raw italian casserole {recipe}

I fell in love with a raw cookbook back in May- it's called Raw Food by Erica Palmcrantz and the recipes are delicious. I can't recommend it enough!

I have yet to follow one of Erica's recipes entirely, but her amazing creations have inspired me to create a version of them for my family. {I know, I'm a recipe rebel, I can't help it!}

One her recipes is for raw lasagna, and I couldn't wait to try the concept. I've actually seen it in lots of other places too, like here and here.

I made my version into casserole with "spaghetti" noodles, nixed a handful of things and added a few to make it work for us. This recipe is simple, but fairly time intensive, so give yourself at least 30 minutes to make it.

So here's our Raw Italian Casserole:

repin on pinterest

Here's what you'll need:

3/4 bag of spinach or about 7 cups/ 3-4 big handfuls
2 tablespoons of fresh basil {sub dried if needed, but fresh tastes great! - I use the tubes of chopped fresh basil here, they taste great too!}
3 cloves garlic, peeled or dried equivalent
sea salt
1 tbs. oregano
28 oz. can pureed tomatoes, or 3 cups ripe summer tomatoes, pureed
2 medium-large zucchini
6-7 mushrooms whole or 1/2 package sliced
1 large avocado, or more if desired
a mandolin/julienne slicer, or a very sharp, thin knife

1. Combine spinach, basil, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 tablespoon water, and 2 cloves of garlic in the food processor.


It should look something like this {you can add a bit of olive oil if needed as well}:


2. Combine the tomatoes, 1 tablespoon of oregano, 1 tablespoon of sea salt, and 1 minced clove of garlic in a bowl. Salt is to taste, of course, but I find 1-1 1/2 tbs. brings just the right amount to the dish. Some recipes also add chopped sun-dried tomatoes and bell peppers here, but I kept mine a little more simple.


And, it should look about like this:


3. Use your slicing tool of choice to turn your zucchini into faux spaghetti. :)


I like the thin spaghetti slices because they are easy to eat, and they have a very mild taste. The inspiration recipe and many others I've seen simply slice long thin strips down the zucchini like lasagna noodles.  


4. De-stem and thinly slice your mushrooms and avocado like this:


Now you're ready to assemble your casserole. I used a 9x13 dish, but you could definitely use a smaller one.

5. Spread a thin layer of marinara over the bottom, then a layer of "noodles", then thinly spread the basil on top of the noodles, and add a layer of mushrooms. Repeat with remaining ingredients. And if you have lots of one thing left, I say stack it on. Why not? :)



6. Top with avocado slices, and I sprinkled a little salt over the top of the casserole. That's personal preference though. :)

Your finished casserole should look like this:

It's hearty and ridiculously good. It's a dish I will gladly serve to my meat-eating friends. :)


Here's the recipe again:

Raw Italian Casserole


Ingredients:

marinara:
1 tbs. sea salt
1 tbs. oregano
28 oz. can pureed tomatoes, or 3 cups ripe summer tomatoes, pureed
1 cloves garlic, peeled or dried equivalent 


noodles:
2 medium-large zucchini
a mandolin/julienne slicer, or a very sharp, thin knife

pesto sauce:
3/4 bag of spinach or about 7 cups/ 3-4 big handfuls
2 tablespoons of fresh basil {sub dried equivalent if needed, but fresh tastes much better! - I use the tubes of chopped fresh basil here, they taste great too!}
2 cloves garlic, peeled or dried equivalent 
1 tsp. sea salt

the "meat":

6-7 mushrooms whole or 1/2 package, stems removed and sliced
1 large sliced avocado, or more if desired

Directions:

Combine first four ingredients in food processor and puree. 
Combine next four ingredients in a separate bowl.
Thinly slice zucchinis on a cutting board.
Slice your mushrooms and avocado.

Assemble casserole dish in order above, thinly layering marinara, noodles, pesto, and meat, minus the avocado. Top with the avocado slices, and lightly sprinkle dish with salt if desired.




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7 comments

Phyllis Ippolito said...

It sounds great I will try it and see how it goes thanks

crystalwoolever said...

Yum, in the first photo, I thought you did actually use real spaghetti noodles...lol. I was wondering how in the world you got them to look cooked. I never thought about using zucchini for noodles. It looks delicious, I may have to give this recipie a try.

Kbrownny said...

just fyi - here is website for an amazing raw food restaurant in my old neighborhood -- maybe their menu will inspire you

http://www.oneluckyduck.com/purefoodandwine/

Caupp4 said...

So is this a cold lasagna? I'm confused

{darlene} said...

mmmm. pinned it. stat.

mandyBH said...

sort of- it's all veggies, and it's a little cooler than room temp usually. :D

shirley said...

Yum! And no cheese. I'm hoping my boys will like this. My older son has been struggling with lactose and finding foods that he doesn't feel deprived is sometimes difficult. Can't wait to try this.