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Living Lasagna

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living-lasagna-NR1Living Lasagna is not only aesthetically pleasing to the eye with its vibrant colors, it is also rich in flavor and nutrients.  This dish is made with all raw, living foods that will have you walking away from the table feeling light, nourished and well satisfied.

I complied this dish with wonderful layers of; al dente prepared zucchini noodles, a rich and robust marinara sauce, “meaty” marinated mushrooms, gently massages spinach and a creamy almond based ricotta cheese.  Though this particular lasagna is not baked in an oven as you might be accustomed to, it is warmed gently all the way through in a dehydrator.  The dehydrator is not only good for warming foods, it also helps to create wonderful aromatics that will get your mouth-watering and tummy grumbling.

As you scroll through the ingredients, you might start to feel over-whelmed …. WAIT!! DON’T GO!! …. I hope that you can appreciate the beautiful nourishment that comes from making this dish.  Yes, there are a few steps to it, but it can all come together with grace and ease… grace and ease I tell you.

What I like to do is to create a few of the components the day before.  The cheese requires it anyway for culturing purposes and by breaking it up, it will help so it doesn’t feel so daunting.   You can make the ricotta, marina and marinated mushroom in advance.  The sauce and mushrooms can be done 10-20 minutes prior to making the dish but I find that the flavors deepen and meld together more when they mingle through the night.

And remember as you approach this dish… it is completely made from scratch.  This is the perfect opportunity for you to control the quality of ingredients that are used to create this wonderful raw, living, Italian dish.

I originally posted this recipe on Nov. 22nd, 2010… it was time to revamp it a bit and add some fresh photos.

living-lasagna-mise-in-placeIngredients: Yield: One 7 x 7-inch casserole (4-6 servings)

Almond Ricotta layers:

  • 1 cup almond cheese
  • 2 Tbsp raw white miso
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp red onion, minced
  • 2 tsp nutritional yeast (Red Star Brand recommended)
  • 1/2 tsp crushed garlic
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • Pinch of white pepper

Marinara Sauce

  • 6 Roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped (6 cups worth)
  • 1/2 cup sun-dried tomato powder
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp finely minced onion
  • 1 1/2 tsp crushed garlic
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp minced fresh basil leaves
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp minced fresh oregano
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • Pinch of pepper

Noodle layers:

  • 2 large zucchini, sliced 1/16” thick lengthwise
  • sea salt

Spinach Layer

  • 1/2 lb spinach, washed and spun dry

Mushroom layers:

  • 16 oz mushrooms, washed and sliced
  • 2 Tbsp Tamari
  • 2 Tbsp cold-pressed olive oil
  • Pinch of pepper

Preparation:

Almond Ricotta layers:

  1. In a medium bowl combine the prepared almond cheese, miso, onion, nutritional yeast, garlic, nutmeg and pepper.   Mix well and set aside.

Marinara Sauce:

  1. If you can’t find tomato powder and don’t want to order it, you can make your own.  Dehydrate tomato slices till very dry and grind to a powder in a spice/coffee grinder.
  2. To remove the seeds, cut the tomato in half and with a sharp small spoon, scoop out the seeds.  Leaving the seeds in the tomato will cause the sauce to be to watery. Place the Roma tomatoes in a colander to allow any remaining liquid to drain, (Drink the wonderful juice or add it to another recipe.)
  3. When the tomatoes are thoroughly drained, put them in a food processor outfitted with the “S” blade, and pulse to chop.  Do not over process; the mixture should be slightly chunky, like a salsa.
  4. Add the sun-dried tomato powder, onion, garlic, basil, oregano, salt, and pepper, and pulse to mix.
  5. Let the sauce sit for at least 10 minutes (or over-night) before assembling the lasagna, to allow it to thicken.  If the sauce is too wet, drain off a little of the juice.

Noodle layers:

  • Slice the zucchini into even slices with a mandolin.
  • Place the zucchini slices on a dehydrator tray lined with a nonstick reflex sheet, and dehydrate at 105 degrees for an hour, to soften.
  • OR, soak for 1 hour in a salt-water brine, then drain well and towel dry.

Spinach Layer:

  • Wash the spinach leaves and place them in a salad spinner to release the water on it.  You can also place the wet spinach on a dry paper towel and blot the excess water off.
  • Place the spinach in a food processor, fitted with the “S” blade until it is ground, but not overly processed.  You want to still be able to identify it and not make a paste out of it.
  • Squeeze out the excess moisture from the spinach and set aside in a bowl.   This is important.  You don’t want the spinach “soupy” causing puddles of liquid in your lasagna.

Mushroom layers:

  1. Wash and dry each mushroom.  Make sure to remove all of the dirt.  Don’t soak them in water.  Use a damp paper towel to wipe each one off.
  2. Toss the mushrooms in the Tamari, olive oil, and pepper.
  3. Set aside for at least 10 minutes or overnight.
  4. Drain well and gently squeeze to remove excess liquid.

