I wanted to make two dishes for today’s Conscious Eating Niagara raw vegan potluck. I was hoping that making a second dish would encourage my hubby to join me, and he did come by for a bit which made me very happy. Once again, it was a great potluck and I’m so happy to have found this lovely community.
My savoury dish was raw vegan manicotti. I used my raw vegan tomato sauce, and filled zucchini rolled around probiotic Brazil nut ricotta cheese. I was very pleased with how it turned out.
This is like making raw vegan lasagna, but I decided to roll the zucchini so that it would be easier to serve at the potluck. You can either use a mandoline or if you’re very careful and patient, you could cut the zucchini into thin slices. Get your slices ready several hours in advance and salt them and let them air dry so that some of the moisture evaporates. Otherwise your dish can get very watery. I did this but it still got watery, so next time I might even slice them the night before.
I layered my raw vegan tomato sauce on the bottom of the dish and then placed my zucchini pasta on top.
For the Probiotic Brazil Nut Ricotta cheese, first have a look at my blog post about making raw vegan nut cheeses. This isn’t a difficult process, but the aging process takes time so planning becomes a bit more complicated. I decided after the last raw vegan potluck that I would make something with cheese and started to make the cheese straight away so it would have time to age. It wasn’t until much later that I decided exactly what I would use the cheese for and that doesn’t matter, you just want to start making the cheese straight away so that you’ll have it available.
For this recipe, the cheese was aged for 3 weeks which seems to be the magic length of time for really creating a true cheese-like quality, texture and flavour. The ratio that I use is 2 cups of nuts to one tablespoon of probiotic powder. Unlike many recipes, through trial and error I’ve now given up on soaking my nuts first. Instead, I blitz my nuts in the food processor, dump the probiotic powder directly in and season with salt. For other cheese I add additional seasoning but for the ricotta I like to keep it more simple. Once it’s fully blended, I lay it out on a dehydrator sheet and dehydrate it on a low temperature for about 4 hours or until it’s getting dry enough that it holds together in solid form, but not so dry that it crumbles. Then I mash it in some sort of a mould (a glass container works) and leave it to sit in a warm place for an additional 24 to 48 hours. This might be in the dehydrator on low, or I’ve found on top of the fridge to be a nice warm place. Then I cover it and put it in the fridge and let it age for 3 weeks.
For a bit of ‘parmesan’ I took the last of the cheese and added a bit of extra sea salt, then sprinkled it on top of the dish.