I don't identify as a vegan. Or even a vegeterian for that matter. But...I do prefer to eat that way pretty often. I think it all started when I moved to NYC and was faced with the agonizing decision of "this tiny and expensive $12 chicken breast for dinner, or this tiny and expensive $12 shot of whiskey?" I think you know what I chose...
I became really good at switching the meat that I was used to with cheaper, often vegetarian, protien options. And honestly, it's become part of who I am and how I eat now. And through this journey I've come to love veg/veganism, and not necessarily for the health factor or obvious ethical reasons (of course, it's a huge plus, don't get me wrong), but more so for the creativity. It's mind-boggling the things you can make out of nuts, fruits, and beans (seriously, chickpea cookie dough?!)
When I discovered the magic that is Cashew Sauce I was changed. Seriously, the first time I made it I ate about half of it with a spoon. It's the easiest thing to make, and what I love most about it is it's versatility. You can make it thick for a dip, thin it out with a little water for a creamy pasta sauce, add vineagar for salad dressing, and combine other herbs, sauces, and spices to create amazing flavors. The base is simply soaked cashews, a little water, garlic, and salt- the possibilities are endless!
I've made a few combinations so far, like Caeser Cashew dressing, but this Cilantro Lime is hands down my jam. It's amazing with spice roasted whole carrots, as a sandwich or taco spread, or with crackers as a dip. My next attempt? Red Thai Cashew Dressing and Sriracha Lime.
Yeilds 1 cup
1/4 cup cilantro
juice of one whole lime
1 cup cashews soaked for at least 5 hours, or boiled for 30 minutes, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup water
1 garlic clove
1/4 tsp salt
1. Combine all ingredients in a high speed blender or food processor, and blend until smooth.