Photo by Tam West
Lasagne and health food don’t usually find themselves in the same sentence, but this lasagne will blow you away with how healthy and delicious it is. Not only is it made only from whole foods, but all the ingredients are plant-based and raw (not heated above 46 degrees) which means you are getting a whole lot of extra nutrients and enzymes than you would if it was cooked.
This is a favourite at the Unbakery and one of the original dishes served in our first store. Give it a go — if the idea of raw food is new to you, this is a great one to start with as it has the creamy cheesiness and rich tomato sauce a lasagne should have but still maintains a fresh and light feel. It’s the perfect meat-free meal to start the week during the summer months when courgettes, tomatoes and basil are plentiful.
For more about Megan, see our Q and A with her here.
For the cashew herbed cheese
|1¾ cups||Cashew nuts, soaked for 2-4 hours|
|½ cup||Water, filtered|
|5 Tbsp||Lemon juice|
|1½ Tbsp||Nutritional yeast|
|1¼ tsp||Sea salt|
For the tomato sauce
|½ cup||Sundried tomatoes|
|1 cup||Tomatoes, fresh, chopped; you can use cherry tomatoes instead if desired|
|1||Red capsicum, deseeded|
|1½ Tbsp||Olive oil, cold pressed, plus extra to drizzle|
|1 tsp||Fresh oregano|
|1 small handful||Fresh basil|
|2 tsp||Apple cider vinegar|
For the lasagne
|4||Courgettes, thinly sliced lengthwise on a mandolin|
|3 handfuls||Baby spinach|
|4 medium||Heirloom vine tomatoes, in 5mm slices|
|1 handful||Pine nuts|
- To prepare the cashew cheese, drain soaked cashews and rinse thoroughly. Place in a food processor with the water, lemon juice, nutritional yeast and salt, mixing until smooth. Add additional sea salt and cracked pepper to taste. The cheese will keep in the refrigerator for 5−6 days. You could use a blender for a smoother cheese, but this may require more water to get it moving (this will create a runnier cheese that is not ideal in the lasagne).
- To prepare the tomato sauce, soak the sundried tomatoes in water for at least 2 hours or until soft, rinse well. Place the tomatoes and capsicum in the blender first (they have a high water content and once they start to break down will provide the liquid to help everything else amalgamate), then add the rest of tomato sauce recipe ingredients and blend until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste: sundried tomatoes are often very salty already so the amount of salt you add will depend on that. The sauce will keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
- To assemble, cut the courgette slices so they are the same length. If you have large courgettes you might need to trim them up. I make the individual lasagnes around 10-12cm square. Use the courgette slices to make a square base by laying them flat on the plate with a little overlap (around 6 pieces of courgette). Follow with a small handful of spinach spread evenly and a few basil leaves. Add slices of heirloom tomato to cover. If you have large tomatoes you may only need one piece. Top with 1-2 tablespoons of tomato sauce, followed by 2-3 tablespoons of the cheese. Repeat these layers a second time and finish with a courgette layer on top. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with pine nuts and serve.
Megan May, creator of Little Bird Organics and The Unbakery cafes believes what you choose to eat each day is one of the most powerful decisions you get to make – choosing a diet rich in local plant-based wholefoods transforms the way you feel and has a positive impact on the environment. theunbakery.co.nz