Cashew CREAM. Heard of it? Ever tasted it? It is SO GREAT. Life-changing – and I don’t throw that expression around randomly …And then adding avocado to it am I kidding with this?? I could kiss myself for this recipe. Full-on mirror smooch. It is seriously that ridiculously good, Ima gonna put it on errrything … vegan taco things, rice things, pasta things, other vegany things … And salmon. And omelets. Maybe steak. 😊
Because as beautiful as my ambitions are that I could go full vegan out of my concern for the environment and animal welfare, I know reality. And cheese. And eggs. And butter. And spicy mayo on sushi. ❤️ …BUT, with recipes like this Cashew Avocado Cream, we can have so much more hope! Creamy toppings and sauces – THAT right there is the struggle people, and cashew cream is the oh-so-kind solution.
Anyway, let’s embrace…
First, there is the twice baked potato. Now that I think about it, I guess this recipe is kinda sorta like my Spinach, Bacon, and Buttermilk Twice Baked Potatoes, except all different ingredients. 😋 But the sentiment is there to incorporate greens into the humble potato and make it a meal. Kale and broccoli are soul mates in recipes like this – or quiches, casseroles, omelets, and such. They play so well together flavorfully and nutritionally, but also provide fiber to make this tater filling. This is the genius of the tactic. 😎
Then the Cashew Avocado Cream. All basic cashew cream is is raw cashews soaked in water to soften, then blended. That’s basically it. And the result is a creamy blank canvas on which countless recipes could be drawn. OHHH, how I love this. No need for sour cream or cheese, this sauce checks those boxes deep down in the happy places of your soul. I think it must be because cashews bring protein and healthy fat, so all those receptors get triggered, and you are satisfied, satiated, happy.
You think you are splurging. It is a glorious deception.
So that’s it folks. Consensus from my family: “Oh wow. This is really good”. And “When you described it, I really didn’t expect it to be this good”. Those are comments from people that regularly tell me, “Why do you have to mess with food, just make it normal!”, after which I correct their grammar. …So put it in that context, and you can see it was a rave review. 😍
Say it with me …Vegan once a week. Vegetarian twice a week. …It’s a start. 🌎💚
- 4 russet potatoes, scrubbed and washed
- 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil, plus additional for coating the potatoes
- 1 cup finely chopped kale
- 1 cup finely chopped broccoli
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 Tbs vegan butter (such as Earth Balance soy-free)
- 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
- kosher salt
- fresh cracked pepper
- 8 oz raw, unsalted cashews (they have to be raw, not roasted, for this trick to work)
- 2 cups water, divided
- 3 tsp fresh lemon juice + the juice of a whole lemon, divided
- kosher salt
- 1 ripe avocado
- 1/4 cup Italian flat-leaf parsley, plus additional for garnish
- Heat oven to 450F.
- Rub the potatoes with a teensy bit olive oil (a couple drops oil on each). Bake at 425F for an hour or until cooked through (to check for doneness, I use a potholder and give a little squeeze. If it gives, it's done). Remove from the oven and set aside. While potatoes are cooking, proceed to the next 2 steps.
- Make the cashew cream base (don't add the avocado yet!): put the cashews to soak for at least 30 minutes in 1 cup water. Discard that water and transfer the soaked cashews to a food processor. Add the remaining 1 cup water, the 3 teaspoons lemon juice, and a pinch of salt. Process until very smooth and creamy. Put in the refrigerator to chill until ready to proceed.
- Heat a large nonstick skillet on high heat with 2 teaspoons olive oil. Add the kale, broccoli, and a pinch of salt, and saute until softened. Add the garlic and saute a minute more to cook the garlic. Set aside.
- Put oven to 350F.
- Once cool enough to handle, slice each potato in half. Gently scoop out the flesh into a mixing bowl, leaving a 1/4-in thick shell. Set the potato skins on a bake sheet. To the bowl, add the kale-broccoli mixture, vegan butter, almond milk, pinch of pepper, and a generous couple pinches of salt. Make mashed potatoes, then taste for seasoning (adding more salt if necessary).
- Spoon the potato filling into the potato skins. Bake at 350F for 20 minutes or until heated through.
- While the skins are cooking, finish the Cashew Avocado Cream: divide the cashew cream base into 2 (~3/4 cup each) portions and set one aside for another use (like a delicious pasta sauce!). Add the following to a food processor: the reserved half of the cashew cream base, avocado, juice of a whole lemon, good pinch salt, and parsley. Process until smooth. Taste for seasoning and acidity - if this tastes bland, more lemon juice will do the trick.
- Serve the twice baked potatoes topped with Cashew Avocado Cream. Garnish with chopped parsley and fresh cracked pepper. Yields: 4 servings.
- One glorious thing I discovered with the Cashew Avocado Cream is that it did not turn brown like avocado things typically do. I had these taters with the cream for the next 2 days for lunch and they were just as tasty.