I came across a great recipe in the October issue of IDEA Fitness Journal that I thought I had better share with you all. The recipe comes from a cookbook called The Homemade Vegan Pantry: The Art of Making Your Own Staples by Miyoko Schinner. I love pestos and herby sauces, so this Spinach and Caper Sauce caught my eye. It's like a pesto but veggie packed and without oil. The day I made it, we tossed it with pasta and Italian sausage. I used some of the leftovers on a piece of fish and it was lovely! This recipe is full of healthy ingredients and great flavor. I will definitely be making it again ~ you should give it a try!
Start with a half of a cup of cashews and 1 1/2 cups of water. Pulse them in a blender or food processor until creamy and smooth. The recipe says to take a 1/2 cup of the cashew cream and set aside to use if the sauce needs thinning. I ended up using all of it.
Add a 1/2 cup of raw walnuts to the blender...
and four or five cloves of garlic (I like the big ones!)....
a 1/4 cup of capers....
and one cup each of fresh cilantro and fresh basil leaves. (I'm not going to lie, my basil picture was ugly so I left it out). Pulse every thing in the blender or food processor briefly to chop.
Add one bunch of spinach a handful at a time to the blender until well incorporated. This is where you can add the 1/2 cup of cashew cream back in if the sauce becomes too thick.
The sauce should be thick but pourable. Be sure to season with salt to taste!
This recipe makes about 4 cups of sauce, which they consider 4-6 servings. I found it to go a long way. It doesn't need to be cooked or heated, if you make it ahead, take it out of the fridge while you're cooking the rest of the meal so it's closer to room temp (and won't make your food cold).
We mixed some of the sauce with about 12 oz of pasta and a few links of grilled Italian sausage and had plenty left over. (Sorry, bad lighting, that's what happens when you eat at 7 pm!) Everybody (kids included) really liked it.
A day later I tried it on a nice piece of pan fried Mahi Mahi. It was really good!
A sauce like this will only stay fresh in the fridge for a few days so I packed the rest in a little container and put a thin layer of olive oil over the top to prevent it from turning brown and popped it in the freezer for another time. It probably will be a little darker in color but should freeze pretty well. I'll list those ingredients for you below so you can make a batch for yourself.
1/2 Cup Cashews
1 1/2 Cups water
1/2 Cup walnuts
4-5 cloves of garlic
1/4 Cup capers
1 Cup loosely packed cilantro
1 Cup loosely packed basil
1 bunch spinach, washed well and roughly chopped
sea salt to taste
Give it a try and let me know how you like it!