DINNER IMPROV: Kale, Chickpeas and Sweet Potatoes with Spicy Cashew Sauce

Welcome to “Dinner Improv” – a new category for when I’m tinkering around in the kitchen with whatever is on hand, and surprise! it just happens to turn out tasty. These are not planned recipes, and it’s likely my ingredient measurements were hastily combined. But sometimes the most beautiful things come when we don’t plan  for them, yes?

Tonight’s dinner was a blend of some various veggies and a spicy version of the cashew sauce I make as a vegan cheese sauce. (If you haven’t seen the video for it, check below!)

NOTE: The recipe in this video doesn’t taste exactly like cheese, but is to be used in the place of cheese – for example, on a pizza, mixed in with pasta, over veggies, etc…

The recipe below is has an altered version of that cashew sauce – take note that the sauce can be manipulated to taste a million different ways! It has a pretty neutral taste (unless you add the miso recommended in the video, which is sooooo good), so throw some fresh herbs in there, and have fun!

Onward to the recipe!

INGREDIENTS (veggies/beans):

  • 3 small sweet potatoes, cubed with skins left on
  • 1/2 bunch of kale, steamed or blanched in boiling water
  • 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained


  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 Tbsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp cayenne
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • water to desired consistency
  • salt to taste

Remove the kale leaves from the tough stems, and steam or blanch in boiling water. Set aside. In a bowl, mix cubed sweet potatoes enough olive oil to coat, and salt and pepper. Spread evenly on a tray and bake in oven at 375 degrees until soft and a little browned (about 15-20 minutes). On a separate baking sheet, spread out the rinsed chickpeas and bake in the oven with sweet potatoes. (Season the chickpeas if you’d like! Use some garlic, salt, spices, etc…)

When all the veggies are done doing their things, mix them in a big bowl. Now we’ll make the sauce! Start with  the raw cashews in a food processor, and pulse until they become powdery.

Presto change-o!

Add lemon zest, garlic and nutritional yeast. Drizzle on some olive oil and turn processor on low. Slowly add water little by little until desired consistency is reached.

Add spices and herbs – in this case, I added turmeric, cumin and cayenne. If using cayenne, add a little at a time. It’s not outright spicy but does have heat, so try it first! Salt will boost the flavor, so salt to taste.

When you’re happy with your sauce, pour it on your veggies and eat ’em up! (You can also dip pita chips in the sauce leftovers. Yum!)

This is a great recipe if you’re trying to incorporate more whole foods into your diet – you can use any veggies you want!

Everything in this dish is a whole ingredient – meaning nothing has been processed or has any added ingredients, so feel good eating it!


4 thoughts on “DINNER IMPROV: Kale, Chickpeas and Sweet Potatoes with Spicy Cashew Sauce

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