Inspired Entrée: High Raw, Vegan Manicotti for Two
July 19, 2011

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Great responses to the edamame hummus! I was excited to hear that some of you already tried it and loved it. Today’s raw-ish entrée—high raw, vegan manicotti—may not be quite so quick or easy, but it is delicious, and I’m hoping that you guys will be as quick to give it a shot!

Last Thursday, my friend Andrea came over for dinner at the Hobbit House. I love preparing meals for friends, because I have such an advantage: I knew already that Andrea loves my cheesy parsnip spread:


…and that she loves anything with Italian flavors. With a bag of parsnips (on sale!) on my hands, a ton of fresh summer basil, two ripe tomatoes, and more zucchini than a vegetable patch, I knew precisely what I wanted to make her for dinner:

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And I knew—or at least I suspected strongly—that the dish would be easy to prepare and very delicious.

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And it was.

High Raw, Vegan Manicotti (mostly raw, vegan, gluten free, soy free)

Serves 2

For the “pasta”:

2 large zucchini

For the pesto:

Hemp pesto (recipe to come later this week!) or any other pesto—give my walnut pesto a try!

For the parsnip “cheese” filling:

1 batch of my cheesy parsnip spread

For the sauce:

1 batch of my sweet red pepper marinara sauce (all raw—no simmering needed!)

For the cashew cream:

Use 1 batch of the recipe in this post

To prepare:

1 large tomato, thinly sliced

To assemble:

1) Lay three sheets of very thinly sliced zucchini (pictured below) with edges overlapping, and cover with a thin layer of pesto, a layer of parsnip spread, and a layer of tomato:

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Roll all three slices up from the edge to which the fillings are closer, to the far edge, and seal with a tiny smear of pesto. You should end up with nice, neat rolls (check out my hemp hummus zucchini wraps for an additional how-to):

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Cover with a heaping layer of sweet pepper marinara and a nice drizzle of your cashew cream. Serve!

I rounded out my meal with Andrea with a huge bowl of fennel, romaine, and tomato with my raw, vegan Caesar salad dressing:

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We also nibbled on the last of my black bean and quinoa salad with quick cumin dressing, making for two very messy—and very tasty—dinner plates:

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What a spectacular night of high raw, all vegan food!

This meal reminded me of how fun it is to work with raw-ish entrees. In these busy student days, my cooking is dictated more by necessity and efficiency than by artistry: I make dips, spreads, versatile grain dishes, raw snacks, and salads, and little else. But there is such joy to preparing a raw or high raw meal that’s complete and beautiful, and I hope that no amount of homework will ever keep me from this kind of dinner for long.

On that note, it’s time for this sleepy blogger to retire. My midterm was (I think) alright, but I’m running on < 4 hours of sleep. Night!


Categories: Raw

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  1. I just made this for dinner! Delish! My 16 year old daughter liked it too! We are having vegan oat bars for desert!

  2. Wow, looks amazing! I can’t believe you’re still putting out blog posts w/ such frequency! When I was doing summer school that was all I was doing. . . and it was enough. But that’s good you are balancing everything so well!!

  3. I love reading these recipes! I definitely want to try to get into eating some more raw foods, but cooking is what I know best! I appreciate the help!

    Hope the midterm went well and you got some SLEEP!

  4. Ohhh I want. This looks so beautiful – light and just filling enough for a summer meal. Love the bowl that the ‘caesar’ salad is in. Its nice you were able to restore yourself with a fun activity like cooking a high raw meal.

  5. This looks lovely. It is even making me rethink my texture issues with raw tomatoes (I have few vegetable aversions, but raw tomatoes is sadly one of them, unless chopped super fine) 🙂 Yay on being done with your midterm. 🙂

  6. This dish looks yummy and I just happen to have a couple of zucchini and lots of basil on hand so I might try it out. I’ve been following your blog for a while now and am inspired by your stories and recipes and I am TRYING to do the raw/vegan thing more often. I even got a dehydrator so we could extend the summer fruit/veggie options into the winter months. Thanks for sharing and hope you got some good sleep!

  7. Oh my god, please sleep more! I yawned just reading that. Although, I guess you probably make up for it health-wise by being the most nutritious eater on the planet! Ugh, I wish I had a mandolin. And a dehydrator too, but that’s off topic. This looks delicious!

    Speaking of raw vs. cooked, I’ve noticed (over time, not just recently) that you seem to be enjoying more cooked foods than you used to. That might be an unsupported assumption, but if it’s not, is there a reason (aside from convenience) for your inclusion of more cooked vegan food in your diet? Just curious. 🙂

    • Ha! Actually, I don’t tend to need a lot more than 5 hrs, and I do attribute that to diet, but I *prefer* it when I sleep 6-7 hrs.

      As for my diet: I started eating a little more cooked about 1 year after I started CR, but that was two years ago now. The proportion has stayed pretty constant since then, but the difference is that the cooked food I make — rather than being as simple as plain cooked grains or beans — is now interesting enough to be blog-worthy, too, and that’s because I’m dating a cooked-foods eater, and I like to make our mutual meals fun. So what you see is a combo of the raw food I enjoy solo, and the entrees I make for me and M together 🙂

  8. ooooh! i just bought a mandolin yesterday and have been thinking, “what exciting new possibilities could this bring to my kitchen?” and you do not disappoint! i must try this asap 🙂

  9. “came over for dinner at the Hobbit House.”–I love that you’re still calling it the H.H. That’s so cute!

    4 hours of sleep? Yep. That’s my usual for the past 5 years. Motherhood, a FT job, a FT blog, a FT household to run…I can’t get it all in in under about 19-20 hours per day.

    But honestly, I do think a high raw and/or a high plant-based lifestyle totally fuels me and keeps me energized! And when that fails, there’s coffee 🙂

    Your rolls look perfect! I love yellow summer squash. Mmmm, good!

  10. someone was JUST asking me for a recipe for this and so glad I can pass it on to her now. perfect summer raw recipe!