So you’re trying to eat more raw foods – which is awesome! Incorporating living foods into your diet is one of the easiest ways to increase nutrients and displace less desirables. It’s great for energy, clarity, and best of all it’s deliciously satisfying in a way that only truly nutritious food can be.
But, it’s often a hard sell for unenthusiastic partners, disinterested housemates, or ever-so-picky kids. And that’s why so many aspiring raw foodists end up quitting – it’s just so hard to make 2 entirely separate meals all the time!
But that’s what the ‘RAW 101′ series is all about: Raw recipes that easily assimilate into a cooked meal. And we’re starting off with one of the most important and fundamental raw techniques. Zucchini noodles!
The fancy-pants raw gourmands use a spiralizer to craft the most perfect pasta replicates. Someday I’ll have one too, but until then I’ll carve my noodles the old fashioned, low budget way – and you can too! Don’t let a lack of glitzy gizmos ever stop you from eating raw. You don’t *need* any of that stuff!
If you’ve got a potato peeler then you’re good to go. Simply wash your zucchini (I’ve used extra large green and yellow variaties in these photos) and begin peeling, being careful to keep each strip as long as possible. Rotate the zucchini as you peel.
Once the entire zucchini is peeled into pieces you have two choices. If you want, you can use a knife to slice the noodles skinny, more like a spaghetti. This can be pretty time-consuming, but makes for a more elegant presentation.
Me? I tend to leave my noodles alone. I prefer them wide and flat, more like a fettuccine.
Okay, now you’ve got your noodles, so what are you going to do with them?! Here I present three options: three RAW sauces that work equally well on cooked ‘real’ pasta. (I toss the sauce in the hot fresh pasta, which heats the sauce up.) No really, I promise – these are husband approved!
#1 – RAW Pesto
a large bunch of basil – about 3 cups packed
3/4 – 1 cup walnuts
1/3 – 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
2-5 cloves garlic
s + p to taste
Put everything in a food processor and blend until smoothish. This recipe is very forgiving so feel free to adjust all flavors to taste. You can use arugula, spinach, or cilantro in place of the basil, and pine nuts or sunflower seeds in place of the walnuts, but each of these will change the flavor. The nooch is important though!
Garnish with fresh diced roma tomatoes or a handfull of hemp hearts. Sprinkle with extra nooch, or delicious Rawmesan, for more of a cheesy/parmesan-y flavor.
#2 – RAW Puttanesca
4 cups chopped tomatoes
1/2 cup halved raw olives or kalamata olives
1/4 cup diced white or yellow onion
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons capers + 1 tablespoon caper brine
2 tablespoon fresh herbs, like oregano, thyme, marjoram, basil, etc
1 teaspoon – 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes (traditionally, puttanesca *should* have quite a kick to it)
2-5 cloves garlic, crushed
s + p to taste
Mix all ingredients in a big bowl, cover, and refrigerate. Allow to marinate at least 1 hour but ideally for 4+ hours. This is best when made in the morning to be served that night.
Puttanesca is traditionally served over spagetti and garnished with fresh parsley.
#3 – RAW Vodka Sauce
2 cups chopped tomatoes
1/2 cup cashews, soaked
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
12 sundried tomato halves – actually dry, NOT oil packed
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon dry Italian herbs OR 1 tablespoon fresh Italian herbs – oregano, thyme, marjoram, basil, etc
1/4 teaspoon salt
2-4 cloves garlic
juice of half a lemon
Place everything in a blender or food processor and blend until very smooth. Try not to make a huge mess of it, like I did.
These pictures just don’t do it justice, but this is both Damian and my favorite sauce. I could seriously eat this stuff with a spoon. Okay, I did seriously eat this stuff with a spoon. It’s especially delicious with extra nooch, or Rawmesan, sprinkled liberally on top.