Kale & Bean Mix with Tangy Cashew Sauce

If last week was the week when I became friends with my pressure cooker (the relationship is still developing), then this week must be my re-acquaintance with my wok. I was inspired by how easy it was to make my Peanut Butter Veggie Stir-Fry this weekend, so last night I tried making another vegetable dish, this time with beans and a tangy cashew sauce for topping.

I gathered all the vegetables including two cups of white beans, one cup of chopped cauliflower, one cup of chopped onion and kale pieces from two large bunches:

I microwaved the cauliflower for 90 seconds just to help soften it. I then added the vegetables one by one to my wok using two tablespoons of water to water-saute:

This mixture by itself would have been delicious I’m sure, but I thought it needed a tangy cashew sauce to top it off. I simply added one cup of raw cashews to my Vitamix with a half a cup each vinegar and unsweetened soy milk. I also added some turmeric and garlic powder. The mixture went from this:

to this in less than a minute:

I adore cashew cream sauces!

I added several tablespoons of the sauce to my veggies:

Once it was stirred together, it was incredible.

I had an interesting interchange with a reader yesterday regarding my post from a couple weeks ago about the way I eat (whole foods, with very little oils and added sugar and salt). You can read the post and comments here, but the essence of the discussion was whether or not Dr. Fuhrman’s plan promotes a “fat-shaming” attitude and whether or not someone can be healthy at a heavier weight than someone at a lower weight. There was also some discussion about eating disorders and if Dr. Fuhrman’s plan is too restrictive.

Here are my thoughts. Dr. Fuhrman’s approach is based on the science and his clinical experience showing that, in general, people who have a lean body mass consuming a high-nutrient, plant-based diet, are at less risk for disease. There is no shaming involved, it is simply fact. As far as restrictions go, I find the opposite to be true in that it is a challenge to consume the minimum quantity of vegetables, fruits, beans, nuts, seeds and avocados that he recommends. So, I do not experience any feelings of restriction, I experience abundance.

My personal experience has also been that the health benefits of this way of eating are above and beyond any challenges that I have had with not consuming oils, added sugars or salt. Certainly, there was some adjustment when I transitioned from the SAD diet to a vegan diet and then, finally, to the Fuhrman plan, but 15 months later I am healthier, stronger and more vibrant than I have been in my entire life.

Thoughts on this discussion? I would love to hear them!

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    • says

      Hi Shannon! I love the addition of the cashew sauce to most any type of vegetable dish, it really adds a luscious, satisfying element to an ordinary meal. Let me know what you think if you try it!

  1. says

    Yum! that looks great. Definitely trying it, I’m drooling of the thought of it over broccoli mmmm
    I think this diet is too prescriptive and strict for some but that’s their choice. I love this way of eating and find endless new foods I can enjoy (as you can see on my food blog!) so personally I find it liberating. Now I know those adds and media messages aren’t yelling at me any more I feel much more relaxed. But I can see how others who eat the SAD would feel ashamed of it… I would suggest maybe they should be? That may sound harsh but it’s true, I would be ashamed of eating that toxic food.
    Having said that I do believe that a heavier person can be healthier than a thin person if the heavy person eats the right kinds of foods and exercised and the thin person is living off junk food and alcohol then yes they’ll be healthier! but I don’t think that’s really the issue. People want to be told that it’s ok to be fat. It’s ok to be fat if you want to increase your health risks.
    Big topic that one…

    • says

      Hi Claire! You are so right in your comments. In the scenario you mentioned where a skinny person might be living off junk food, alcohol, cigarettes, etc., then obviously a heavier person who ate right and exercised would be healthier. The bottom line is that people have a right to know the truth and then they can decide for themselves if they want to make lifestyle changes. But, being misinformed or hiding from the truth doesn’t help anyone. I try not to judge people for their decisions, I only want to help people who want it and try to share tools that might aid in the process.

