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Monday, November 19, 2012

Zucchini Spaghetti with Tomato-free Marinara Sauce and Walnut Sausage


This was supposed to be my dinner tonight – I was trying to plan ahead, but like every good cook I was tasting as the meal developed and I ended up eating it for lunch. I’m licking the plate as I write this.…

But that’s ok I made enough for two meals!  (#benefitsofbeingsingle - ?)

Anyway.

I had an amazing weekend rep-ing Vega and the LA Green Festival. I met some inspiring people, talked about hippie things, and learned so much about organizations, companies and products I didn’t know before. (More to come on this.)

The only thing is that I was there all day for two days and didn’t have a chance to make myself any really hearty meals. I made up for it today. Last week I was talking to someone in my kickball league about this dish and decided to make it.

This is surprisingly easy, a great alternative to using traditional pasta (where my gluten free peeps at!?) and a sneaky way to get more veggies in your diet.  


Sauce
This is a tomato free macrobiotic recipe. Why no tomatoes? According to macrobiotic gurus nightshades (tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, eggplants) are high in alkaloids, substances associated with hallucinogens, medicines, and poisons. They are known for leeching calcium from the bones, are difficult to digest and cause inflammation/anxiety. I try to avoid them for the most part.

Basic Sauce
6 carrots and 1 small beet
1 large onion, quartered
1 celery stalk
1 bay leaf
1 ½ cups water

  • Place all ingredients in a pot and boil for 30 min.
  • Puree in a blender.
  • Add water as needed for the texture you want.

That’s it!

To get a little fancy you can add
  • Garlic
  • 1 tsp basil or thyme
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • ¼ cup parsley, minced
  • 2 T miso
  • 1 cup minced seitan
  • 1 cup sautéed mushrooms

Mix and match these additional ingredients and add after you puree. I love love love this recipe!

Zucchini Spaghetti
Another simple and amazing trick!

A few months back I invested in a turning slicer that gives you the spiraled veggies. If you don’t have one use a vegetable peeler to make linguini shaped “noodles”.

  • Prepare the noodles (spirals or linguini)
    • You can stop here and have them raw if you like!
  • If you want them cooked – boil a pot of water and place noodles in for 1 minute. Seriously just 1 minute so they stay slightly crunchy and don’t fall apart.

Walnut Sausage (raw)
I was blown away at how amazing these were. I had a really great experience as I was preparing these. I was working my magic in the kitchen, my roommate and her boyfriend came in and said it smelled like I was making meat (he knows I’m vegan) before I could even say what I was making he said it smelled like sausage. It dawned on me he smelled the fennel. The fact is that meat doesn’t really taste like much of anything, most people who like meat dishes like the flavor, sauces, spices etc that are added to it, like fennel in sausage. If you are not vegan and reading this (first of all thank you) but also consider the alternatives, think about what you ACTUALLY like in a dish, it’s probably the flavor or texture which can be created in a plant based meal.

I got this recipe from another vegan blog: Fragrant Vanilla Cake. You MUST go check it out. She is incredible.

Walnut "Sausage":
1 1/4 cups raw walnuts, soaked and dried
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 Tbsp fresh rosemary
1 tsp fennel seed
1/2 tsp dried thyme
sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1-2 Tbsp filtered water

  • Combine all ingredients except water in a food processor and process until combined and finely chopped.
  • Add 1-2 Tbsp water, enough to make the mixture clump together. 
  • Form into balls.

This was soooo easy!

I put everything together and had a warm, hearty, meal that made me feel good. Although I have a lot to catch up on I had to make myself a priority and get a great meal in.

Now I’m off to the gym to share my pomegranate cheesecake with the trainers who are coaching me. (This post coming soon!)

2 comments:

  1. When you say soaked and dried, you just mean draining the water and giving the nuts time to dry on like a rack, right? How long are the soaking and the drying times then?

    This looks really good! And as half of a household that likes its pasta with tofurky sausage, I definitely want to give this a try.

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    Replies
    1. Great question Candy Beans! Yes you want to soak all raw nuts. To quote nutritionist Kimberly Snyder: "When soaked and/or sprouted in water, it begins the germination process, in which the active and readily available amounts of enzymes, vitamins, minerals, proteins and essential fatty acids begins to be activated and multiplies exponentially.

      Furthermore, there are inhibitor enzymes on the outside of the nuts which keep them safe from outside contaminants until it is safe to begin to grow, but these inhibitor enzymes also make protein assimilation and digestion harder for us. Soaking and sprouting your nuts and seeds increases their vital minerals and nutrition, while also simultaneously allowing the inhibitor enzymes to shed off the nuts and into the water (that’s why it is important to rinse them off well), making them easier for your body to assimilate and digest out of the body. This is great for weight loss and maintenance goals."

      I plan to do a blog on this soon!

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