This vegan creamy kale is made with a garlicky simmering of curly kale in creamy cashew milk. It makes a perfect addition to a holiday table, or a simple but delicious weeknight side dish.
I've been having a seriously hard time with Thanksgiving recipes this year. Normally, about a third or so of the recipes I make never end up on this blog, because I just don't like them enough. This is fine, and totally expected, but every now and then I hit a rough patch, where I bomb on everything for weeks. That just happens to be what's been happening with the majority of my planned Thanksgiving posts for the year. It's rough. How did I manage to screw up mashed potatoes? I don't know, but they were awful. My sweet potatoes turned out to be a soggy mess. I even tried to create a fancy stuffed puff pastry main course thing, and despite the fact that it's pretty darn challenging to make anything out of puff pastry that isn't absolutely delicious, I did.
So I decided to go back to something tried and true. My first year blogging I shared a recipe for vegan creamed kale, which was awesome, but the photos weren't all that great. I'd been meaning to update the photos, and figured about now, in the midst of a bunch of epic holiday fails, would be the right time. As things turned out, I couldn't manage to stick to the original recipe.
Ah well. I did make it better though! While the original was a simple simmering of kale and cashew milk, this time around I decided some garlic was needed. I also thickened up the creamy cashew mixture with just a bit of flour, which did awesome things. As much as I love cashew milk, the one issue I have with it in recipes like this is the fact that you I never, ever seem to get it 100% smooth. Like, it might taste smooth, but you can always see little microscopic bits of cashew in the mix, and that bugs the heck out of me. A little bit of flour smoothed things out perfectly, and I feel confident when I say that this creamy vegan kale is just as rich and luscious as any dairy version that may have ever graced your holiday table.
Vegan Creamy Kale, Version 2.0
- ½ cup raw cashews, soaked in water 4-8 hours, rinsed and drained
- 1 cup water
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 1 large bunch curly kale, stems removed and leaves torn into bite-sized pieces
- 2 tbsp. lemon juice, or to taste
- 1 tbsp. whole wheat flour
- salt and pepper to taste
Place cashews and water into blender or small food processor bowl. Blend until very smooth.
Coat the bottom of a large pot with olive oil and place over medium heat. Add garlic and sauté 1 minute. Add vegetable broth and kale. Cover and allow kale to steam until fully wilted, about 5 minutes, removing lid and flipping every so often.
Remove lid from pot and add cashew milk. Stir a few times to incorporate. Bring to a simmer and lower heat. Allow to simmer, uncovered, until liquid reduces by about half, about 5 minutes.
Stir in lemon juice. Add flour, a little bit at a time, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens.
Season with salt and pepper. Serve.
For a gluten/grain free option, skip the flour and reduce the amount of water to about ½ cup. You may need to allow the mixture to simmer a few minutes more to thicken up, and in the end it won't be a smooth, but it will still be tasty.