Somehow, my planning hadn't been very good, as we were about to leave town for five days and I had two bunches of hardy Red Russian Kale and 1 of beautiful rainbow Swiss Chard in our fridge. Knowing it wouldn't keep, I thought about making a pesto to freeze, but lately I have been Jonesin' for Indian food big-time. So, I decided that if I made a very thick saag without anything that doesn't freeze perfectly, like coconut milk, I could pop it in the freezer and enjoy when we returned home. Not only did it freeze beautifully, but it tasted wonderful before and after freezing with a texture to match! This amount of greens and onions sounds like a mountain, but it only makes 4 to 6 servings because I chop the greens so finely and it all cooks down significantly. I served this Indian Cashew Spinach over grilled tempeh, but it would be good over cooked Basmati rice or with just about anything, including a spoon!

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Indian Cashew Swiss Chard [Vegan]

Serves

4-6

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons vegan butter, divided
  • 2 cups diced yellow onion
  • Sea salt
  • 4 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 bunches kale, Swiss chard, or spinach, stemmed and leaves torn in half, and processed in batches, using the pulse feature, until finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon garam marsala (
  • 1 teaspoon Amchur or Amchoor (mango) powder or zest of 1/2 large lemon 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 3 cups water, divided
  • 6 to 8 ounces lightly salted and roasted cashew pieces
  • Accompaniments: grilled tempeh, cooked Basmati rice and/or roasted vegetables, potatoes, or chickpeas
  • Optional Garnishes: unsweetened vegan yogurt, chopped tomatoes, chopped fresh cilantro
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Preparation

  1. Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium-high.
  2. Add cumin seeds and toast, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  3. Add canola oil and 1 tablespoon vegan butter to the skillet and bring to sizzling.  (The combination of oil and vegan butter approximates ghee, an Indian cooking fat which is not vegan.)
  4. Add onions and a good pinch of sea salt and saute, stirring frequently, until softened, about 3 minutes.
  5. Add garlic, and continue sauteing and stirring for about a minute.
  6. Add one-third to one-fourth of chopped greens, sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt, and saute until cooked down a little, but still bright green, about a minute or two.
  7. Add remaining tablespoon of butter, stir until melted, and continue adding greens and salt until all greens have been incorporated.
  8. Add ground cumin, garam marsala, Amchur powder or lemon zest, cardamom, and turmeric, stirring until combined.
  9. Stir in 1/3 cup water and cook, stirring frequently, until water is absorbed.
  10. Continue adding water until  1 2/3 to 2 cups have been added and absorbed.
  11. Meanwhile, process cashews and 1 cup water until a very smooth paste forms.  Scrape into spinach in skillet, and cook until heated through.
  12. Check for salt and adjust if necessary.  Thin with water as desired.
  13. Serve over tempeh or Basmati rice, or topped with some roasted vegetables, potatoes, or chick peas--whatever sounds tasty.
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