I just finished an Ayurvedic Spring Detox and Clean Eating Challenge and I have not eaten dairy products for a few weeks and I’m feeling really good, but I miss the creamy and rich taste of dairy.
After trying a few dairy alternative cheeses I was not satisfied with, I thought I would try to come up with my own recipe using cashew nuts. This creamy white “cheesy” sauce hits the spot!
Ayurvedic Inspired Creamy Vegan Sweet Potato Spinach Bake
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Creamy Cashew Sauce
- 1 1/2 cups raw cashews, soaked in very hot water
- 1 Tbsp arrowroot starch
- 4 Tbsp nutritional yeast
- 2-3 cloves garlic, crushed
- ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1-2 cups (240-480 ml) unsweetened plain almond or rice milk or water
Sweet Potato Spinach Mushroom Onion Filling
- 4 medium sweet potatoes, very thinly sliced
- 1 large purple or sweet onion thinly sliced
- 1 cup of mushrooms, sliced (chanterelles, morels, cèpes a.k.a. porcini, false chanterelles, shitake or the common field mushroom)
- 2 large handfuls of fresh spinach (or baby kale or power veggie blend)
- 1 Tbs of Vata or Pitta or Kapha Spice blend**
- 1 tsp olive oil
- sea salt
- 2 tsp olive oil to coat large casserole dish.
- Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Soak cashews in very hot water for 20 minutes and set aside.
- Coat the bottom and sides of casserole dish with olive oil and set aside.
- Thinly slice medium sweet potatoes to about ¼ inch thickness, along with the onion. Using a mandolin slicer on the thinnest setting is useful.
- Add 2 tsp olive oil to a large non-stick frying pan. Add your Vata or Pitta or Kapha spices and sauté for 10 seconds.
- Add the mushroom plus 2 pinches of sea salt and saute for 2-3 minutes.
- Then add onions and add a pinch of sea salt and saute for another 3 minutes.
- Add the 2-large handful of spinach (or other baby greens) along with 2 pinches of sea salt to frying pan, mix gently, place lid on the frying pan and cook for 5 minutes.
- Drain cashews and then add to a high speed blender.
- Add arrowroot starch (for thickening), nutritional yeast, garlic, sea salt, 1 1/2 cup unsweetened dairy-free milk or water to blender
- Blend on high until creamy and smooth, scraping down sides as needed.
- Transfer to small pot and cook over medium-low to medium heat for 5 minutes, whisking frequently. The sauce should thicken and bubble. Be careful not to burn.
- Add more dairy-free milk or water as needed to thin.
- Line the bottom of the casserole dish with a layer of thinly sliced sweet potatoes.
- Add ½ of the sautéed spinach, onion, mushroom mixture on top of the sweet potatoes.
- Add 1/3 of the creamy cashew sauce on top and spread it evenly.
- Add another layer of the thinly sliced sweet potatoes to cover bottom mixture.
- Add remaining ½ of the sautéed spinach, onion, mushroom mixture on top of the sweet potatoes.
- Add another 1/3 of the creamy cashew sauce on top and spread it evenly.
- Add remaining sweet potato slices on top, sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt, then cover with the remaining creamy cashew sauce and spread it evenly.
- Cover the casserole dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes.Uncover and cook for 10-15 minutes on 350 degrees Fahrenheit to allow the liquid to evaporate.
- Take out of the oven and let it sit for a few minutes to cool.Enjoy!
I brought my casserole to a gathering so I halved my recipe and baked it in a pie dish. Hope you enjoy this recipe.
The Creamy Cashew Sauce can be used as a topping for baked potatoes or as a creamy white sauce over pasta or zoodles. It is a versatile sauce to add creamy richness to any dish.