|Zucchini "Linguine" with Lemony Spinach Pesto|
Surprise of the century [gasp!]: just because one is vegan does not necessarily mean one follows a healthy diet. Now, I've been dubbed the vegan hedonist, but recent health problems remind me that I should be eating more raw food [and consuming less coffee, alcohol and Vegan Treats goodies]. Like many of you, I'm just dipping my toes into the raw vegan waters. Learning to incorporate more living foods in your diet is a paradigm change, for sure. But when you taste thoughtfully prepared raw chow, your taste buds wake up, stretch and do little backflips of happiness. My new cookbook will include a chapter with a raw menu, including a recipe for Zucchini "Linguine" with Lemony Spinach Pesto.
This is a gorgeous entree to serve – celadon and white curls of zucchini pasta punctuated with fire engine-red pepper flecks and topped with an intense green dollop of pesto. And it has substance as well as style: a slightly sweet-sour spinach sauce coating the freshest, healthiest pasta you've ever tasted. [Plus, you don't have to worry if it's al dente; raw pasta never gets overcooked.] Using a spiral slicer to make the pasta is your best bet. You can find them online or in most gourmet shops. But patient, skilled cooks can also hand-cut noodles from zucchini. It's best to drain the linguine for as long as possible, for at least 8 hours, to help the pesto coat it better.
|A spiral slicer is an indispensable tool for making raw pasta|
|Really looks like spaghetti, doesn't it?|
Vegan Sag Paneer
Another tease from the upcoming cookbook. Unfortunately, finding vegan sag paneer is a rarity here in US restaurants [even though I was able to score lots of paneer-less sag when I was in India]. I decided to create a vegan Sag Paneer recipe partly because I am a spinach-holic, and partly because I had been ordering take-out channa masala and daal a bit too frequently. My paneer is made from pressed, dry-fried tofu, which looks and tastes eerily similar to dairy-based paneer, but without all the saturated fat, hormones and cruelty. Be sure to use organic spinach. Spinach is one of the most heavily sprayed crops, according to the Environmental Working Group. [Download their free, pocket-sized list of the "Dirty Dozen" most polluted crops and get a free Shoppers' Guide to Pesticides iPhone app here.]
|Dry-fried tofu looks and tastes eerily similar to dairy-based paneer.|