I’ve always had a bit of a love affair with creamed spinach…In my non-vegan days I always ordered it at restaurants, but since going vegan, I hadn’t had it for about 2 years before I realised that I missed it! I played around with different cheese sauces to see which one works best and this one is an absolute winner. It is super quick to make and completely healthy – no processed ingredients, no cholesterol.
- 1/2 cup raw cashew nuts (You can use 1/4 cup instead. It will still taste great but will be a little less creamy.)
- 2 cups water
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons bottled lemon juice
- 4 tablespoons tapioca flour
- 1/2 small garlic clove minced or 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- onion, chopped
- Optional – crushed garlic
- 3-4 cups of frozen spinach
Saute the onion in a little oil or just using a dash of water if it catches until translucent. I like to add a heaped teaspoon of crushed garlic and saute that for another 2-3 minutes. Add frozen spinach, put a lid on the pot, reduce heat to medium and allow to thaw. Every 3-5 minutes, remove the lid and break up the chunks of frozen spinach/give a stir, replace the lid for another 3-5 minutes. Keep doing this until the spinach is fully cooked.
While the spinach is cooking, blend all the cheese ingredients in a blender. If you have a high speed blender like a Vitamix or Omniblend, there is no need to pre-soak the nuts. If you have a regular blender, if possible, soak the nuts in water 8 hours before making it just to soften the nuts and ensure a smooth sauce. If you don’t have time to soak it it is not a crisis though – even if the sauce is not entirely smooth, you actually won’t notice it at all once mixed through the spinach. Once everything is blended, pour it into the fully cooked spinach and cook though, stirring from time to time to prevent it from catching. You will see that as the sauce comes to the boil, the tapioca flour thickens it into a beautifully creamy, thick sauce. Taste for saltiness – add more if desired and serve! This can be made in advance and stored in the fridge for about 4 days.
I LOOOVE kale….but the dressing used for a kale salad can either make or break the entire dish. I played around a bit yesterday and came up with this lovely dressing. The miso adds some saltiness, while the maple adds some sweetness and the tahini adds lovely creaminess. Adapt the toppings to what you have at hand – this is my personal favourite combination. The one essential topping that I strongly suggest you don’t even consider omitting is the fresh dates – preferably medjool:)
- 1 bunch kale, washed, main stem torn out, leaves torn into bite-sized pieces
- desired toppings. I roasted some baby onions in foil (without any salt/spices), peppers, medjool dates, cucumber, baby tomato and a raw corn on the cob. (yes! Raw corn is deliciously juicy as all the water is retained!)
- For the dressing: tahini, maple syrup, rice wine vinegar, water, miso paste, lime/lemon juice
- nutritional yeast
Prepare the kale and chop up all your toppings. In a small shaker, add 2 tablespoons tahini, 1 teaspoon miso, 1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar and 1 tablespoon maple syrup and shake until combined. Add 1 tablespoon of water and shake again. Taste. Keep adding small amounts of water until the taste and texture is best for you. Add some fresh lime juice if you like – I used the juice of half a lime. When it is to your liking, pour it over the kale and massage the kale vigorously for a few minutes until it shrinks considerably in volume and softens. Sprinkle nutritional yeast generously on top and add your toppings.
I can’t believe how yummy this is….I saw a recipe on Ella’s app of a kale salad where she massages the raw kale leaves with the dressing until soft and then adds toppings to the salad. It sounded weird…I have been juicing kale and making kale chips, but I have never thought of eating raw kale because the leaves are so thick and hard. I then started searching the net for kale salad recipes and was inspired to try my own concoction – and it is fabulous!
I had this for dinner last night – I love the combination of the salty chickpeas with the sweet, chewy dates and the nuts just add some extra crunch for texture. I suggest using lots of topping so that you get some topping in your mouth with every bite of kale. It makes it amazing…
Ingredients (serves 2 as a side salad, double recipe for 1 hungry person for dinner)
- 50g kale
- 1/2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon rice wine vinegar (Don’t use normal vinegar. If you have to substitute, use apple cider vinegar.)
- 1/2 teaspoon tahini
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup (you can substitute with any sweet syrup, but I love maple)
- fresh dates (dried dates will do in a pinch)
- walnuts (or your preferred nut)
- cooked chickpeas
- your favourite spicy salt (I use Steers salt)
Wash and dry kale. Tear leaves into bite sized pieces and remove hard central stem. place kale into a large bowl. Mix all salad dressing ingredients together and taste. If it suits your taste, drizzle it over the kale leaves and massage the dressing through the leaves. Keep massaging like this for about 2-5 minutes – the leaves will become soft and the bunch will reduce in size. Place leaves onto a serving plate.
Sprinkle the chickpeas with your favourite spicy salt until they are nice and salty. Chop up your tomato and season it with some black pepper. Chop the dates into small pieces. Slice the avo into small chunks and season with pepper/salt.
Scatter the avo, dates, chickpeas, nuts and tomato pieces over the leaves and enjoy!
What is your favourite kale recipe?
Making roast potatoes is not rocket science, but making PERFECT roast potatoes is not something everyone gets right. This way of making roast potatoes was taught to my grandmother by her mother, my grandmother taught my mother and she, in turn, taught me. As yet, I do not have any children to pass this recipe on to – my chihuahua is just not into cooking – so I decided to share it with you:)
- Potatoes, peeled and quartered
- boiling water
- beef flavoured or brown onion flavoured stock powder (I use Ina Parmens beef flavoured stock powder which is vegan)
- olive oil
Pour boiling water into a large pot and dissolve enough stock powder into the water so that it tastes like flavourful salty stock. Plop potatoes into the pot, put lid on pot and bring to boil. Turn heat down to allow the potatoes to simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until cooked. Do not allow potatoes to cook to the point of being mushy – you are still going to roast them. You just want them thoroughly parboiled. Drain into a colander and allow to cool down.
Preheat your oven to 180ºC. Grease an oven pan with oil and place the potatoes into it. Drizzle potatoes generously with olive oil. Use your hands to rub the oil evenly over the potatoes – making sure that they are completely covered. Sprinkle generously with salt. Bake in the oven until potatoes are golden with crispy edges. You can flip potatoes halfway through cooking. I am deliberately not saying how long this will take as it varies greatly with your oven. It can take anything from 40 minutes to 1 hour 10 minutes.
Don’t expect any leftovers:)