Amanda has asked me to post on her blog while she is out of town at her grandma’s birthday party. I am friends with the Supreme Master and Lady Beth (see their posts below) but unlike them, Amanda does not have a nickname for me and has mentioned me on her blog by my real name, Carly. Amanda and I have been friends for about five years, when we became roommates through veggieroommates.com (yes, you heard me right! Alas, this website sadly no longer exists). We were roommates for the last two years of Amanda’s college days and my first two years of grad school in Florida. I stayed in Florida to finish my degree and work for The Nature Conservancy. Surprisingly, I then got a job with a conservation non-profit in Portland and ended up moving to the same town that Amanda currently lives in. Small world!
I have been a vegetarian since I was 12 (if you are counting that means I have been veg for 19 years!). I grew up in a meat and potatoes family in central Wisconsin, which means being vegetarian was not easy! The only green vegetable my family ate at the time was iceberg lettuce. I am not exaggerating. I have slowly been adding greens into my diet as I have found that I remarkably don’t dislike them, despite what others in my family may prefer. In fact, I LOVE them! This has rubbed off on my family as they have actually started to eat romaine lettuce, spinach and….broccoli! I am hoping to get them to start eating kale and collard greens soon but that might be an uphill battle.
Anyways, on to the food. I love experimenting with RAW foods so I thought I would give it a try for Amanda’s blog. This recipe does take some preparation but not as much as most RAW recipes. You will need a mandoline and either a food processor or high speed blender (like a Vitamex). You will *not* need a dehydrator (whew!). I used cremini mushrooms here because I work for a non-profit and can’t afford the wild variety. But if you are able, a combo of oyster, shitake, and cremini would probably be lovely!
This Recipe has been adapted from Matthew Kenney’s Everyday Raw Express
Lasagna with Spinach, Mushrooms, and Butternut Squash - RAW
1 very small Butternut Squash
2 cups cashews, soaked for 2 hours
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 ½ Tablespoons nutritional yeast
2 Tablespoons olive oil
3 Tablespoons water
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 cups baby spinach
1 cup cremini mushrooms
1.5 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 Tablespoon nama shoyu
1/2 Tablespoon parsley
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon oregano
Peel the butternut squash, cut in quarters and remove seeds. Using a mandoline, cut the squash into thin slices. Each slice should be at least 3 inches long. Toss with a bunch of olive oil and salt. Soak for 30 min or more. Rinse and drain before using.
For the cashew cream, soak the cashews for about two hours. Drain the water (do not use it!) and rinse the cashews. Pulse cashews, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, olive oil, water, salt and pepper in a food processor or high speed blender until smooth and fluffy.
Chop mushrooms very finely. Toss mushrooms with all ingredients and allow to marinate for 30 min or more.
Wash and chop spinach.
Layer squash, cashew cream, spinach, and mushrooms. Repeat. Garnish with more oregano and thyme. Drizzle with olive oil, salt, pepper, if desired.