Assembly:

  1. Spread a layer of marinara sauce in the bottom of the pan of your liking, and place a layer of the softened zucchini noodles on top.
  2. Spread another layer of sauce over the zucchini, then a layer of the mushrooms, and press, using a spatula.
  3. On top of the mushrooms, put a thin layer of cheese, followed by a layer of spinach.  Press firmly and continue layering.  Begin with the zucchini, then the sauce, mushrooms, cheese and spinach.  Press firmly between all layers.
  4. Create a least one more layer of each item and finish with a final layer of sauce, dotted with cheese.
  5. Serve immediately at room temperature or warmed slightly in a dehydrator set at 145 degrees for 30 minutes to 2 hours.
  6. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge up to 2 days.

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47 thoughts on “Living Lasagna

  1. Annie says:

    First, this turned out soooo much better than I ever expected…really! For years, my specialty was lasagna, and it was always my family’s favorite dish for a special occasion. Even after we became vegetarian, I made a fabulous lasagna with lots of veggies, and lots of cheese! Now that I’m raw, I had given up hope of ever finding something to come close to that level of comfort and tastiness. This truly did. I am glad I had a friend to help prepare this, as it is rather daunting the first time. I was worried because I couldn’t find sun dried tomato powder so just used sun dried tomatoes, but all in all, it went smoothly and we had a great time making it. The biggest surprise was the ricotta…yummy! I’m excited to experiment with more cheese. Oh, and did I mention how completely beautiful it is to cut in to? Thank you so much! I can’t wait to make this again.

    • amie-sue says:

      I am soooo thrilled that you made this and LOVED it! Making this dish for the first time can seem over whelming but once you make it, it gets easier as you start to understand all the steps. Regarding the sun-dried tomato powder…first of all, great job on substituting! Secondly, I usually find this powder in health food stores in their spice bulk section. I have made my own as well in the past. I simply dehydrated sliced tomatoes and then ground them up.
      amie sue

  2. Pureglow16* says:

    we made this.
    it is absolutely AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    We LOVED IT!
    best meal and best lasagna I’ve ever had.

  3. Chris says:

    Are there any non-soy alternaties to miso?

  4. Catherine says:

    Another excellent recipe!! I love that there was virtually no oil or added sugars.

    • amie-sue says:

      Good morning Catherine,

      I am thrilled that you made this recipe. It can seem intimidating to people because of all the components, but once you make it once it isn’t so bad. So many neat techniques come from making it too. Have a wonderful day!

  5. Gail Grini says:

    Please can you tell me where to buy a tall springform pan. I have looked everywhere.

    • amie-sue says:

      Gail,

      I used a 7″ pan that I got from Amazon. http://astore.amazon.com/nouraw-20/detail/B000237FS0 If you are ever looking for some of the equipment pieces that I use, refer to my Amazon store. I try to upload to it everything that I use so people can see what I recommend. :) I LOVE, ADORE all Springform pans. hehe They are better than any shoe collection if you ask me. :)

  6. Dani says:

    I absolutely love your website!!!! I’ve already made your Cheese Nips and Raspberry Chia Porridge; they were so delicious! I am currently fermenting my Almond Cheese for the Lasagna that I’m making today, it’s snowing outside and I’m in the mood for some comfort food :-). In your directions for the Spinach you say “wash and spun dry” what does the Spun dry mean? Thank you very much and for sharing your recipes and being an inspiration to those looking to incorporate Raw Living Foods in their diet :-)

    • amie-sue says:

      Hello Dani, You are selecting some of my all time favorite recipes already. hehe The Living Lasagna is perfect for this time of year. Spun dry? Means to wash the spinach and then dry it. Referring to a salad spinner which you can see here as to what I use. http://astore.amazon.com/nouraw-20/detail/B0000VHFP2. If you don’t have one of these, you can blot the leaves with dry paper towels. The main thing is that you don’t want a lot of water draining off or it can make a soupy mess in your lasagna. I hope this helps! amie sue

  7. Dani says:

    One more question: I noticed that in your picture of the finished lasagna you have something crumbled on top of it, is that Nutritional Yeast?

  8. Dani says:

    Okay, I know I said last question but I noticed that under the directions for the Marinara Sauce you say “6 Roma Tomatoes Seeded and Chopped,” does that mean that you want the seeds to be removed?

    • amie-sue says:

      Dani,

      Yes, after you slice the tomato open, use a small spoon and scrape out the seeds. The seeds will create to much liquid in the sauce.

