Willing To Be

How to: Eat Raw When Your Family Does Not | Recipe: Vegan Pumpkin & Spinach Lasagna *COOKED* ¶ March 13


Things are slowly starting to wind down here in preparation for our baby’s birth which could be either any day now or 2 weeks past 30th Dec, but it’s a great time of year to slow down any way and switch off, enjoy time spent with family and friends, and reflect on the year that was, and to visualise how you want next year to be.


With the impending arrival of our little girl to complete our family, I am really looking forward to taking each day at a time and enjoying my  family time as much as possible, but I will be popping in from time to time on the blog, but mainly on my Facebook page, until I pick up  speed again in the year with some exciting new raw food classes in person, some online projects (including coaching and classes) and plenty more.


Pat trying to remind himself what it is like to hold a little baby again. This little one is 5 weeks old.

I’ve also decided not to go ahead with finishing my Holiday eBook just due to time involved (and the lack of time I have right now), but will be happy to share the recipes I came up with on the blog.

I’ll also be sharing food that I make, but I won’t have time to devote to the recipe development side of things as much, so I’ll be sharing other’s fantastic recipes as well. Great way to discover other awesome chefs/blogs as well as suggest some of your own in the comments below!


Raw Strawberry Shortcake recipe from Carmella of Sunny Raw Kitchen click here for her recipe

I’m also really excited by some extra training I have lined up for next year, in both running this blog, as well as extending my expertise in the raw food / nutrition realm and how to make it easier for you to apply to your busy lives. So I cannot wait to share what I learn with you in 2013.

What are you looking forward to most in 2013?

On to today’s blog post:

I’ve said it many times, and I will probably continute to say it, I am not 100% raw nor aim to be, however I do aim to be 100% healthy. To me this doesn’t just apply to the foods I conusme, but how to choose to live my life, the thoughts I think, the way I spend my time, how I move my body – it’s ALL emcompassing. I also believe it’s SOO important to be kind to yourself, no matter what. And if that means enjoying a piece of cake at a friends birthday party or enjoying a cooked meal that a loved one has poured their loving energy into creating for you.

I’ve also explained that my husband and son are not vegetarian, although both do follow a primarily plant based diet (more so my son) but as their personal chef, sometimes this can pose a problem to this busy mama, who has to get creative when combining our different dietary requests at dinner time.

So here’s my _ tips for staying or starting raw when your family are not.

1. Meal Planning – as much as I hate the lack of spontaneity of this and I am not naturally a good meal planner; I prefer to make whatever takes my fancy on the night. This is crucial if you don’t want to have the 5pm black out “What the hell am i am going to make for dinner”. Even if you just loosely have an idea on say 3-4 meals you want to cook for your family and some ideas on what you’d like to eat for yourself this will help you to be organised for the week ahead and also stay within budget when it comes to doing your grocery shop.

2.  Keep It Simple Sweetheart – eating raw doesn’t have to be complicated or take hours of preparation. Depending on how many meals you are preparing for your family throughout the day, you can make your more complex meal of the day, where you have the most time. For me. that is lunchtime, but not always either. Sometimes lunch is just a pre made green juice and a few pieces of fruit on the run. Also when meal planning for your family, keep their meals simple too. A baked chicken breast or salmon fillet with steamed vegetables is pretty easy and time efficient and not boring if you mix it up with herbs and spices. Last night I stuffed chicken breasts with sundried tomatoes, garlic and baby spinach and served it with a baked sweet potato while I enjoyed a simple raw pasta dish. Check out my EASY recipes here www.robynjlaw.com/recipes, which I will be adding to in 2013.


Raw Peanut Noodles recipe from www.choosingraw.com click here for the recipe

3. Share your raw food at the dinner table – most cooked meals can be served with a raw side dish like the obvious salad or a simple raw pasta dish like I served up last night with Pat’s baked chicken. When meal planning for the week, consider some raw dishes that your family might enjoy with their cooked component and if they are more complex eg a raw lasagna can be very time consuming to prepare, then make enough to last a few days. This could also be your lunch for a few days later.

4. Experiment - try and play around with replicating your families favourite cooked dishes in raw form. Some foods translate very well into raw food, for example raw pizza, pastas, ice creams, desserts, etc and other’s not so much. I’ve had a few fails but also some major successes when it comes to making raw meals that my family enjoys. Pat loves sweet/savoury flavours that are often found in Asian cuisine so I know he loves Asian style salads and dishes, like raw pad thai, and large salads with the sweet spa salad dressing.

5. Meal sized smoothies/blended salads – my little 2 year old changes his food tastes frequently, but the only thing he’s never enjoyed is salads. So I blend them up or make sure he gets his raw veggies in liquid form which is just loves, he is often signing and asking for more and will sometimes be his lunch especially if I use a nutmilk, chia seeds or avocado for healthy fats.

