Saturday, February 27, 2010

Raw Patagonia Pasta Primavera (w/ zucchini hummus!)

Maybe an unlikely combination, but definitely a complimentary one in my opinion. My camera battery is dead and it seems as though the van has swallowed yet another one of our belongings (my camera battery charger) so we've resorted to Evan's iPhone to capture the raw dinner I made for us tonight:

Raw Patagonia Pasta Primavera
Chip and Laura (our bffs of Patagonia) left for the weekend and gave us permission to use their shower, bathroom, kitchen, house, internet, laundry facilities, etc. They've been so gracious to us. We feel so fortunate to have run into them while passing through this magical town, which by the way has THE best radio station in America - 100.5 KPUP. It's the only radio station we pick up in the van and it plays an eclectic mix of blues, country, folk, and reggae. No Top 40 spins of any kind. Beautiful.

So I've been craving marinara and zucchini pasta since yesterday. I went to the awesome local natural food store here: 

Red Mountain Food
376 Naugle Avenue
Patagonia, AZ 85624
I picked up some giant organic zucchinis (I've only seen little dinky zucs for the past few months. I was shocked to bring back a couple of 14"-ers!), a package of sundried tomatoes (salt and preservative-free), 3 large organic vine-ripened tomatoes on special for $1.69 (they were on the outs - cosmetically inferior - but I was unconcerned as they were about to get annihilated by the food-processor), the largest head of organic romaine lettuce I've ever seen (it was the length of my tibia - longer even! When I compared it to the length of my leg from my foot to my surpassed my knee cap. Amazing). What else did I get - a half pound of dates that I was going to add to the marinara, but ended up eating on the walk back to the house. Oh, some mushrooms, organic celery, an organic red onion, organic fresh basil, and organic dried oregano. 

They pack this little place to the brim with all your favorite organic fruits and veggies, sprouts, nut and seed milks, spices, dates, and much more. 
The Arizona oranges sold here are some of the best I've tasted. They outrank California and Florida oranges by a long shot. Needless to say, I was beyond impressed with this place. If it wasn't for Red Mountain Foods, I don't think we'd still be here in Patagonia.

I'll try to estimate to the best of my ability the amounts of each ingredient included in the recipe.

Raw Sundried Tomato Marinara Sauce
1 cup sundried tomatoes, soaked for 20 minutes in 1/2 cup water (you can use scissors to slice the tomatoes into smaller pieces before soaking if you'd like) - Don't throw out the soaking water because you will use it in the recipe
3 large organic vine-ripened tomatoes, loosely chopped (you can de-seed for a thicker sauce, but I hate to waste anything so I included the seeds in this recipe)
1/2 cup organic fresh basil leaves, tightly packed
2 tablespoons organic dried oregano
1/2 cup organic red onion, chopped 
1/4 cup organic celery, diced
1/2 cup mushrooms, chopped
1/2 organic lemon, juiced
4 cloves organic garlic
Pinch of sea salt (or more to taste)
Optional: If needed - add 2 dates, pitted (or a few drops of Stevia)

Directions: Add all the ingredients except the celery, 1/4 cup red onion, and the mushrooms into a food processor or high-speed blender (or regular blender). I used a food processor and it got a little messy with all that red, gooey, liquidy mess wanting to explode, but I managed alright. 
Place the processed marinara into a bowl and add the celery, remaining red onion, and mushrooms and mix together by hand with a spoon (this gives it a chunkier texture, which I like)

Zucchini Pasta
2 large organic zucchinis, ends cut and sliced into 5" sections

I used a saladacco spiralizer called "The Garnishing Machine" to create angel hair zucchini pasta. I purchased it when I was at Living Light Culinary Institute back in February/March of 2009 (read more about my experience at Living Light here). I absolutely love it and don't use it nearly enough. 
Here I'm placing a 5-inch chunk of zucchini onto the spiralizer
Then I use light pressure on the top handle and slowly turn it while holding the base of the spiralizer as the zucchini comes out in thin, pasta-like strings.
Set marinara and pasta aside.

