Pepper
  • Himalayan Sea Salt (to taste)
☞ Mix all ingredients in a food processor until well combined and the approximate consistency of ricotta cheese. If the mixture is too think, add a few tablespoons of water, one tablespoon at a time until you get the right consistency.  

Pistachio Pesto
  • 2 C packed Basil Leaves
  • 1/2 Pistachios (could use Pine Nuts or Cashews too)
  • 6 Tbls Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp Himalayan Sea Salt
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper (to taste)
☞ Pulse the nuts in a food processor until they are the size of rice. Add the rest of the ingredients and process until well combined and slightly chunky.

Tomato Ragu
  • 2 C Sundried Tomatoes, soaked until soft
  • 1/2 C Roma Tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 2 Tbls Red Onion, chopped
  • 1/4 C Olive Oil
  • 2 Tbls Lemon Juice
  • 1 Tbls Agave Nectar
  • 1 tsp Onion Powder 
  • 1/4 tsp to 2 tsp Red Chili Flakes
  • Himalayan Sea Salt (to taste)
☞ Process everything in a food processor until well combined but chunky.

Zucchini Noodles
  • 4 Large Zucchini,
  • 2 Tbls Olive Oil
  • 2 Tbls Fresh Oregano Leaves
  • 2 Tbls Fresh Thyme Leaves
  • 1/4 C Fresh Basil Leaves, chopped
  • Himalayan Sea Salt & Black Pepper (to taste)
☞ Use a vegetable peeler to create flat 'noodles' out of the zucchini, stopping at the seedy part. Cut noodles into 2 - 3 inch pieces and toss in bowl with herbs, oil, salt and pepper.

To Assemble 
☞ Place 2 or 3 noodles on a plate. Top with tomato ragu, lemon ricotta, and pesto. Repeat twice more for a single serving of raw lasagna.


Recipe from The Raw Foundation

This one was inspired by an amazing salad I had at The Drake the other night. Before this I wasn't the biggest fan of raw kale...But after trying this delicious, tart & mustardy salad I am a full convert. I let mine marinate for at least an hour and up to overnight. It wilts the kale enough to make it more palatable. 

  • 1 Bunch Organic Curly Leaf Kale
  • Juice from 1/4 to 1/2 a Lemon
  • 1 Tbls White Wine Vinegar
  • 1 Tbls (heaping) Grainy Mustard
  • 2 Tbls of Your Best EVOO (more if you like it a little less tart)
  • 1 pinch Himalayan Sea Salt

☞ Whisk the lemon, vinegar, mustard and salt together in a large bowl.
☞ Slowly add the oil while whisking to emulsify a bit.
☞ Wash kale and tear leaves into edible pieces, discarding the stems.
☞ Toss kale in dressing and set aside in the fridge for an hour and up to overnight.