3.16.2013

artichokes, spinach, & sun dried tomatoes cashew cream sauce



Hands down, except maybe for veggie pizza (I really like veggie pizza), this is my favorite vegan meal that I have been brave enough to make. Ever. I have had a lot of vegan recipes that were very, "Eh, that's pretty good. I'd make it again," but never, "Wait, this is made out of cashews?! This HAS to be bad for me, it's SO GOOD!"

Yeah. That good.

I got the recipe from The Gluten-Free Vegan. It seems like a lot of gluten-free recipes rely on cheese or milk (I mean, who wouldn't, it's delicious), and a lot of paleo recipes are meat-based and allow no grains. I want meals that are more plant-based, and hello, I like grains. So I've come to love this blog. I'm often looking for creative, meatless meals, but if I want to add meat to the recipes, I can. But at least I'm getting gluten-free, dairy-free, plant based meals for inspiration. 

The recipe really only calls for four main ingredients: cashews, sun-dried tomatoes, spinach, and artichoke hearts. And I'm going to assume most people have onions, garlic, and dried parsley on hand. So, vegan and delicious as it is, it doesn't call for any wonky ingredients or a talented hand at cooking. 

Here, I can buy cashews in the bulk section for $12.50 a pound, so I was a little wary of how much this was going to cost. Lucky for me, they were on sale for $9.99, and I got exactly one cup which cost only $3.50. Already, that's cheaper than making a cream sauce with wine, butter, and corn starch, or cream, butter, and Parmesan cheese.

As with most recipes, I adjusted it a bit to fit with what we had on hand, and that is the version I will share here. For the original recipe, visit The Gluten-Free Vegan. Alright, that's enough rattling on about the recipe... I hate it when people do that! Enjoy.

Ingredients:
1 cup of raw cashews
1 1/2 cups of fresh water
1 clove of garlic

1 tbs reserved oil from sun-dried tomatoes
Half a large onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 can of artichoke hearts, chopped (or about 2 cups)
1/2 cup of sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
1 tsp salt

  • At least two hours before cook time, soak your cashews. 
  • After two hours, drain the cashews. Add the cashews, fresh water, and garlic to a blender, and blend on high for a few minutes until very smooth. 
  • Heat the oil on medium heat in a large pot. Saute the onions & garlic until they soften. Add the artichoke hearts and tomatoes. Cook for about five minutes more.
  • Add the cashew cream and 1 tsp of salt. Taste it. Trust me, taste it. Isn't that amazing?! Okay, now put down the spoon. You might eat it all if you don't stop. Cook for about 15 minutes on medium low, stirring often. It'll thicken, so just add a little water here and there, totaling one to two cups.
Now enjoy it on top of pasta like we did, or dip your favorite bread in it. Um, or just lick it off the spoon. SO good!


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