The March 2009 challenge is hosted by Mary of Beans and Caviar, Melinda of Melbourne Larder and Enza of Io Da Grande. They have chosen Lasagne of Emilia-Romagna from The Splendid Table by Lynne Rossetto Kasper as the challenge.
So, as always, the Daring Bakers allow some flexibility in the challenge to allow the creativity of the diverse participants to shine through. I am an Alternative Daring Baker so I often adapt the recipes to meet my vegan parameters. I have been doing my best to limit flour in my diet so I used the lasagne recipes as my inspiration but decided to do it raw-style.
The original challenge recipe was for a very simple, traditional lasagne. The challenge was to roll-out thin, spinach pasta dough.
Instead I made thin and pliable zucchini-bell pepper wraps. The dark green colour mimics the spinach pasta I saw in the amazing photos of other Daring Bakers creations. The recipe I used is a Cherie Soria creation (with my own flavour variations).
In a blender combine equal parts zucchini and bell pepper (I used red peppers). Add one avocado (pitted and peeled, of course) and flavours and spices of your choice. I added some sea salt, nutritional yeast, oregano and basil. Add a few tablespoons of psyllium powder and blend everything together. Pour the batter onto your dehydrator sheets and dry at 105 for 4 hours. Flip them over and continue to dry for about 3 more hours. They should still be very flexible. You can store these in the freezer for a couple of months.
See how thin and green they are! Okay, you probably didn’t think “hey, that looks like pasta”. But trust me, this is going to work perfectly with my lasagne plan. With the wraps all done, the rest of the recipe came together really quickly. When I got home from work I soaked a few sundried tomatoes and some raw cashews. I chopped up a portabello mushroom and let it hang out with some nama shoyu. For the ragu layer, I blended the soaked sundried tomatoes with a big handful of grape tomatoes, and the nama shoyu-marinated mushrooms. I left the sauce with a little bit of texture.
For the bechamel sauce I combined the soaked cashews with a clove of garlic, some water, black pepper and a little nutritional yeast. I blended it until it was thick and creamy. Delicious!
Then I started the lasagne layering. It was a lot of fun to create this mini, personal, raw lasagne. I topped it with a little basil sprig from the pot near my window. That addition was my tribute to the arrival of spring. Welcome, spring. I am very happy to hear you are in town.
Thank you Melinda, Mary and Enza for inspiring such a delightful meal. The flavours were amazing and really satisfying.
If you haven’t already, you should really check out the new Daring Kitchen website. I am very impressed by all of the work that Ivonne and Lis have put into the renovations! Thank you ladies.
I can’t wait to see what next week will bring to the Daring Kitchen.