  9. Queen says:

    Im sooo nervous Im gonna try my luck this week with this live lasagna and bread stix recipe ~ wish me luck ! lol looks soooo good I cant resist~ Thanks for posting so many delicious recipes and can you explain how to convert cooked recipes ~ like replacements for baking powders soda and such ~ thanks

    • amie-sue says:

      Hello Queen! You can do it!! Keep in mind… break it down into steps so you don’t get overwhelmed. EAch step is going to teach new techniques that you can use when creating new dishes… so don’t rush through it. :) It may seem like a lot of steps for the first time when making it. Most of all, have fun, dance a little and enjoy! I am rooting for you and I am patiently waiting to see how it goes for you. I am here if you have questions through the process and I will do my best to answer in a timely fashion. Blessings, amie sue

  10. Rebecca says:

    I made this yesterday for my husband’s birthday, and it is truly one of those ‘labor of love’ dishes, but so worth it! He doesn’t quite embrace the whole raw movement, but he was really pleasantly surprised with this, and went back for seconds! I ran out of marinara sauce so I topped it off with the extra spinach and it was still beautiful to behold. I seemed to have plenty of the cheese, and the taste was spot-on for me. I also used dried basil and oregano, and went wild with the oregano. I have oregano cravings that are probably particular to me, so it didn’t come off as overpowering. Thanks so much for the ‘teaching recipe’. It was fun to challenge myself and win over family members :).

    • amie-sue says:

      I applaud you Rebecca! It sounds like it turned out amazing. I do know it is a labor of love but you really learn a lot of different techniques. So good job! I am so excited for you. Have a blessed evening and thank you for sharing that… it made my night. amie sue

  11. Karen says:

    I have been using your website for a couple of months now and I just love it. Your Living Lasagna is the best lasagna I have ever had. I am so glad your web=site is back up again. I have become addicted to your recipes and just about had a panic attack when your web=site wasn’t working. I have tried a several recipes and love them all. I am always looking to try something else. Thank you for all the effort you put in tho make this a truly informative and wonderful web-site. God Bless

    • amie-sue says:

      Thank you Karen. I was into panic mode myself. These is the second time that my site has been in the way of those darn virus’ and each time my stomach flip-flops till it is up and running. I can’t even get to my recipes when this happens. Shew! Happy to hear that you are enjoying the site. Have a blessed day! amie sue

  12. [...] Living Lasagne: http://nouveauraw.com/raw-recipies/main-dishes/living-lasagna/ [...]

    • Diana says:

      Hello! Sorry for long post … But this is such a cool recipe!!

      I printed this out last night but when I got to health food store, saw that ricotta part was missing ingredients. Thought it was my error and shrugged it off but this morning, when I tried the print-friendly button again, saw that they were indeed kept out. It might just be my Firefox, but thought I’d pass the tip along just in case, so no-one else ends up at the store without a clue as to the ingredients for the ricotta . (p.s., I suspect it’s just a minor glitch in the html coding (???), but thanks!!)

      I have the complete recipe now and am going today to buy them! Can’t wait. This is the loveliest-looking living lasagna I’ve seen. And I’m finally breaking down to buy a springform pan, too!

      Also, thanks for the nudge to go the almond route. So many nut cheez recipes call for cashews which Hippocrates said to avoid. But I’ve been using them as didn’t know yet what to do. But since in my town organic cashews cost $30/lb and raw, unpasteurized organic almonds cost $21.77/lb, I just realized what a dodo I’ve been. The better nut at the better price??? Can’t beat that!

      Thanks once again for your lovely, lovely website and for your hard work. I’ve been passing a lot of time here lately! Cheers.

      • amie-sue says:

        Goof morning Diana,

        Sorry that you ran into that experience. The few times that this has happened was do to the search engine being used by the user.

        I hope you enjoy this recipe and please let me know how it goes. I really need to make this again. Sounds perfect for the Fall weather. :) Shew, I can’t believe the prices of nuts that you have to pay… I simply couldn’t. Mercy-me-oh-my!

        Thank you for the kind words about the site and recipes. It is my joy and passion. Have a blessed and wonderful day. amie sue

  13. Tamsen Grace says:

    This Living Lasagne looks fantastic! Do you have any idea how I can make it without a dehydrator? I’m vegan but not raw. Thanks for any help! :-)

    • amie-sue says:

      Oh dear Tamsen… I haven’t attempted baking it so I really am not sure how to instruct you. I would use a lower temp though and just keep an eye on it… closely. Sorry for such a vague answer. amie sue

  14. RenB says:

    Hi Amie Sue. I set up the cheese for fermenting tonight with the hopes of having it for dinner on Friday. I have never done a fermented cheese before, so I am a bit nervous. Will it be okay until I can make the full lasagne on Friday?

    I’m on a roll! Many of my friends and family have started looking at the recipes and asking me about them since I shared it with them on facebook and I’ll be sending them pictures when I finish each one! It’s great finally having others to talk to about your amazing recipes and my excitement about raw foods! RenayB

    • amie-sue says:

      Good evening RenB,

      First of all… you don’t need to be nervous… it will turn out beautifully! If you followed the directions, all is good. :) So rest in that.

