I didn’t eat very many vegetables growing up, mainly because they were just never served in my house, so when I went vegetarian in 1993 I realized that there was a whole new world ahead of me. I had a lot of fun discovering new foods and coming up with ways to cook them. This was long before the kale craze, and leafy greens were totally foreign to me. I got to know spinach in the form of creamed spinach from Boston Market. Yep, that’s right, Boston Market. There was one close to where I worked, so I would often go there for lunch and order a bunch of sides, like green beans, roasted potatoes, steamed mixed veggies and mac and cheese. One day I decided to give the creamed spinach a try and I was immediately hooked. Sadly for me, I made this discovery at the end of my run as an ovo-lacto vegetarian, and had to give it up after going vegan. Happily for me, vegan cooking has come a long way since then (I did mention that it was the 90s, right?) and cashew cream has been a total game changer.
This vegan Creamed Kale recipe is based on my old love, creamed spinach – the dairy cream has been swapped out for cashew cream and kale has taken the place of spinach, but the spirit of the dish remains.
I’ve made this vegan Creamed Kale in cooking classes and during in-store cooking demos. I’ve had people tell me that they usually hate kale, but they’d happily eat this every day of the week. Others have been shocked that it doesn’t contain dairy. One women was super excited to have the recipe, because she’s lactose intolerant, and had been missing cream.
This vegan Creamed Kale will make even the most ardent kale haters ask for seconds! It’s become a holiday mainstay in my house, and my friends often check in with me before Thanksgiving, to make sure I’m planning on making it.
Vegan Creamed Kale
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 medium-sized shallots, sliced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 bunches kale, stems removed and chopped
- ½ cup vegetable broth
- 1 ½ cups raw cashews, soaked for two hours, drained and rinsed
- ¾ cup water
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Cook the shallots for around 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they being to brown. Add the garlic and cook for another minute or two.
Add the kale, broth to the pot and stir. Sauté until the kale has begun to wilt. Let cook for about 5minutes until most of the liquid has absorbed.
While the kale is cooking, mix together the cashews, water, lemon juice, and salt in a high speed blender or food processor until smooth and creamy. If the mixture is too thick, add a little more water a tablespoon at a time.
Add the cashew cream to the pot with the kale and mix well. Cook for another 2 to 3 minutes, stirring frequently, until the cream is heated throughout.