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Chickpeas & Spinach in Cashew Sauce with Roasted Cauliflower

Active Time: 30 minutes / Cook Time: 25-30 minutes / Total Time: 45 minutes, plus 1 hour soak of the cashews

Makes 4 servings

Nutrition Corner: Bacon
Despite the terrible reputation bacon has endured, the negative health implications associated with it are mainly due to the processing of bacon, or the misconception that saturated fat and cholesterol cause heart disease. While factory-farmed, industrial bacon is toxic to our health, grass-fed, organic, nitrate/nitrite free bacon is certainly part of a balanced diet. Bacon contains protein, healthy fats, glutamate, B vitamins, and selenium, to name just a few nutrients

Chickpeas & Spinach in Cashew Sauce w Roasted Cauliflower.JPG

Ingredients:

  • 1 15-oz. can coconut milk
  • 1 ½ cups toasted cashews, divided*
  • 1 large head cauliflower, cored and cut into bite-sized florets
  • 2 teaspoons coconut oil, melted
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided, plus more to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger (about a thumb-sized piece)
  • 1 small jalapeño, seeds and ribs removed, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder, mild OR hot, plus more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons coconut oil
  • 4 scallions, green parts thinly sliced, white parts chopped, divided
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 15-oz. cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 lb. fresh spinach, mature or baby are both fine (if mature, wash well and chop into smaller pieces)
  • 2 cups water, plus more as necessary

Directions:

  1. Place the coconut milk in a large bowl and whisk to combine the fat and liquid. Add the cashews and soak one hour.
  2. The last 10 minutes of the soak, preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, if desired.
  3. On the baking sheet, toss the cauliflower with 2 teaspoons melted oil, ¼ teaspoon salt, and ground black pepper. Spread in a single layer and roast until the cauliflower is tender and slightly browned, stirring once, about 20-25 minutes.
  4. Place the coconut milk and cashews, garlic, ginger, jalapeño, curry powder, turmeric, and ¼ teaspoon salt in a high-speed blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Set aside.
  5. In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, heat 2 teaspoons coconut oil over medium heat. Add the white parts of the scallion and the carrot and cook, stirring often, for 2 minutes.
  6. Add the chickpeas, spinach (in batches), water, and coconut milk mixture. Stir well to combine.
  7. Bring the mixture to a low boil, reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the carrots are tender. Taste and add more curry powder, if desired. Add more water if the sauce is too thick.
  8. Stir in ½ teaspoon salt. Taste, and if desired, add up to ¼ teaspoon more.
  9. Divide chickpea mixture and cauliflower evenly into four portions, sprinkle with the scallion greens, and serve two for dinner tonight. Package remaining portions in airtight containers for lunches tomorrow, and refrigerate until needed.

*To toast nuts and seeds, place them in a dry skillet over medium-low heat and cook, stirring often, until they begin to turn golden and give off a nutty smell. Watch them carefully: nuts go from toasted to charcoal in no time flat!