This cold raw vegan “pasta” dish is made from sweet potato spirals and bell peppers and topped with a creamy cashew curry sauce. It contains 400% of your daily Vitamin C intake and nearly 14 grams of protein.
Because eating plant-based isn’t hard enough to get used to, I decided I would take a few days this week and try to follow a raw food diet. My goal was to detox after I ate too much dairy for the first time in three months. While this is not something I will do every day, I did learn that there are some differences between a raw food diet and raw veganism.
I’ve read some articles that say raw veganism means nothing is heated, while a raw food diet allows for 25 percent cooked food. I also saw other places where food can be heated to 118 degrees and still qualify as raw vegan. This would mean you could lightly steam your vegetables. Considering that some vegetables like onions, tomatoes and artichokes have more nutrients when cooked, this is something to keep in mind if you eat raw vegan every day.
For my first raw vegan dinner, I made a mock pasta with cream sauce. I used spiraled sweet potatoes as my noodles and tossed them with some colorful bell peppers. The longer the pepper is on the vine, the more nutrition it contains. Because of this, I chose to use a red pepper. They contain 11 times more beta carotene and one and a half times more Vitamin A than a green pepper. Yellow peppers are also high in beta carotene. I used a large one to add both vitamins and some color to my dish.
For the sauce, I soaked a cup of cashews in boiling hot water for about an hour. I tossed them in a food processor with 1 1/2 cups of unsweetened almond milk and 1/4 tsp of black pepper. For the curry flavors, I made a blend of spices using turmeric, ground coriander, cumin and ground cardamom and added it to the processor.
If you are not using a food processor or a high-powered blender, I would recommend soaking cashews in water overnight. Also remember that standard cashews you find at the grocery store are salted and/or roasted in oil. You want raw cashews any time you are making a dairy-free sauce or cheese.
Pulse the cashew mix on high. Stop every few minutes and scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula. The mixture will seem grainy at first so keep pulsing until it is smooth. If you need to add more liquid, slowly add a tbsp of almond milk at a time. The sauce should be thick like an alfredo sauce and should coat the back of a spoon.
To assemble, use spiralized “noodles” from one medium sweet potatoes and top with half of your diced bell peppers. I like to add some thinly sliced basil leaves, as I find basil is a nice addition to curry sauce. Top the noodles with half of the creamy cashew sauce. I like to using a piping bag (or even a Ziploc with a snipped corner) and drizzle it over the pasta.