Raw Zucchini Lasagna

A special shout out goes to my Auntie Anne, who sent me a cookbook in the mail called Eat Raw, Eat Well by Douglas McNish. It was a lovely surprise to get this cookbook, as I did not know she was sending it, and I had never heard of the book. The recipes look absolutely delicious, and I finally made one. It’s called Layered Zucchini Lasagna in the book, and I made it with some slight variations. The biggest changes I made were in quantities (I halved most of the sauces), and I added or changed ingredients here and there. Here is what I did.

Ingredients for Cashew Ricotta Cheese
2 cups raw cashews, soaked for 30 minutes
Juice from 1/2 lemon
1/2 yellow or red pepper (I used yellow)
1/2 cup water
1 clove garlic, minced
3/4 tsp dill weed
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp salt

Ingredients for Marinara Sauce
2 tomatoes, quartered and seeded (push out the excess liquid and seeds)
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup fresh basil
1/2 tsp cayenne powder
1 tbsp chia seeds

Ingredients for Pesto
1/8 cup lemon juice
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup fresh basil
1 cup spinach
1/4 cup raw walnuts
1/8 cup flax oil (or olive oil)

Ingredients for Parmesan Cheese
Handful of raw almonds
3 tbsp nutritional yeast

Ingredients for Assembling the Lasagna
2 medium-sized zucchini
1 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper

This whole dish requires a good food processor or a Vitamix. A tip I have is to add ingredients one by one so that the blending is easy. I always started with garlic and liquid, and ended with the most solid ingredient. This all depends on how good one’s mixer is.

First, I made the cashew cheese by blending all the ingredients (reserving half of the cashews) in a food processor until smooth,. I added the rest of the cashews last and blended again. I did this to have some of the cashews remain chunky. I reserved the cheese in a container and put it in the fridge.

Next, I made the marinara sauce by blending all of the ingredients, except the chia seeds, in the food processor. I stirred in the chia seeds last. I reserved the sauce in a container and put it in the fridge.

Then I made the pesto. I blended all the ingredients, except the flax oil, all at once in the food processor. I added the flax oil little by little and blended until smooth.I put the pesto in a container and reserved it in the fridge.


The parmesan cheese is even easier. I pulsed the almonds and nutritional yeast in a food processor until the almonds became a chunky meal. It is important not to over-blend, as the almonds can start to turn into a butter.

To assemble the lasagna, I used a mandolin (thanks to Tom for that birthday gift) to cut the zucchinis length-wise, very thin. I made about 9 sliced. I lay out a piece of parchment paper and drizzled olive oil on top, then put the sliced zucchini on top and drizzled some more olive oil. I wanted the zucchini to be lightly coated, not soaked. I put salt and pepper on top and let them sit for ten minutes.


Next, I placed three pieces of sliced zucchini on a large dish, side by side. I layered the ricotta cheese, pesto, and marinara sauce, in that order. The cheese took a bit of time to spread without moving the zucchini. I then layered three more pieces of zucchini on top, repeated the layer of sauces, then topped the lasagna with a final layer of zucchini. I added an extra layer of marinara sauce on top, and sprinkled a generous coating of the parmesan cheese on top. I let the lasagna sit for about an hour before eating, which lets the noodles soften and allows the flavours incorporate.


Voila! I was pleasantly surprised with this recipe. It was delicious and full of flavour. I noticed that water starts to come out of it after an hour, and even more so when eaten as leftovers. It’s probably better made fresh, but we’ll see tomorrow!


Vegan Lasagna

I have been wanting to make a vegan lasagna for a very long time, but did not want to use  packaged vegan cheese. I know a lot of vegans eat Daiya cheese, but I just do not enjoy the after-taste. As an alternative, when soaked and blended, cashews make a delicious substitute for cheese. However, in the last year I have had a very difficult time finding peanut-free cashews. At long last, there is a brand of nuts now available at the Independent close to my house that is peanut-free and gluten-free! Check this out for more information. Here is the recipe for vegan lasagna, inspired by ohsheglows.com


Ingredients for the ricotta cheese

1 cup raw cashews, soaked for a few hours
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp onion powder

Ingredients for vegetable filling

2 tbsp coconut oil or olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 medium zucchinis, sliced thin
1 small eggplant, diced
1 red pepper, diced
Optional: 1 cup mushrooms*
* I do not like mushrooms, but I can appreciate how delicious they could be in a lasagna

Other Ingredients

1 box lasagna noodles, oven-ready
1 jar pasta sauce, or do what I did and make your own with canned or fresh tomatoes


I preheated the oven to 400*F. I started by putting all the cheese ingredients in a food processor and pureed until smooth. I put the cheese aside. Next, I heated  the oil in a large frying pan and cooked the onion and garlic until translucent. I added the zucchini, eggplant, and red pepper, and cooked for about five minutes. Then, I took a large casserole dish and sprayed with cooking spray. I layered the lasagna in this order: pasta sauce (1 cup), noodles, cashew cheese (half of it), vegetables, pasta sauce, noodles, cheese, vegetables, pasta sauce, noodles, pasta sauce. I covered the top in a layer of nutritional yeast, but for the Daiya lovers, a layer on the top would probably be delicious. I covered the lasagna in tinfoil and baked the whole dish for 40 minutes. After removing it from the oven I let it sit for a few minutes, then served it.