Examples: Chocolate Monkey Milkshake as below (can use carob powder instead of cacao) Green Garden Smoothie – half blender of baby spinach and romaine/cos lettuce, 1 stalk of celery, 1 pear, 1 apple, 1 banana, juice of 1 lemon & 2 cups of water.


6. Cook vegetarian meals - Your family may not be as adverse to eating vegetarian as opposed to raw. I know Pat LOVES veggie meals, and raw occasionally but he just cannot get over the needing to have a warm dinner. If you are not 100% raw then you can indulge in a cooked vegetarian meal which you make for your entire family. We tend to go meatless 3-4 times per week, so on those nights I really enjoy a cooked meal, with a side salad.

Photo 1

Examples: pizzas (I used cheese for the non veggies and macadamia parmesan for me (1/2 cup of macadamias shaved/ground, mixed with 1/4 cup nutritional yeast & salt to taste), vegan lasagna {recipe below}, vegetable soups, vegetarian chilli with black beans with socca

7.  Batch cook – set aside one day a week where you can make 2-3 cooked meals for the week ahead for your family so it can free up time for you to make some delicious meals for yourself. Things like curries, pasta/vegetable bakes, quiches, steaming/baking chicken, prepping vegetables ready for cooking, baking sweet pototoes. These meals can then be reheated, preferebly in the oven or stove top, not microwaved if possible. Also on this day you can do some of your own kitchen prep for your raw meals like I outline in this PDF guide here. I usually do this on a Monday right after I have picked up supplies from the supermarket, however the weekends are sometimes a popular time for others.

8. Make friends with a slow cooker, pressure cooker, rice cooker- these gadgets can be useful when time is of the essence. If I know I am going to have a very busy day, I usually put a meal in the slow cooker in the morning for the family, and if needed I can put the rice cooker an hour before the food is ready when I get home. I also use the slow cooker for vegetarian based soups and chili’s so it doesn’t always need to be meat based. Rice cookers are also useful for making quinoa and pressure cookers can be  a God-send when you need to cook a one pot meal in hurry. Then all you need to do is worry about your own dinner which could be something you have prepared earlier (leftovers) or a dense smoothie or raw soup.

9. Get them involved – this can be really a great one for children. If they have a hand in creating the food they are more likely to enjoy eating it with you. Also ask your partner/husband/wife to look through some raw recipe books/blogs/websites and get them to pick out something they might like to either get you to make for them or enjoy making it together.

Here’s a delicious vegan roasted butternut squash (we call it pumpkin in Australia) lasagna that the whole family can enjoy if you are not 100% raw.

Recipe: Vegan Pumpkin & Spinach Lasagna


lasagna sheets of choice (we used gluten free)

2 cups of pumpkin (butternut squash) 1cm squared roasted for 30min on 450ºF

1/4 cup tomato paste

1 800g tin of chopped tomatoes

1/2 cup of celery

1 cup of chopped mushrooms

1 cup of chopped zucchini

1 chopped red capsicum

1 chopped onion

2 cups fresh spinach (I used baby spinach)

2 cloves garlic, crushed

rosemary, basil oregano

Nut cheese ricotta

1 cup of soaked cashews

1/2 cup pinenuts

1/4 cup water

Social Situations - LiveVegan.org
If you're the only one in your family or group of friends who is vegan, you may feel
.... The actual transition process may be bumpy at first as they learn how to ...

2 Tbsp lemon juice

1/2 tsp salt

generous pinch of black pepper


1. Gently sauté the onion and garlic in a lightly oiled pan on medium heat, until soft

2. Add celery, zucchini and capsicum for about 5 minutes then add mushrooms and toss gently for 1 minute.

3. Add remainder of ingredients including the roasted pumpkin/squash.

Photo 2

4. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes

5. Meanwhile make your nut cheese ricotta by placing all ingredients in a food processor fitted with the S blade until it forms a ricotta cheese like texture.

6. When sauce is ready, line a inch lasagna dish with lasagna sheets, and layer the sauce the dollop the ricotta along the top and place another lasagna sheet on top. Continue with the layers until all the components are used up. I did two generous layers then topped with the remaining sauce.

Photo 3

7. Bake in over at 400ºF /200ºC for at least 30 minutes or until lasagna sheets are soft.

As always with lasagna, tastes better once allowed to cool then reheated, however can be enjoyed after the first bake.

Photo 2

Also lasagna is never pretty to photograpgh right?

Cover in the fridge for up to 4 days.

I’d love to hear your input and share your ideas on how you cope with your raw food ways in a family that is not. Please comment and share in the comments below.


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