Friday, September 4, 2015

Crudessence Raw Vegan Lasagna Recipe & Crudessence Book Review

Helloodles lovelies!
It has been quiet on the blogging front because I have been focused on my cookbook and I received an invite to get away from the city. This helped me remember that a mini break is a great idea. Being in nature really soothes my soul and gets my creative juices flowing. So, because I left you in a small blog drought, I thought it only fair to review a cookbook and also give you a vegan recipe! Yes, a two in one post, how exciting! Plus it's raw vegan which is scrumptious, healthy, and so much fun to do. I know that I am a professionally trained Chef, and you may be thinking that this is easier for me because of that, but I want you to know that this is perfect for all levels of culinary ability.
The recipes in this cookbook are in French, I, being able to read both English and French didn't think to check if this book comes in English. Bad donkey! I will get back to you on that. However, fear not, for I have the will to translate and you shall enjoy with gusto. The Lasagna is called: Lasagne pura vida, I am going to call it Raw Vegan Lasagna and give Crudessence full credit. It's labour intensive in one way but when I think about it, it's not really that much more of a big deal than regular lasagna because that requires several steps for making sauce, fillings, cooking noodles, shredding cheese, and then assembling.
It's pretty much the same for this recipe but with a raw food twist.
So, I am going to give you the recipe for the sauce, raw vegan ricotta and parmesan or crumesan as they call it-this stuff is glorious btw, and then I will give you the actual lasagna recipe.
I know, I know, so much work but think of how freaking delicious this is going to be.
It also gives 8 portions so I highly recommend that you follow the directions exactly, and invite friends to come eat a rawfood vegan potluck so you can all split the total meal cost.
This cookbook is a wonder for those new and seasoned,(Pardon the pun or don't, who decided puns were offensive anyways?) to the raw vegan world. It has juices, smoothies, a fracking amaze bombs kombucha recipe, salads, soups, starters, mains, "breads", crackers, desserts, and quick dehydrator snacks. Seriously! All of that and pics, which I feel every good cookbook must have.
The recipes are well detailed, clear, concise instructions, ingredients that are not too complicated to find or use, and most importantly, they are truly raw vegan. This book is vivacious, a delight and a comfort, which many can appreciate. I found myself wanting to try everything and go crazy for a solid week, just doing the recipes in this cookbook. It's a perfect addition to your cookbook library and I feel would be great for you raw foodies interested in trying something elegant but achievable. If you read French, you will do quite fine, as I said I will get back to you on finding an English version. Here is the first of a few recipes I tested.

Part 1-
1 1/3 C raw macadamia nuts
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 C-3/4 C Filtered water (be careful, you want a ricotta cheese thick consistency not watery)
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/8 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1/4 of a medium sized garlic clove or 1/4 tsp pureed garlic

-In a robocoup or blender that you have, grind down the macadamia nuts into very small pieces
-Add the rest of the ingredients to the blender and blend for a few seconds until you create an emulsion, (it holds together like mayonnaise). The "cheese" should be white and quite creamy.
-Place in refrigerator until ready to use*.
*Can be used for dips with raw vegetables or on crackers.
Keeps up to 2 weeks in cold fridge, makes about 1 2/3 C

Part 2
1 C Brazil nuts, raw
1/4 tsp pureed garlic
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/8 tsp frsh ground black pepper

-Place all ingredients in a robocoup or blender that you have. Briefly blend in starts and stops, until you have a ground "cheese sprinkle" texture.
-Keep refrigerated until ready to use*
*Can be sprinkled on pasta in place of cheese for those with allergies or intolerance's, lasts 2 weeks in a cold fridge and makes about 1 C.

Part 3
3 meduim size tomatoes (I like Roma or vine)
1/4 C sundried tomatoes, soaked until softened and drained
1 Tbsp sultana raisins (You won't taste them, I am serious!)
1/2 C diced organic carrot
1/2 C diced organic onion
1 clove garlic (Not too big)
1/2 C extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp chili flakes
1/2 tsp celeri seed ground
2 Tbsp fresh parsley
2 Tbsp fresh basil

-In a mixer like a Vita-mix, blend the tomatoes down to a puree.
-Add the sun-dried tomatoes and raisins, allow to sit in puree for 10 minutes before blending
-Add the rest of the ingredients and blend until you have a sauce consistency
-Keep refrigerated until ready to use*
*Keeps 10 days in a cold fridge, makes 2 3/4 C, I have frozen this when needed and it works beautifully. Would not recommend freezing the vegan cheeses, the water separates and the flavours change.

Part 4
CRUDESSANCE LASAGNE PURE VIDA (Crudessence pure life lasagna)
3 medium or 425g  zucchini sliced into lasagna noodle strips on a mandolin (Please, watch your fingers!)
2 1/2 C Sun-dried tomato sauce
3/4 C fresh basil leaves, whole
2/3 C vegan macadamia ricotta "cheese"
1/2 C crumesan
1 Tbsp chopped parsley

-In the bottom of a deep lasagna pan dish 8x8" or 20x20cm, tightly place some squash noodles as you would regular lasagna noodles, about 4-5 across
-Spread 3/4 C of sauce across noodles
-Place a row of squash noodles, and then a layer of macadamia "cheese" and top with basil leaves -Layer more noodles, sauce and then top layer with noodles, sauce, and sprinkle crumesan.
-Sprinkle the top of this with parsley
-You are all done, refrigerate covered for about 3 hours, cut into 8 portions and serve with a side salad of your choice.
This dish is very filling but a complete breathe of fresh air for your taste buds. As always, pictures follow down below with step by step visuals, to make it easier to understand the assembly process.
You need to try this out on some family and friends, then I recommend getting this wonderful book full of vibrant and delicious delights!
Leave comments or questions down below and don't forget to subscribe! I love to hear from you.

I recently got my hands on a copy of the Crudessence cookbook at my local library,(top pic at the beginning of post), which really impressed me because I did not expect to find it there. In case you have never heard of Crudessence, it's a well known rawfood vegan restaurant with a few locations in Montreal. They also have prepared foods that can be found in many health food stores across the city. I will do a Crudessence resto review at a later date, for now I wanna review the book and throw in a main meal recipe that I tried out. I also did a dessert but that I will post another day because I don't want to overwhelm you with too much raw vegan awesomness. Hehheh.
The first thing I tried was their raw vegan lasagna, that's the pic above that you see. Let me say, it was marvelous! I gave it to people who are not raw foodies and to meat mouths and they all really enjoyed it. The ingredients are a bit on the pricey side but that's because of the nuts and in all honesty, eating healthy costs more, but it does add years and quality to your life; and that makes it worth the extra expense.

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