Friday, August 22, 2008

Side-by-side comparison

When you last left this empty nest (well, at least for the school day), I was wondering what I was going to do to occupy my time while Jacob was away at kindergarten. It took a while to get inspired, but eventually I came up with something.

Poor pathetic me found myself on the couch, remote in hand, switching back and forth between Rachael Ray and Martha Stewart (due to the fact that I've mentioned these shows on more than one occasion, you might think I do this quite often. However, this is actually a rare occurrence).

And then, there it was: a side-by-side comparison of Rachael's recipe of the day, alongside Duff from Ace of Cakes interpretation of the same dish (although his was made out of cake).

This was right up my alley for I love to "rawify" Ms. Ray's recipes, as well as the culinary creations of other non-raw chefs/cooks. I even like to make raw versions of my mother's cooking, and take my own comparison photos, like this pasta dish I made on vacation. My mom whipped up one of Rachael's roasted vegetable and pesto pasta meals, while I used most of the same ingredients to create an uncooked serving for myself (keep in mind that I did not have my own knives or a spiral slicer on our trip).

On this particular episode, she was making pasta again (Roasted Caprese Spaghetti to be exact), and this time I had my spiral slicer ready to go. I, of course, substituted zucchini for the spaghetti, but kept many of the other ingredients the same. It is tossed with a pesto I made in basically the same fashion, except I eliminated the cheese and swapped the pine nuts for raw pumpkin seeds.

So, what did I use in place of the fresh mozzarella? Cubed mushroom. Similar to tofu (which is what I first suspected was in the original dish, based on the photo), it does a good job of absorbing the flavors around it, and it mimics the color and shape of the traditional cheese (I also happened to have some on hand).

Thanks Rachael, for inspiring another deliciously raw meal. I'm looking forward to more uncooked recipes on future shows. Hint, hint :-)


nancy said...

this looks yum-o!

Paulina said...

What a beautiful "pasta" dish! It looks so delicious!

HiHoRosie said...

LOL @ Nancy!

I'm in awe of those pasta dishes - they look wonderful. I just want to dive right now and snarf.

shannonmarie said...

Thanks everyone. If you all lived closer, I would've shared.

becoming whole said... where can I find the link to YOUR recipe? I checked all the links in your post and I just must be missing it. What is the magic word? lol

shannonmarie said...

Unfortunately, I'm bad about tossing together dishes without measurements or even stopping for a minute to write down exactly what I did.

I can tell you that I made a large bowl full of zucchini noodles with my spiral slicer, although you can also cut them by hand. I set them to the side, while I made the pesto.

I never measure anything when I make pesto. I just throw some herbs (on this day I had a ton of basil I took from my mom's garden and some fresh organic parsley and tarragon) into a food processor, along with some garlic, sea salt and fresh ground pepper, a handful of raw pumpkin seeds and some lemon.

After processing the ingredients a bit, I then streamed in some olive oil, a little at a time until I was happy with the consistency. The resulting pesto was tossed in the zucchini pasta.

For added texture, flavor and color (as well as to go along with Ms. Ray's original recipe), I also added some sliced yellow and red tomatoes, as well as cubed white mushrooms (use only the white tops so they resemble the mozzarella cubes).

Toss the pasta again. Let the flavors absorb a bit, garnish with some fresh basil and enjoy!

The pasta dish I made on vacation contains hand-cut zucchini "noodles," a similar pesto made with basil and pine nuts, thinly sliced zucchini and yellow squash rounds (cut from very small ones), and orange bell peppers I purchased from the local farmers market.

becoming whole said...

Thank you!

shannonmarie said...

You're welcome :-)