Vegan dinner party (& a raw lasagna recipe)

We invited some friends over for dinner last night and I wanted to make something a bit special for the occasion. If I’m honest, it was also a lovely excuse to get creative in the kitchen.

Our lovely guests brought pre-dinner snacks (delicious seed crackers, guacamole, macadamia feta, cashew cheeze, nuts & hummus). I’ll blog later about the cheezes, because they deserve their own post.

For mains, I made three lasagnas: one raw (image & recipe below), one vegan & gluten-free, and one vegan (recipe to come in another post).

I also made two salads: a puy lentil, tomato & beetroot salad, and a green salad with green goddess dressing (I’ll do another post on these).

Finally, for dessert we had a fruit platter and macadamia nut nicecream. This was yummy, but I should have made it earlier or with ice cubes (in lieu of water), because it wasn’t firm enough.

The stand out dish for me was definitely the raw lasagna. I’ve been wanting to make one for ages and was pleasantly surprised by how easy it was to make and just how delicious it was eat. It got a big thumbs up from Ms10 too.


Okay, the RAW LASAGNA recipe:

Ingredients

Noodles: 1-2 medium zucchinis finely sliced lengthways into flat lasagna noodles. (A mandoline would be great for this and I’ve now ordered one, but actually it wasn’t very difficult to get them thin and straight with a knife). You can pre-soak these ‘zoodles’ in lemon juice & salt or olive oil, but it’s really not necessary – they absorb the flavours of the dish anyway.

Raw cashew cheeze:

  • 2 cups raw cashews  (soaked overnight, drained & thoroughly rinsed)
  • 1-2 tbl nutritional yeast (I prefer one, but some people like more of a ‘cheezy’ flavour)
  • 2 tbl fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup water

[OPTION: You can use macadamia nuts instead of cashews here – or a mix.]

Pesto

  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves (you can also mix in any leafy greens – spinach, kale, etc)
  • 1/3 cup walnuts (soaked overnight, drained & thoroughly rinsed)
  • 1-2 tbl cold pressed olive oil (optional – you can use water here)
  • 1-2 tbl fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp salt

[Option: you can use macadamia nuts or pepitas instead of walnuts here, but walnuts are very good for you.]

Tomato marinara

  • 2/3 cup of marinated sundried tomatoes (or less, these are pretty strong) [You can also soak fully dried ones instead]
  • 2 cups fresh tomatoes (the best you can buy)
  • 1 date
  • 1-2 cloves garlic (remember its raw)
  • 2 tbl lemon juice
  • 1 tbl olive oil (optional)

Extras

  • Slices of large fresh tomatoes
  • Slices of large mushrooms (marinated in lemon juice for 30 mins) [optional]
  • A handful of baby spinach [optional]
  • A few fresh basil leaves [optional]
  • Crushed walnuts (soaked overnight, drained, rinsed thoroughly and dried)

Method

  1. Slice up your ‘zoodles’
  2. Blend the cashew cheeze, tomato marinara & pesto separately in a high speed blender (or a food processor). Set each one aside.
  3. Lay zoodles flat on the base of a lasagna dish to cover with a single layer.
  4. Cover zoodles thoroughly with cashew cheeze and spread to create an even layer.
  5. Cover cheeze layer with a thin layer of marinara.
  6. Top marina with a layer of sliced tomatoes or mushrooms or baby spinach.
  7. Spread pesto for your next layer.
  8. Create another layer of zoodles and repeat steps 5-8.
  9. Cover top with splotches of cashew cheeze, slices of tomato and crumbled walnuts. (You can add fresh basil leaves here too.)
  10. Cover dish and put in the fridge for at least an hour to marinate.
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