she was coming into the city for a doctor's appointment with a specialist. i thought a big dinner made with extra love was just what she would need. she's on a raw food diet for her health, and she wasn't sure if she would be getting good news or bad news today.
i planned and planned. i was super excited to get a chance to make use of my otherwise latent and unusable hippie rawfoodist skillz. i dug out my sprouting equipment, soaked seeds, and tested methods. i calculated when i would have to start the sprouts to have them fresh and ready for the dinner. it didn't quite work out in the end, i started 3 jars of sprouts Thursday last week, and then decided to go to montreal for the weekend. the sprouts required twice daily rinsing and monitoring, so i wasn't sure what to do. ni's suggestion was bringing them with me, and tending them all weekend and then carting them back here. i almost went for it, but then decided that i wasn't quite enough of a hippie weirdo to refuse to travel without my sprouts. i soaked them again on friday afternoon and put them in the fridge, hoping that they'd just look after themselves while i was gone. results were that they weren't ready for today as planned. the broccoli and spicy brassica blend didn't like the fridge, i think they're a lost cause. the sandwich booster looks good, they seemed to just suspend sprouting while in the fridge and have totally gone crazy since i took them out. delicious sandwiches on thursday, for sure.
yesterday i assembled a wide range of fresh fruits and veggies, nuts and seeds. today i woke up at the crack of noon and spent the afternoon not-cooking. it was really quite epic, thanks to ni's soundtrack featuring the russian red army choir. i felt like every pepper i diced was somehow essential to piloting a secret nuclear submarine.
thankfully, her doctor gave her good news about her health. so it was a celebratory dinner rather than a conciliatory one. ni, Angie-bear and i devoured the lasagna. it was super duper yummy. from the whole pan, there was only just enough left to pack MissTrish a lunch. MissTrish has been working super long hours, and rarely has time for anything lately. she squealed with delight as i fixed her up a nice lunch for tomorrow.
AND NOW MY FELLOW HUNGRY HUNGRY HUSSIES; I GIVE YOU THE SECRET RECIPE!
misslake's raw lasagna (rousing cold war music optional)
1 cup blanched almonds
juice of 1 lemon
pinch unrefined sea salt (to taste)
1 Tablespoon raw (unpasteurized) miso paste
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 - 2/3 cup cold water
soak almonds in lots of cold water for at least 6 hours. they should absorb enough water to make 2 cups soaked nuts. drain and rinse nuts.
in food processor, pulse together nuts, lemon juice, oil, and miso.
add water slowly, blending well until the mixture forms a thick, smooth paste. you want the consistency of ricotta cheese. taste and add more miso and salt as desired.
cover and chill.
1/3 - 1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes
3 Tablespoons olive oil
3 - 5 fresh beefsteak tomatoes
2 green onions
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 Tablespoon raw miso paste
pinch cayenne pepper
soak sun dried tomatoes in water for 6 hours or overnight. drain and reserve liquid. the liquid can be added to the sauce to thin if necessary.
blend all ingredients together in food processor or blender. add tomato water if needed. taste and adjust seasoning. you should have about 1 litre (one full blender) of sauce, and it should be about the consistency of traditional cooked tomato sauce.
dice enough of your favourite fresh veggies to make 1 - 1 1/2 cups. i recommend peppers, green onions, parsley, mushrooms, celery and carrots.
trim ends off 5 small zucchinis. with a potato peeler, slice longways into thin noodley strips. discard the first slice that is just skin and use the middle slices. your approach will depend on the width of your zucchinis and the width of your peeler. i had to cut my squashes in half first.
line the bottom of a medium sized baking dish with zucchini. top with 1/3 diced veggies and 1/3 of sauce. add black pepper if you like. cover with another layer of zucchini, 1/3 diced veggies and 1/3 of sauce. another layer of zucchini, this time spread half of the almond pate. another layer of zucchini, the rest of the diced veggies and the last of the sauce. finish with a final layer of zucchini and the rest of the almond pate.
garnish with chopped basil and parsley.
this tastes good right away, but will improve if you give it a couple hours covered in the fridge so the flavours blend.
serve with a sprout salad.
substitutions and suggestions:
instead of almonds you can use pine nuts, cashews, macadamia nuts, or hulled sunflower seeds.
instead of miso, you can use nama shoyu (or other soy sauce if you aren't super hardcore about raw) nutritional yeast, or ground dulse. it's better to use something with a rich salty flavour than just plain salt.
another option is to make the nut pate several days in advance with no salt or salty stuff at all and substitute active cider vinegar for the lemon. culture in a warm spot for a few hours, and let it ferment for a few days in the fridge. this will give a different character to the pate, one more like real ricotta cheese. add salt to taste just before you use it.
the sun dried and beefsteak tomatoes are great for year round, and proportions of sun dried to fresh should be adjusted based on the tastiness of the available fresh fruits. if you have fresh homegrown tomatoes the sauce will be yummy enough to omit the dried tomatoes entirely.
and add garlic if you like it, but be careful as raw garlic is stronger than when cooked and it will get more and more garlicky as it chills.
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