A ladle of... raw-vegan cuisine

New trends constantly shake up the industry – we track them down. In our series ‘A ladle of...’ we periodically present exciting concepts and personalities from the food and gastronomy scene. Today, Boris Lauser from Plant Based Institute in Berlin gives us a taste of the raw vegan cuisine concept.

MPULSE Series - A ladle
Courgette-Spaghetti Bolognese with Brazil Nut Parmesan

What is raw vegan cuisine?

Raw-vegan cuisine is all about preparation techniques that handle the nutrients in food gently. We’re talking about processing temperatures of 45 degrees or less. The benefit here is that, below this temperature, micro and macro nutrients and secondary plant products are retained and remain unaltered. There are lots of processing techniques and very exciting dishes can be prepared, including the finest patisserie items. As Head Chef at a yoga resort in Thailand, I offer uncooked elements in many different dishes. Our smoothie bowls are completely uncooked, and the sauces in our burgers are vegetable-based and mixed raw, making them healthy, nutrient-rich flavour carriers. Our uncooked Bolognese is just as delicious with pasta or as a filling for burritos. Uncooked elements can be incorporated into any cuisine and this increases the health value of the dish many times over.

Why should restaurateurs offer raw-vegan dishes?

Just like veganism, raw-vegan cuisine is not just a passing phase. It represents a sustainable trend towards health-conscious nutrition, which is popular with guests and so should be observed and implemented by restaurateurs. Alongside the increasing interest, raw-vegan cuisine offers a range of further benefits; it helps to save resources and to manage a business more sustainably. Preparing food without heat uses less energy and there are good opportunities for reusing leftovers, for example using desiccating processes. Leftover vegetables also lend themselves easily to reuse in sauces and dips. All in all, the concept is really worthwhile.

Are there particular tips and tricks that every restaurateur should know?

The small challenge with raw-veganism is the short shelf-life compared to cooked items. But raw-vegan sauces, dressings, marinades (red beet carpaccio is much tastier raw than it is cooked), dehydrated elements and desserts are very easy to implement in the kitchen. Because of their fat, salt or acidity content, they can be kept for five to eight days. Raw-vegan desserts can easily be frozen and rethawed, even several times. Fermentation means nut-based creams and pastes can be kept for several weeks.

Courgette-Spaghetti Bolognese with Brazil Nut Parmesan

Recipe by Boris Lauser

Courgette-Spaghetti Bolognese with Brazil Nut Parmesan

Ingredients for 4 servings

4 large courgettes (approx. 1 kg)

For the marinara sauce (makes 10 servings)
2 ripe tomatoes (approx. 250 g)
1 small red pepper (approx. 150 g)
80 g sundried tomatoes
60 ml olive oil
1 tbsp fresh rosemary
1/2 tsp fresh thyme
1 tsp fresh oregano
Approx. 10 leaves fresh basil
1-2 garlic cloves
1/4 small red onion
Optional: 2-3 dates or 2 tbsp coconut sugar

For the Bolognese
80 g sunflower seeds (soaked)
80 g pumpkin seeds (soaked)
8-10 black sundried olives (pitted)

For the Brazil nut parmesan
30 g Brazil nuts
1/2 - 1 garlic clove
1/3 tsp salt

4 sprigs thyme as a garnish

🛠 Special tools 🛠
Food processor with S-blade
Spiraliser or julienne slicer

Here’s how

👉 Wash the courgettes, then peel as necessary and halve them. Cut them with the spiraliser into spaghetti, or split them by hand into spaghetti lengths. Place them in a bowl, sprinkle with salt and rub it in with gentle pressure. Leave for 10-20 minutes. Carefully squeeze out the escaping water.

👉 Place all ingredients for the marinara sauce into a blender. To make mixing easier, place soft ingredients like tomatoes, pepper and olive oil at the bottom. At high speed, and using a blender tamper to help, mix everything into a relatively firm tomato sauce and season to taste. Depending on the fresh tomato flavour, add a little something as a sweetener.

👉 Rinse the sunflower and pumpkin seeds and blitz them in a small food processor with an S-blade until they have the consistency of minced meat. Then add the olives and blitz again until these are chopped and all the pieces are around the same size. Mix the chopped seeds with the tomato sauce.

👉 For the Brazil nut parmesan, blitz the Brazil nuts with the salt in a small food processor with an S-blade until they have a crumbly, parmesan-like consistency.

👉 In a dish, mix the squeezed courgette spaghetti with the Bolognese sauce; using around three tablespoons of Bolognese per serving. Divide the finished mixture onto plates, sprinkle with the Brazil nut parmesan and garnish with a sprig of thyme.

Boris Lauser from Plant Based Institute Berlin

About ... Boris Lauser

Boris Lauser is a Raw Food & Plant Based Chef and has been running his own Raw Chef Academy since 2014. Together with Sebastian Copien, Head Chef and founder of Europe’s largest vegan online cookery school Vegan Masterclass, and two other colleagues, he founded the Plant Based Institute in 2016. Here, catering professionals and lateral entrants to the industry can take part in a four-week intensive training course as a Plant Based Chef & Nutritionist. The goal is to raise the quality of vegan dishes in the German-speaking world and to make disseminators of the participants. They take what they have learned back to their own businesses or pass on their expertise as nutritional consultants.

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