To avoid absolute mutiny with my family, I figured I'd take some baby steps and start by slowly incorporating some raw food components into our meals. Since it's February and the cold grey days have me wanting for comfort food, I decided to try a modification to a common comfort food - Alfredo Sauce...
Here's my version of a raw Alfredo - or 'Rawlfredo':
2 cups organic raw cashews (unsoaked)
1/2 cup walnuts (you can also use any other soft nut with a mild flavor - like pine nuts, macadamia, brazil, etc. - or just use more cashews)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon good quality salt
3 cloves chopped garlic
1/3 cup nutritional yeast flakes
1 1/2 cups water
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 cup fresh basil (you can also use a couple teaspoons of dried but the fresh gives it much more of a pesto-like flavor - it will also give it a greenish cast if you mix it in, so you may want to finely chop this separately and then mix into the sauce by hand)
I let the mixture sit for an hour or so to allow the flavors time to meld then warm slightly to serve. To make this dish completely raw, you can serve over veggie 'noodles' - spaghetti squash works great or use strips of zucchini, carrots, sweet potatoes, etc. - if you have a spiral cutter you can use that to make the noodles or a veggie peeler works great too - make long strips... You can also use rice noodles or store bought veggie noodles - whatever. I chose to use run of the mill fettuccine because as I said before... baby steps....
Just another note before you go eating the entire batch in one sitting - this is a 'healthier' version of standard Alfredo because it has higher quality fats from the nuts and doesn't have all that heart-clogging butter, cream and cheese. Nuts have fat in them, lots - and because we're using 2.5 cups of them, you're not going to want to pour the entire batch of sauce on your plate. I used a tablespoon or two of sauce per serving and it was more than enough to make a satisfying meal. I recommend halving this recipe if you're only making it to serve a few people. I fed a family of four with hearty portions and have enough sauce left over to feed us all 3 more times....
This recipe is a great alternative for anyone who's avoiding dairy, but not so great for anyone with a nut allergy, obviously.
Some health benefits of cashews: http://organiccashewnuts.com/health/