Next use the leftover zucchini "wheels" from the spiralizer for the zucchini hummus (you'll know what I mean when you use this machine - sorry, no pic this time). I had an extra zucchini for the hummus, as well (totaling 2 cups zucchini, chopped).

Zucchini Hummus
2 cups zucchini, chopped
4 cloves garlic
4 tablespoons raw tahini
1 lemon, juiced
sea salt to taste
paprika to taste
pinch of cayenne

Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend on "high" until it becomes a creamy consistency.
And then steam your veggies (or not)! I lightly chopped up 1/2 a large head of cauliflower (including the green leaves) and 1 stalk of broccoli (including the stem/stalk). Oh, and I threw in some sugar snap peas because they were on the counter. Obviously, you can choose not to steam veggies and just add them in raw. A good way to break down the tough cellular wall of raw cruciferous vegetables is to soak them in lemon juice for 20 minutes and massage them a bit. You can also include herbs and spices with the lemon juice to add flavor - garlic is the go-to flavor enhancer for me. I opted to steam the veggies this time because I was in the mood for something warm but also because Evan feels that steamed vegetables are more substantial and satiating than raw vegetables. 

*Note: When I steam vegetables, I very lightly steam them. They are still tough and crunchy, the steaming just warms them up and takes the edge off.
The recipe probably yields about 3 servings. Evan and I had a bunch of marinara leftover and some zucchini pasta, but we ate all of the steamed veggies and hummus.

I'm hungry again after writing this! Going back for thirds.

Thanks for reading and please feel free to comment and/or ask questions!
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  1. Wow, Jasmine, this Pasta Primavera looks fabulous! I am going to try it. Happy, happy Birthday to Evan!!! Now about those kale noodles--why aren't they dark green AND do you think they undergo heat when they are made? Also, do you peel your zucchini for the hummus? We miss you so much in Portland--when are you returning??? Amazing blog and so inspiring. We are still making the great collard wraps from a few posts back. I am so glad you are having such a great time. Jane

  2. Janey -

    They are "kelp" noodles, not kale noodles, but you're right to ask those questions. They most likely are processed in a way that is detrimental to the vitality of the plant. It would be interesting to look into that further. I don't peel the zucchini for the hummus because the skin contains a host of nutrients that are worth keeping. It does speckle the hummus with hints of green (if you don't mind the color). I'm glad you are enjoying the blog and the collard wraps!

    Miss you!

  3. Hi Jas,
    Great hearing about your adventures. Today's my last day of a 2 week water fast, so I've been salivating at your food pictures and descriptions. Your food looks very good! It's always amazed me how much food someone as petite as you can eat :). Guess you burn it up quickly with all of your activities. Have a wonderful time. I'll be following your blog. RawRose

  4. Wow, rawrose! A two-week water fast! I was just telling Evan yesterday that I would love to do a supervised water fast when we get back home. How do you feel? Do you have a blog? I would love to read about your experience on your water fast. Great to hear from you.

    And, that reminds me, I've been wanting to write a blog post about the many phases one goes through on a raw food diet. I've been trying to limit my fat intake (or at least, be more conscious of it) for the past month after basically eating anything and everything as long as it was "raw" and hitting a plateau six months ago. Lowering the fat has helped a lot.

    Keep in touch, raw rose. Miss & Love.

  5. oh, and I'm not sure when we'll be back to Portland. Perhaps, Thanksgiving?? We want to go to Europe this summer and maybe live in Berlin for awhile.

    Evan misses Germany.

  6. I love your blog. You seem so passionate about what you are currently doing and it shows. The food looks just amazing and I love all the little tips you share. Enjoy the journey and Happy Birthday Evan. Love you both. Mom

  7. I miss you, mummy. Evan misses you and loves you.

  8. Hi Jazzy;

    Just stopping by to praise your blog. You write well! The food looks delicious. Thanks for sharing the excitement of the road trip...

  9. I loved seeing the great photos of Red Mountain Foods, as it's my EXTRA Sister & her husband's store !! Oh and the food looks so appetizing too.
    Sincerely, From Wild & Wonderful West Va.