A couple times a year I get the urge to do some sort of bodily reset. Whether I’ve been slacking off on workouts or eating too much processed food, a good cleanse helps to get your habits and your palate back on track. Instead of doing something extreme like a 5 day juice cleanse, (which leaves you starving, cranky, and likely to stuff your face when it’s over) I like to do a week or two on a high raw diet. I eliminate everything packaged, cooked, processed, or loaded with sugar, grains, or fat. Instead, I eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, and yes, some cold pressed juice too. I do have 1 or 2 liquid meals a day, to give my digestive system a break and I try to drink a ton of water as well (about 75 ounces.) But unlike a juice cleanse, this allows me to ‘detox’, while still having energy to work and exercise. It’s a great boost to the immune system with all those raw vitamins and enzymes. It also helps you really appreciate whole, fresh food again, especially if you’ve been eating a lot of junk!
So for example, here is what I had today:
Breakfast: A tall glass of lemon water, a big green juice with some watermelon slices and grapes on the side.
Lunch: This fantastic ‘Rawsagna’.
Snack: Some cut up vegetables and raw hummus (recipe coming soon!)
Dinner: A big protein shake.
Dessert: A whole fruit popsicle for dessert.
This was all in all about 1200 calories, so I don’t feel deprived or starving, and I know my body is thanking me! I had plenty of energy for a 3 mile run and some chores.
Even if you don’t want to do a ‘high raw’ cleanse for a week, it’s a really good idea to make at least one meal a day from raw foods. This is quite easy to do with a smoothie for breakfast or a big salad for lunch, and I find it especially easy to do in the summertime when turning on the oven sounds like the worst idea ever.
All this week I will be posting raw recipes in case you want to join me in this detox andventure. It seems like it would get really old after a while, but you’d be surprised just how much you can do with wholesome raw food! This Rawsagna has been on my list to make for a couple years now, and it is even better tasting than I thought it would be. I got two thumbs up from the non-raw/non-vegans who tried it too!
It’s easy and surprisingly quick to put together!
Makes 2 large servings.
1 big zucchini, peeled
1 portobello mushroom cap, thinly sliced
2 tbs cold pressed olive oil
1 tbs balsamic vinegar
1 big beefsteak tomato, thinly sliced
1 bunch basil
for the sauce:
2 ounces of sun dried tomatoes, soaked in water for about 1 hour
1 big beefsteak tomato, diced (or about 6 plum tomatoes)
1 sprig each of thyme, oregano, and parsley
1/2 medjool date
1 green onion, white parts removed, greens roughly chopped
3 cloves garlic
salt and pepper
for the cashew ricotta:
1.5 cups cashews, soaked in water for about 1 hour
1 tb nutritional yeast
4-5 cloves of garlic
2 medjool dates
1 pinch of nutmeg
juice of 1 lemon
salt and pepper
Start by cutting about an inch off of each end of the zucchini, (one end being the tough stem) this way you will get nice rectangular slices. Using a mandolin or a very sharp knife, thinly slice the zucchini lengthwise. Try to slice as thinly as possible, you want to get at least nine slices out of one big zucchini. Lay the slices on a paper towel to drain as you go, they release a lot of moisture.
Marinate the sliced mushroom with the oil and balsamic vinegar in a bowl. Set the bowl out in a sunny spot so that the mushrooms can ‘super charge’. (They will absorb a large amount of vitamin D this way, just like us. Cool huh?)
Next put all the ingredients for the tomato sauce into a food processor and blend until smooth. Set aside.
Then do the same for the cashew ricotta mixture: blend until smooth and set aside.
Now comes time for the assembly: Start by laying three zucchini slices on a plate, overlapping just slightly. Take a couple spoonfuls of tomato sauce and spread it over the slices. Add a few slices of tomato and then some basil leaves. Then layer on some sliced mushroom and finish with some big dollops of cashew ricotta, smoothed out over the mushrooms. Add another layer of 3 zucchini slices, in the opposite direction as the first layer. Then repeat the same steps: tomato sauce, tomato slices, basil leaves, mushroom slices, cashew ricotta, and one last layer of zucchini slices. Top those with a little more tomato sauce and ricotta cheese and voila! Lunch is ready.
If you have any of the ricotta and tomato sauce left over, you can combine them to make a delicious pink cream sauce to use for something else. For example, you can spiralize another zucchini and have a delicious angel hair pasta with tomato cream sauce.
This Rawsagna is so filling, I couldn’t even finish a whole piece! I hope you’ll give it a try 🙂
Can’t fathom the idea of a raw lasagna? Try this traditional roasted vegetable lasagna recipe instead.