Night of the Living Lasagna
Could you survive three nights of raw organic vegan meals?
(page 3 of 4)
The five meals are $100, not inexpensive, but neither are organic produce, nuts and seeds. Sylvia uses only Ohsawa Organic Wheat-Free Tamari, because it’s made with non-GMO soybeans and because she feels many people are allergic to wheat without knowing it. It costs $72.95 a gallon. Highest lignan organic flax seed oil runs $28.99 a quart.
Ironically, it takes a lot of time and effort to serve up food raw. It takes so long that you have to order a bag of Licious Dishes by Monday for a Friday pickup.
Only 25 to 30 percent of Licious Dishes customers are strictly vegan. Says Sylvia, “Mainly they are people who want to eat healthy and don’t know how or don’t have the time to do it themselves.”
Part III: Some Assembly Required
“I’m looking forward to this,” said Barb as I was assembling dinner the second night.
Everything in the Licious Dishes bag comes with ingredient lists and clear directions, but there’s some work to do. For instance, the avocado for tonight’s dinner was just a whole avocado, because if it were peeled and seeded beforehand, it would brown.
Half of the avocado went in each of tonight’s dishes, starting with the tacos. By now, you know I mean “tacos.”
The tortillas weren’t tortillas either. One was a big red disk made of dehydrated red bell pepper. It also tasted wonderful, with a sweet blast of red pepper.
The other tortilla was less successful. Smaller, thicker and a scary dark purple, it was made of carrots, zucchini, avocado, flaxseed meal (of which I was rapidly tiring), lemon juice, onion powder, garlic and cayenne. Despite that grocery list of flavors, it was bitter and unappealingly chewy.
|650 Iwilei Rd. #170. |
Meals need to be ordered on
Monday and picked up on Friday, between 12 and 5 p.m.
If you just focused on the red pepper taco, the whole ensemble was delicious. I’d chopped the avocado, shredded the romaine, crumbled the Zoom Burgers. Zoom Burgers? Small, dark purple patties constructed of walnuts, mushrooms, flaxseeds and so forth.
They had nice notes of garlic and sage, and considerable umami from a combination of nutritional yeast and miso.
But what made this really work were the two toppings. First, a fresh salsa of sweet little grape tomatoes, cilantro and onion, with a deft touch of jalapeño and the tang of lime juice.
Second, “sour kreme,” a thick white paste of soaked cashews. Lemon juice gave it the same slightly acid edge of real sour cream. It seemed just as rich as the real stuff, and much better than that artificially stabilized white gunk that’s often passed off as sour cream.
“Good,” said Barb. “But you should point out that you hogged the red pepper tortilla.”
The second of the night’s dishes began with a collard green leaf as large as a dinner plate. I’d never eaten raw collard before. It’s much less bitter than one would expect from such a deep-green leaf vegetable.
On the leaf you spread “cheese”—a thick beige paste, about the consistency of sticky peanut butter, made from sunflower seeds.
Onto the cheese went chopped (by me) tomatoes, cucumber, plus the other half of the avocado. There were clover sprouts, green onions and some dark olives, which Sylvia smuggled in from France, via her suitcase.
I rolled this whole thing up, fastened it with toothpicks and cut it into reasonably manageable pieces.
It was messy, alive, crunchy—and seriously salty. “I don’t care if this is the world’s purest sea salt, there’s too much of it,” said Barb. It’s a testament to how good and fresh and full of texture the rest of the ingredients were that, despite the salt, we consumed the entire veggie wrap.
“I could eat this every week if we could afford it,” said Barb. The kids, who filtered in as we were eating, did not share this view. “God, what’s that?” said my oldest daughter. “I’ll make myself some mac and cheese.”