janet @ the taste space

Creamy Cashew Kale and Chickpeas

In Favourites, Mains (Vegetarian) on August 10, 2011 at 5:50 AM

I am better at hosting parties this summer. No longer am I that stressed. I like to invite people over potluck-style, so that everyone brings something they like.

I’ve tried very hard to resist it, but next weekend, we’ll be hosting a gathering for Rob’s family. I think I am most nervous about all the unpacking I still want to do instead of the menu!

You see, I have been learning from the master. I consulted my mom about her recommendations for feeding 10.

For salads, she suggested a leafy green salad and another heartier salad (be it bean-, grain- or vegetable-based). Only one dip for vegetables. Meat for the barbecue. In addition to fruit for dessert, add a baked good.

Sounds like a good plan, indeed.

You’d think I was the Queen of Salads, but I still want to try something new.  Instead of experimenting on my guests, I decided to audition my salads.

I figured the Polish crowd would love a cucumber salad, and made a super cute cucumber ribbon salad with a ginger-lemongrass dressing. Rob liked it but it did not pass my test. It wasn’t special enough; nothing really stood out despite using interesting ingredients. Blocked. Not fit for company.

Next up, something to try-out for the bean salad. Attempt #2: Creamy Cashew Kale and Chickpeas.

Adapted from Cara’s Cravings, who based hers off of Susan’s at Fat Free Vegan, this is a deceptively decadent dish. A creamy cashew-based garlic sauce coats wilted kale speckled with sweet red bell pepper and chickpeas. I preferred it fresh and warm from the stove top, but the leftovers were great at room temperature, too.

Despite seemingly unorthodox, it tastes great. My raw kale salad was a hit with the gang last time. I really thought this could be a contender for the party.

But I am trying to limit myself to one heavier salad and I think the 11-Spice Lentil Salad with Capers and Currants wins this round. I think they will prefer the lentil salad, a bit more “normal” and with all the flavour you want. It is also more simple to prepare in advance.

This dish will have to wait until I go to my next potluck (any takers on who wants to host the next one?? I’ve claimed the salad!).

Now I am still considering what to make for dessert. I have an idea, but open to your suggestions with your favourite desserts. 🙂

This is being submitted to this week’s Weekend Herb Blogging, hosted by Lynne from Cafe Lynnylu, to this week’s Healthy Vegan Friday, and to Ricki’s Summer Wellness Weekends.

Creamy Cashew Kale and Chickpeas

1/3 cup (2 oz) raw cashews, soaked overnight
1 clove garlic, pressed
1 cup vegetable broth (I used the chickpea cooking liquid)

1 tsp coconut oil (or other oil)
1 large onion, diced (1 cup)
1 red bell pepper, diced (2 cups)
1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
1.5-2 cups cooked chickpeas (or one 15-ounce can, rinsed and drained)
1 bunch kale, central stems removed and leaves thinly sliced (6 oz prepped)
1/2 tsp Aleppo chili flakes, to taste (I would use more next time)
1/2 tsp salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1. Drain the cashews and place in high speed blender or food processor with the garlic. Blend until mostly smooth, drizzle in the broth to create a smooth sauce and set aside.

2. Heat a large skillet over medium-low heat, add the coconut oil and cook the onion and pepper for 5-7 minutes, until softened. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Stir in the chickpeas. Increase heat to high, and add the kale and 2-3 tablespoons of water (if needed), stirring to combine everything. Cover and cook for 5 minutes, or until kale is tender.

3. Stir in the reserved cashew sauce, chili flakes, salt and pepper. Cook, uncovered, for 2-3 minutes, until sauce thickens.

Serves 4.

  1. This creamy cashew kale salad was really great, too, honest!

  2. So glad you liked it! I really want to try that lentil salad too. You can’t go wrong either way!

  3. i don’t think there is anything better than kale and chickpeas in the entire world.

  4. i wish I lived closer. I would be at EVERY ONE of your potlucks! I’ve been meaning to make this since Susan and then Cara posted it…but I think I’ll wait until I get kale in my CSA.

  5. Great looking salad! I love all the flavor combos!

  6. This is exactly the kind of salad I would like to have for lunch..looks so yummy, cashew makes it more exotic kind of..
    thanx for visiting us…


  7. Wow, this sounds amazing! I love the different permuations it underwent to get to this point, too! Thanks for submitting to WW this week–and sorry about the linky problem. Should be fixed now–please link up! 😀

  8. This one does sound like a winner. I especially like the sound of that cashew dressing.

  9. […] was testing new recipes for the weekend BBQ, plotting a plan of attack with my Mom, and it all came together […]

  10. […] Creamy Cashew Kale & Chickpeas One of those easy, throw-together, summer’s end meals. […]

  11. Yumm love all the kale in this combined with the cashews mm. I would love to eat this salad at a potluck. We don’t often have people over for dinner because I’m scared of what to feed them, but what you said is so true – that with potlucks everyone can have something they like. Including me, so I can try out something different and not feel bad. 😀 I think you’ve just inspired me to have people over.

  12. I don’t know how Aleppo chili compares to Ancho, but Ancho powder is all I had. I put a ton of it – and more salt – because the sauce was too bland for me. The consistancy of the sauce was good, as was the combination of ingredients. It was such a perfect dinner; I felt good after eating this dish.

    • I used chickpea cooking liquid, but next time I’ll use vegetable broth. Problem solved, I think!

      • Hey Vienna, Thanks for the feedback! The saltiness of veg broth could definitely bring out more flavours. Glad you enjoyed it in the end. 🙂
        (Ancho chile powder is good, too, I just happen to like Aleppo.. they are more flavourful than hot and I tend to add them to everything I cook)

  13. We made this tonight and it was delicious! My husband wants it on the repeat list

  14. Glad you got to enjoy it 🙂 I might have to whip this up for dinner again soon! As for dessert, have you checked out the new e-book from Healthful Pursuit? There might be some great choices in there! She also has some raw vegan nainaimo (sp) bars on her blog that are fab for a summer gathering. Good luck!

  15. […] 2: Creamy Cashew Kale and Chickpeas […]

  16. Yum! Kale & chickpeas are two of my favorite things!

  17. […] Dal with Panch Phoran, Curried Beans and Quinoa with Baby Bok Choy, Iraqi Eggplant and Seitan Stew, Creamy Cashew Kale and Chickpeas, and Spaghetti Squash with Brussels Sprouts and […]

  18. It’s unclear whether I’m supposed to use the entire cup of broth…The sauce is very thin right now, and I’ve only blended in half the broth. Did anyone else have this problem?

  19. […] Creamy Cashew Kale & Chickpeas One of those easy, throw-together, summer’s end meals. […]

  20. […] 2. Creamy Cashew Kale and Chickpeas from The Taste Space: […]

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