How do you feel about taking a little break from Christmas-themed posts today? Never you fear, I still plan to tell you about the non-pudding dessert I made for Christmas lunch and the restaurant my family went to on Christmas Eve, but I can’t help wanting to change tack for a second.
My original plan had been to post a chocolate review, as chocolate chats have been few and far between on this here blog of late. (“On this here blog of late”: does that sentence sound really convoluted and messy to anyone else? Shame on me.)
But then I received a package in the mail from my Fairy Rawmother, and I simply had to test its contents – a Veggie Twister – out. And then eat the results. And then write about it. And nom nom nom.
Robyn of Girl On Raw is not only my Fairy Rawmother but a wonderful mentor and friend, and so when I recently won a spiraliser on her blog, we were both rather ecstatic about it. Ever since my recent trip to Yong Green Food, which saw me eat raw vegan sushi and raw vegan cheesecake, I’ve been wanting to create some raw meals of my own.
This “Veggie Twister” (warning: a video starts to play at that link) provided the catalyst for my first foray into making a raw vegan main course (BFF, I can see you shaking your head at me in amusement). Furthermore, I’m not ashamed to admit that the dish I created was the perfect dinner to eat on a sweltering hot summer’s night in Canberra, as I sat at the table in shorts and a bikini top with cicadas repeatedly smashing themselves against the flyscreen in an attempt to get closer to the magical, magical electric lights shining down on me.
Seeing as I won this spiraliser on Robyn’s blog, it seemed only fitting that I use oned of her recipes to christen it. I made a few adaptations based on what I had on hand, and I got a thrill out of chopping ingredients which, for so much of my life, have been off limits because of my mum’s allergies (tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, and capsicum: you will be mine. Oh, how you will be mine).
My main changes were using parsley instead of basil, and adding in a goodly dose of chilli to counteract the sweetness of the date, which was itself necessary to balance out the acidity of the tomatoes. The chilli is, of course, optional – I used enough to leave my lips tingling, but those of you averse to heat could easily leave it out.
I have to admit that while my interest in raw food stemmed largely from the novelty of it all (dates in my pasta sauce? Coconut butter in my smoothies? Oh, you crazy thing you!), I think the taste is what’s going to make me return to it. There were so many flavours going on in this meal that each bite thrilled me, and I can’t wait to try out more fancy gadgets and new ingredients in the (raw) future.
But you’re just going to have to wait to hear about that.
Raw Zucchini Pasta with Marinara Sauce
Adapted from Girl On Raw
- 1/4 cup cherry tomatoes
- 1/4 cup chopped red capsicum
- 1/4 cup packed fresh parsley (or basil, if you have it on hand)
- Slightly under 1/4 cup semi-dried tomatoes
- 1/2 clove of garlic, crushed
- 1 pitted Medjool date
- 1 tb thyme-infused extra virgin olive oil which was a much-appreciated thank you gift from your grandparents for having watered their garden and not killed their plants. Or, you know, whatever olive oil you have in your pantry.
- chopped bird’s eye chilli, to taste
- salt and pepper
- dash apple cider vinegar (which I completely forgot, but I’m putting it in the ingredients list because I think it’d be great)
- 1 large zucchini, spiralised
1. Place all ingredients (bar the zucchini) in a food processor and pulse until everything is mixed but not pureed, as you want the sauce to retain some texture. Or, if you’re me, use an immersion blender on the ingredients as they sit together in a large bowl. This will cause red and green flecks of tastiness to leap out of the bowl and come to rest in your ringlets, but it’ll all work out eventually.
(Also, the original recipe said to strain the marinara for a little while, but I was hungry and impatient and just served it as is. I’m sorry, Rob!)
2. Top the spiralised zucchini with the marinara, gloat a little in the prettiness and Christmas-colours of your meal, then eat. With relish. (Figurative relish, that is. Not actual condiment relish.)