Allergen Information: Contains tree nuts.
Special Equipment: High Powered Blender
If you know me, you know I’m a huge fan of spinach.
When it’s raw, it’s sneaky–it doesn’t really have a taste and that makes it easy to mix into smoothies for an extra dose of vitamins in the morning. Try our Classic Strawberry Banana Smoothie to see what I mean!
Plus, we all need more greens. It’s just a fact. Getting 6-8 servings each day really is hard. It’s one reason why I have multiple vegetables at each of my meals.
This hot spinach side is perfect for a pot-luck, holiday, or as a substantial side to a dinner! You can serve it with some grilled chicken or fish and a salad for a filling, nutritious meal.
I only eat meat a couple of times per week, and since I keep eating the bacon my lovely husband is cooking, I think I’ll pair this batch with a salad and Sweet & Salty Roasted Carrots for tonight’s dinner.
The creaminess in this dish comes from cashews and nutritional yeast (a standard vegan cheesy flavor). If you aren’t concerned about dairy, don’t worry, this is still amazing, and a great way to get some wonderful nutrients in your body.
If you are gluten free and/or dairy free, I know you’re jumping for joy! Well, if you like spinach, too 😉
A couple notes about the food:
~Please buy ORGANIC frozen spinach, as it’s on the dirty dozen list!
~Raw cashews are just cashews that have not been roasted. You can find them in the bulk bins at Earthfare/Wholefoods.
~We have only found the rice crumbs at our local health food store, New Life Natural Foods, but they are also available on Amazon. Feel free to leave this step out completely if you can’t find them. The dish just won’t have a crunchy top. Or if you aren’t gluten-free, you could also use whole-grain bread crumbs as well.
~You can find Nutritional Yeast in the bulk bins at Earthfare/Wholefoods, as well as in a plastic jar at Kroger in the Organic Section.
~We use Vegenaise because it’s egg free, and we use the soy-free variety since one of our sons can’t have eggs or soy. If you have no soy sensitivities or allergies, feel free to use regular Vegenaise. As I’ve mentioned before, Vegenaise isn’t weird, it just has a weird name. If you don’t have Vegenaise, feel free to use Organic Mayo if you want. It’s important to use Organic, so that the eggs are coming from what we call “good chickens.”
- 2 10 ounce packages frozen spinach, thawed
- 1 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight or at least 4 hours, drained & rinsed
- ¼-1/2 ripe avocado
- ¼ cup water
- ¼ cup Vegenaise
- 3 T Nutritional Yeast
- 1 T lemon juice
- 1 t garlic powder
- 1 t onion powder
- ¼ t red pepper flakes
- ¾ t sea salt
- ¼ t ground pepper
- 2 t coconut oil
- 4 T rice crumbs
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Fill a medium saucepan with water, and bring to a boil.
- Meanwhile put cashews, avocado, water, Vegenaise, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, garlic powder, onion powder, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper in a high powered blender and blend until smooth, stopping several times to stir and push the sides down. (Alternatively, you could use a food processor, but the mixture might be a little grainy). Set aside.
- Pour the two bags of spinach in boiling water and boil for 1 minute.
- Remove from heat and drain.
- Using a large spoon, squeeze as much water from the spinach as possible.
- Put cashew mixture and spinach in a large bowl and stir until well combined.
- Pour into a pan and bake for 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, melt coconut oil over medium heat.
- Add rice crumbs and stir, cooking for 4-5 minutes.
- After the spinach has cooked for 20 minutes, take out and turn your oven to broil.
- Sprinkle with rice crumbs and broil for 5 minutes, or until the top is golden brown.