Raw Pasta Bolognese (with walnut meat, pine nut parmesan, basil pesto)

By Megan Stulberg

(Posted in advance on our Instagram here)

I grew up eating wheat pasta 2-3 nights each week, on average. My mum would regularly whip up spaghetti with ground beef, tomato sauce and mozzerella cheese…and a loaf of buttery garlic bread, of course. I haven’t had it in years but remember it vividly. When I think of comfort food, that is what instantly comes to mind.

Here’s a similar (but clean!) pasta alternative that’s cruelty-free to both animals and your stomach:

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GROUND WALNUT “MEAT” WITH SAUCE:

Ingredients…

  • 1 cup raw sunflower seeds, shelled
  • 1/2 cup raw walnuts
  • 1/2 cup raw almonds
  • 1/2 cup fresh tomato, chopped
  • 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, soaked overnight
  • 1/4 cup red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp pink crystal Himalayan salt
  • Dash of water, if needed

Directions…

  1. Combine walnuts, seeds, almonds, fresh tomato and sun-dried tomatoes in a food processor or high-speed blender until loosely incorporated.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and incorporate by hand. Be careful not to over-blend.

PINE NUT “PARMESAN”: 

Ingredients…

  • 2 cups pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  • 2 tbsp pink crystal Himalayan salt

Directions…

  1. Pulse food processor to coarsely chop pine nuts. Transfer to large bowl.
  2. Add nutritional yeast and salt. Use fork to combine. Set aside.

BASIL PESTO: 

Ingredients…

  • 2 lemons, juiced
  • 2 cups fresh basil
  • 1 cup fresh spinach
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds, shelled
  • 2 tbsp dried dill
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp pink crystal Himalayan salt

Directions…

  1. Process all ingredients until smooth and creamy in consistency.

FINAL STEPS:

  1. Use a spiralizer (click here for a useful guide) to turn 4 medium zucchinis into a big bowl of zucchini noodles. If you don’t have access to a spiralizer, a similar effect can be reached by slowly slicing each zucchini lengthwise into VERY thin strips.
  2. In large bowl, toss zucchini noodles in with half the walnut meat and half the basil pesto. Note: there will be extra, so use sparingly and store unmixed leftovers in the fridge.
  3. Plate zucchini noodles. Top with pine nut parmesan and additional basil leaves for garnish.

Makes 4 entree-sized servings.

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Raw Zucchini Noodle Pasta

By contributor Megan Stulberg

I’m finally making use of the handheld vegetable spiralizer my mum got me for Christmas. She is such a doll for always putting up with my dietary restrictions. This recipe is super simple, healthy, and only takes 5 minutes to make!

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Ingredients…

  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 10 cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup alfalfa sprouts
  • 1/2 cup kelp noodles
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 2 tbsp black chia seeds

Directions…

1) Use a spiralizer to create zucchini “noodles”. Follow this guide if you are unsure how to use the tool. Alternatively, you can use a knife to slice the zucchini length-wise into long, thin strips for a similar effect.

2) Toss zucchini, kelp noodles, lemon juice and alfalfa sprouts in large bowl.

3) Cut each cherry tomato in half.

4) Plate the noodle mixture. Top with cherry tomatoes, nutritional yeast and chia seeds.

Serve immediately. Makes 2 servings.

Fried Tofu, Eggplant and Zucchini Sushi Maki

By contributor Megan Stulberg

Two of my favourite things are vegetables and rice, so naturally I love sushi. There are only so many gluten-free/vegan take-out options though (I’m getting sick of cucumber rolls), so I decided to make something more interesting instead.

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Ingredients:

  • 2 cups sushi rice (organic)
  • 4 pieces seaweed
  • 1 standard package firmly-pressed tofu (organic)
  • 1 medium avocado, halved and sliced
  • 1/2 eggplant
  • 1/2 zucchini
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • 1/4 cup gluten-free soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • Dash of red-pepper chili flakes
  • Dash of Himalayan pink salt
  • Dash of black pepper

Other supplies you’ll need: One standard bamboo rolling mat + chopsticks.

Directions:

  1. Wash rice in cold water thoroughly. Bring hot water to a boil with the rice already in the pot. Cook covered for 20 minutes until water has been entirely absorbed and rice is sticky in consistency. If the rice is too hard, add water by the teaspoon and continue cooking. Be careful not to add too much water! I did the first time and it got so mushy that I had to start over. Fluff cooked rice with fork and set aside.
  2. Slice tofu into thin strips. Marinate in soy sauce and nutritional yeast for 10 minutes. In medium saucepan, heat a dash of EVOO until it sizzles. Sprinkle tofu with garlic and onion while cooking, and fry tofu until texture is very firm. Set aside.
  3. Cut zucchini and eggplant vertically into very thin, long strips. Pan-fry on medium heat in EVOO and add red pepper flakes, lime juice, salt and pepper. Cook until vegetables have browned, then set aside.
  4. Line your bamboo rolling mat with plastic wrap to avoid making a big mess and place a glass of water next to your work station. Important: Wait for your vegetables and rice to cool, otherwise the rest of this process will be harder than it needs to be!
  5. Lay the rolling mat flat and place a couple spoonfuls of rice onto the middle of the sheet. Wet fingers and pat rice lightly down into a thin even layer. The rice doesn’t have to go right to the edges — basically, try to create a rectangular section of rice within the rectangular piece of seaweed 1/4 inch from the edge.
  6. Align the tofu strips, eggplant, zucchini and avocado into a very thin horizontal line at the bottom of the rice. Be careful not to overfill. I combined all of my ingredients at once but you can do designated avocado rolls, eggplant rolls, and so on if you’d prefer.
  7.  Tightly roll the seaweed sheet from the bottom, using the mat to press it together. Keep going, squeezing the roll to prevent it from falling apart. Dab a bit of water on the edge of the seaweed to seal it.
  8. Use a sharp knife to slice the roll into bite-size pieces. Wet the knife between cuts to keep it clean. Important: Having trouble doing this right? Use this easy guide here to help.
  9. Keep rolling! Make as much as you’d like and get creative with your fillings.

Serve with gluten-free soy sauce and eat with chopsticks.

Makes approximately 4 rolls (2 servings).