Raw Manicotti: Effing Delicious!

Melissa has set me on a raw bonanza! If you want to be really simplistic, you could call raw food “complicated salad”. Considering how little time it takes to make a salad… this should be appealing to busy people. Complicated salads only take a little longer than simple salads. It’s also a great alternative to the same boring salad you’ve been trying to eat meal after meal in order to avoid getting new pants after all those rich holiday meals. I love shopping but I’d rather spend my money on farmer’s market veggies than pants.
Start out with 2 medium zucchini. These are your “noodles”. For the noodles, cut off both ends of each zucchini. Slice the zucchini the long way so that you have long, wide noodles. Use a knife, cutting as thinly as possible and be really careful. Set them aside. Now it’s time for the creamy filling.  You’ll need the following ingredients:
1 block of Mori-Nu silken tofu
1/4 cup lemon juice
3 cloves of garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tsp tablespoons Italian seasoning
4 cups spinach

Combine all the ingredients except for the spinach in a food processor or blender. Blend until smooth. Scrape into a large bowl. If you want to be extra raw or soy free, substitute a cup and a half of soaked cashews for the tofu. Chop the spinach finely by hand and set it aside.

Now it’s time for the tomato topping. You’ll need to get all of these ingredients.
1 cup of sun-dried tomatoes (pre-soaked or not, just you’ll need more water for the latter)
1/4 cup water
1 medium tomato, chopped
3 cloves of garlic
1 handfull of fresh basil
salt to taste
Combine the ingredients in the food processor and blend until slightly coarse.

To assemble the manicotti, arrange 3 or 4 zucchini strips on a cutting board, slightly overlapping one over the next by about 1/2 inch as in the photograph. Add a handful of chopped spinach, as shown. If you’re feeling less adventurous, layer the ingredients to make “lasagna” instead.

Place 1/4 cup of the creamy filling in the center and spread about an inch thick. Add some more spinach.

Roll the zucchini up to make “manicotti”. Place two manicotti on a plate and top with a few tablespoons of the tomato sauce. Garnish with a sprinkling of raw parmesan and/or chopped basil. I also sliced up some black olives. I love olives.

This is Christie, signing off… food coma.

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