Day 41 – Garfield’s favorite

Do you know the orange cat? Maybe not personally, since he is a cartoon (with 2 modern version of him being computer animated with the voice of Uncle Bill), but how much do you know of this Sunday cartoon leader? His habits, tastes and favorites? Some of you are long times fans like I am and can relate to Garfield’s distaste for Monday, his poking style at Odie, and his die hard love of lasagna. I wonder if he would raise his snickers at the Raw version I had today.

Whether Garfield will swallow it in on bite (like he does all his other lasagnas) or not, does not change that what might seem like an odd combination, makes the most incredible dish. With a raw “cheese” made from pine nuts, thin slices of zucchini and tomatoes as pasta, sun dried tomato and pesto as primary sauces, I was fortunate enough to see it prepared in a cooking class, Chef Bibiana was leading this afternoon. I will upload a video as well and will post the link when it is complete, however, I encourage you to try the recipe out. Even if just to make the “cheese” which is really more like a nut spread and super delicious. You don’t have to use zucchini, you can use yams, sweet potatoes, or even squash, so long as you can thinly slice it to achieve the desired look and shape of a lasagna.

My morning started early with a hot yoga flow class, and extended itself all the way through evening with out door activities, from grocery shopping to early dinner, by the time I started my Legs and Back I felt as if I had already worked them beyond norm. I almost backed out of the whole ordeal, making the yoga class my downX day. But I did not, choosing to complete 10 pull ups in every rep, with the help of a chair, I finished the hour long program, saving AbRip for tomorrow.

Next week is true challenge week, the last week in Phase 2, before I go into recovery, mentally preparing for Phase 3.

Garfield would not approve of all this physical activity, since he considers that  what we truly want is to lounge around, feeling full in our belly.

May this dish make you feel full all around.


Zucchini Lasagna

For the “ricotta”:

1 cups raw pine nuts, soaked for 1 hour or more
1 tbs lemon juice
1 tbs nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp sea salt
3 tbs filtered water

Place the pine nuts, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, and salt in a food processor and pulse a few times, until throughly combined, Gradually add the water and process until the texture becomes fluffy, like ricotta.

For the tomato sauce:

1 cups sun-dried tomatoes, soaked for 2 hours or more
1/2 small to medium tomato, diced
1/4 small onion, chopped
1 tbs lemon juice
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tbs plus 1 tsp agave nectar
1 teaspoons sea salt
Pinch of hot pepper flakes (optional)

Squeeze and drain as much of the water out of the soaked sun-dried tomatoes as you can. Add the drained tomatoes to a Vita-Mix or high-speed blender with the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth.

For the basil pesto:

2 cups packed basil leaves
1/2 cup pine nuts  (walnut/ pistacho/ pumpkin seeds)
1/4 cup plus 2 tbs extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp sea salt
Pinch of freshly ground black pepper

Place the pesto ingredients in a food processor and blend until well combined but still slightly chunky.

For the assembly:

3 medium zucchini, ends trimmed
2 tbs extra-virgin olive oil
Pinch of sea salt
Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
3 medium tomatoes (or heirloom variety), cut in half and then sliced

Whole basil leaves for garnish

1 Cut the zucchini crosswise in half, or into 3-inch lengths. Using a mandolin or vegetable peeler, cut the zucchini lengthwise into very thin slices, In a medium bowl, toss the zucchini slices with the olive oil, salt, and pepper.

2 Layer of zucchini slices, each one slightly overlapping another. layer tomato and pesto, then zucchini and tomato sauce then with ricotta.  Add another layer of zucchini slices and repeat twice more with the tomato sauce, “ricotta,” pesto, and tomato slices. Serve immediately, or cover with plastic and let sit at room temperature for a few hours.


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