      If you just put the cheese recipe together today, you can let it ferment (culture) for 24 – 48 hours. Test it at the 24 hour mark and see how you like it. If you want a strong zing to it, let it continue the process. So that means, your cheese at the earliest could be done by Tuesday night or the latest Wednesday night. Once in the fridge, it will slow down the fermentation to a crawl. And it will be perfect come Friday when you make the dish. :) I can’t wait to hear how it turns out for you!

      I am so proud and excited for you Renay… I am so glad that you sharing the dishes with loved ones… spreading the health! You are making a difference in this world. Many blessings, amie sue

  15. aliyah says:

    I have a couple of questions I want to make this for Thanksgiving and have never made but cheese using primitive how soon do I need to start making it so it’s ready to be used by Wednesday
    2. Can I make this dish Wednesday to be served Thursday
    3. I live near a chamberlins and a whole foods and they both have different varieties of primitive which do you recommend.

    • amie-sue says:

      Good evening Aliyah,

      Yes, you can make this dish the day before. It will even be better in doing so. It will give the ingredients time to meld. :) Start making the cheese a good few days before you plan on assembling the lasagna. When you say “primitive” do you mean probiotic? I use PB8 which Whole Foods carries. Does this help? :) amie sue

  16. aliyah says:

    By primitive I mean probiotic and but means nut

  17. Aliyah says:

    Yes that helps thank you

  18. Jeani says:

    OK, Amie~Sue,
    I made this for some non-raw friends yesterday. I made it in a 7X7 square springform pan, and it looked almost like yours. I will make this again, but I need to write it out in a way that makes time sense for myself, as I tend to be kind of scatter brained sometimes. I’ll have to set it out starting with what to do first, second, etc.
    Anyway, the ricotta was excellent. I have tons of sun dried tomatos, and was going to make the powder myself, but my little grinder didn’t like that job. So I used some regular sundrieds, and put the seeds back in the marinara to give a little more liquid to soak into them.
    It worked out fine, altho I think it would be better with the powder. It wasn’t too wet.
    They loved it, and have ranked it tops, along with the raw tacos that I do.
    I also made your raw apple pie, with is also fantastic. I’ll put my comments for that over there, so others making it can see.
    Thank you!

    • amie-sue says:

      That is awesome Jeani. I appreciate that you shared this with me… us. I really need to make this again. It is always a winner and I get so hungry for it. Have a wonderful evening, amie sue

  19. LeJeune says:

    Hello,
    I so want to make this recipe – this will be my first time doing a raw receip this ambitious. But my question is: Do I have to put in the white miso? I am trying to lower my carbs and it is very high in carbs.
    Thanks

  20. Elena says:

    I’d love to make this but it looks intimidating lol I have to accomplish th almond cheese first. Thank you for the recipe

    • amie-sue says:

      I know it can appear that way Elena… but if you break it down in components it will come together really easily. And after you have all the techniques down, it only gets quicker and easier over time. You can do it! amie sue

  21. Doreen Newman says:

    Hi Amie, I prepared your living lasagna about two years ago, and it was a hit with all who tasted it. I am ashamed to say, that I have fallen off the ” raw ” wagon since then, but I’m getting back to it. I know you’ve changed the picture for this dish, but have you changed the recipe as well? It appears that some things are missing. I recall from the last picture that some of the cheese had a yellow appearance in addition to the ricotta cheese. I did of course add some of my own touches to it as well. Why did you take down the old picture? I’m hoping this is the same recipe, please, please, please let this be so. My sister and nephew constantly ask me about making this dish. My sister stated to me that it was even “better” than the one that is sold at one of our health food store chains in our area. I rave about your website to her. Well, let me know.

  22. Doreen Newman says:

    Again Amie Hello, Scratch my question that I posted earlier, Had I not panicked from the start because I didn’t see your old picture from 4 years ago ( you know it’s hard for some to accept change ) and simply read from the top, that you had changed the picture and not the recipe, then my distress post I would have kept restrained. Be patient with us old dogs, okay? Love, love, love this website.

  23. robin says:

    Hi Amiesue
    Is this basicly the same recipe that you did in the spring form pan. I love the looks of that one .is it still in you recipe section somewhere I could not find it ..This one is great and depending on how you serve it you would not have to cut it like the other ..but I would still love those direction…whatcha say ?? Many Blessings

    • amie-sue says:

      Hello Robin… same recipe. I commented in the post that the recipe is the same, I just took some new photos since I made this last week. Same layering technique just a different vessel. Have a great weekend. amie sue

  24. Malka says:

    Wow! This is really delicious. Not so difficult to make either. Good one!!!

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