RECIPE: Spinach and Tomato Raw Lasagne

by Polly N on December 28, 2010

Merry Christmas everyone – I hope Father Christmas was kind to you and you were able to spend the special time with the people most important to you. This was my first raw vegan Christmas and I must admit I was a little concerned as to how I was going to fare with all the crisps and snacks lurking at every corner. I have always been a bit of a “picker” snacking on whatever is put in front of me. But this year I’m pleased to say it was different-very different.

I spent most of the morning in my new sauna! Yes a sauna! I have taken my healing routine up a notch, (more about that soon) and a sauna is one of the main tools I am using to increase the detoxification process. I have never been big on cardio workouts, opting instead for some invigorating yoga stretches or sun salutations so the sauna is really helping me to sweat out any stored toxins as quickly and efficiently as possible. Did you know that we actually inherit toxins from our mothers while in their womb which is part of the reason why some people, and children suddenly get diagnosed with an illness despite a seemingly healthy existence up until that point? Obviously this is not the ONLY reason as it is all cumulative and stock piles over time but it’s certainly something to keep in mind. Scary isn’t it? Detox is a must no matter how healthy you are. More info on this very soon.

After a relaxing sauna, I went downstairs to join the rest of the family who had already started on the vino, vodka and snowballs, (the drink, they weren’t throwing them – not yet anyway!). I decided that I wanted to make myself something that everyone that was sitting down to eat turkey, would be intrigued with. Sitting down to eat a salad just wasn’t an option – not because I didn’t want to (I love salads!) but felt I would be opening myself up to questions like “Does that fill you up?” and “Is that all you’re having?”. My family completely support me and love the food I make but I suspected there might be a few comments from extended family on the fact I was eating salad, salad and more salad. Of course salad certainly isn’t the only thing raw food consists of and my lasagne was proof of this.

Taking my routine to the next level is not without some sacrifices…I will write about this in detail very soon but in short, the only nuts I can have at the moment are almonds and brazil nuts so making a pine nut pesto for one of the lasagne layers was not an option. Instead I made a spinach pesto which turned out fabulously. I made a very light tomato sauce and skipped the traditional lasagne “cheese” layer because brazil nuts and almonds don’t make great “cheese”. (Pine nuts, macademias and cashews are much better at this in case you’re wondering.)

So, enough waffling. Here’s the recipe and boy is it good! And it’s really filling. I ate all of this and although I felt fully satisfied and nourished, didn’t feel bloated or that I was about to pop like everyone else did after eating meat, mashed potato, roast potato, sprouts, carrots, gravy etc.

Spinach and Tomato Lasagne

Spinach Pesto

  • 1 cup packed spinach
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 4 sundried tomatoes, soaked for at least 2 hours and chopped
  • 2 tbl hemp seeds, shelled (optional)
  • 1 tbl lemon juice
  • 1 tbl olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon Pink Himalayan salt

Combine all ingredients in a high-speed blender until smooth.

(I add hemp seeds to pretty much everything these days as not only do they contain a high percentage of biologically available protein but they are packed full of omega 3 which is important for brain and liver function as well as healthy cell structure. They also contain all 10 essential amino acids which our body cannot produce so hemp seeds really are a must for you and your kids!)

Tomato Sauce

  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 5-6 sun-dried tomatoes, soaked for 2 hours +
  • 1 tbl lemon juice
  • 3 tbl olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon Pink Himalayan salt
  • 1/2 small red onion

Combine all ingredients in a high-speed blender until smooth. (You could use the sun-dried tomatoes available from from the supermarket deli for ease but dried are slightly healthier.)

For the assembly

  • 1 courgette, peeled
  • 1 large tomato, sliced thinly

1. Cut the end off the courgette, peel off the darker green skin and discard (or use in a juice.) Using a mandoline or vegetable peeler, peel the courgette lengthwise into long thin strips. Cut them in half cross ways to make them shorter strips. (If you choose not to cut the strips, you will just have a larger, longer lasagne in which case you may be better off arranging in a baking dish like you would a cooked one – you’ll just lose the visual effect of seeing the layers this way.)

2. Place 3 courgette strips on a plate making a square shape with the layers slightly overlapping eachother. Lay another layer of courgettes over this going in the opposite direction (for the bottom layer only). Spread a layer of sliced tomato over the courgette and cover with a layer of tomato sauce and pesto sauce.

3. Repeat once more with courgette, tomato slices, tomato sauce and pesto and garnish with basil or a sprinkle of Italian seasoning.

I ate all of this with a handful of fresh rocket leaves (my favourite salad leaf). If you have leftover sauce like I did, you could eat it straight out of a bowl with some freshly cut crudites (cucumber/celery/carrot) or use them as a salad dressing and pour them over salad leaves.

It’s not your conventional Christmas Lunch but I never was keen on being like everyone else! ;o)

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Amy December 29, 2010 at 9:00 am

Polly! Your dinner looks like it was pretty yummy! I absolutely loved my roast dinner but both my sister and I agreed you eat something like that and it knocks you out and does leave you craving some actual vegetables that haven’t been cooked to within an inch of their natural life. Exciting news here. My dad got me a spiraliser! You will be just about the only person apart from our friend Lianne to understand how nice it will be to have curly courgette pieces in my salad. Love the idea of my own sauna. It would be lovely if I could get one that was soundproof complete with an on call childminder…. Happy and healthy 2011 to you! X

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Ana Goncalves December 29, 2010 at 4:00 pm

Well done for making this year a raw Christmas. Your meal looks delicious! I’ve never been keen on turkey and the traditional British Christmas. In Portugal where I am originally from we eat cod, a variety of cabbage and potatoes and that is what I ate this year with my family and some aunties that came over especially. Round at my partners house, I had mostly salad and skipped all meat. I have been eating a raw shake (green goddess) here and there and wish to pursue eating more raw food, as I know that my body is not keen on cooked foods most of the time, and I know there is a lot to benefit from raw food itself.
Happy to hear you had a lovely time, and that you still benefited from it.
A happy new year for you, and whatever life brings. x

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Andy Allen January 12, 2011 at 8:55 pm

You are an inspiration. Thank you so much for sharing this and all else that you share on your website. Happy new year!
Andy Allen
I’m sure you don’t remember me. We met in Spain at a detox week in Casa Morisco almost two years ago! Unfortunately, I’ve strayed in a big way from almost all that I learned that week, but I have fond memories, my journal, and several great resources, including your website. Thanks again.

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polly January 12, 2011 at 9:12 pm

Of course I remember you Andy! I know exactly who you are! How are you doing? Well , we all need a little reminder of how not to do things every now and then so we can make changes to how and what we do want! Let me know if I can be of any help.
Happy New Year. xxx

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