      • says

        I’m with you there- you can only help people that want to be helped. I try to lead by example, those that are interested will always ask. I tend to go by the live and let live attitude- yes I think everyone can benefit from a plant based diet but if they don’t want to then that’s their call. Each to their own. I just prefer my side of the fence ๐Ÿ˜‰

        • says

          Hi Claire! Yep, I try to lead by example, too, and it works a lot of the time. You’re right, though, that people are going to do what they want and we can’t force change upon anyone. Keep up the good work! ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Karen Harris says

    Have you ever made a curry cashew sauce? I wonder if it would replace a curried mayo I loved in my SAD eating days…

    • says

      Hi Karen! Yes, I have in fact tried making a curry cashew sauce and it was to die for!!! Just mix cashews with vinegar and add curry instead of turmeric. It is amazing. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Karen Harris says

        Wonderful – sounds good! You mention the cashews, vinegar, and curry – in this one did you not use a non-dairy milk and garlic powder?

        • says

          Sorry, Karen. Yes, the curry version would be 1 cup cashews, 1/2 cup vinegar, 1/2 cup soy milk along with the garlic powder and about 1/2 to 1 tablespoon of curry powder. Let me know how you like it!

  3. Vegan Possum says

    I just had cashew cream sauce on “raw” pizza tonight – love cashew cream sauces! I got a Vitamix for my birthday so it’s been heavenly discovering how smooth it can make things.
    The reason I find Dr. Fuhrman and other types of vegan doctors to be a bit triggering is more because of my own problem – I tend to worry about eating healthy enough all of the time and will obsessive over nutrient intake. So while I spend the day eating whole organic plant foods – veggies, legumes, fruit, nuts and seeds – I would often feel extreme guilt when I added a splash of olive oil to my salad and it would trigger a whole cascade of self-criticism. As I read more balanced perspectives – ie. Jack Norris, Virginia Messina and others – I realized that if eating tons of kale or a salad every day is made easier by a spoonful of olive oil or flax oil, then the benefit far outweighs any detrimental effect. Plus my husband and I are both young, active and healthy – if I had some sort of chronic disease or unaddressed illness, I can see where implementing more stringent dietary “rules” could be necessary. Right now I tend to avoid reading the more triggering material, but like I said earlier it’s more my issue than that of the material.

  4. says

    This recipe sounds delish. I am transitioning to a raw vegan diet but have been looking for HEALTHY vegan dishes to make for my husband. This looks like a good one I know he will enjoy. And I’ll probably try it, too. (Still transitioning so I am allowing healthy cooked vegan foods.)

    I only discovered your blog a few days ago, but I have read over some of your posts, and I have to say I admire you and enjoy your blog thus far. The reason I admire you is because you seem very down-to-earth and kind, but also upfront and honest. I appreciate the way you handle people’s comments when they don’t agree with you. (You do this very well.) But you also stand up for what you believe. I like that.

    I enjoy your blog because of the focus on healthy vegan eating – without adding oil, salt and sugars. I have seen in both vegan and raw vegan diets where people simply use too much added fats, sugars, etc. and it makes me feel the dishes aren’t that healthy. I like your approach. Thanks for blogging!

    • says

      Thanks so much for your kind words, Angela! I am really sensitive so I try to be accommodating to other people’s ideas and not offend anyone. That being said, I feel confident that a plant-based diet is ideal for human health, so I do try to stand up for my ideals and back them up with fact.

  5. says

    I have a kale and white bean “Caesar” salad that is a true favorite. I can only imagine I’d love it all the more with cauliflower!!

    I don’t think “fat shaming” is the right expression. The PCRM ads I addressed, for example, did seem intended to shame and mock, whereas Fuhrman is just reporting his interpretation of clinical studies. I do think that he has an overly narrow definition of healthy BMI, but that’s something that could be intelligently debated with the use of a proper volume of research. The question here is whether or not his attitude is derisive.

    I have seen Dr. Fuhrman speak and found him in some ways to be lacking warmth and empathy, so I do understand how some people find him cold. But “shaming” implies a kind of ill intent that’s not really applicable here. And I think his passion for good health is so evident that it outweighs (at least for me, as an observer) some of my discomfort with his businesslike approach to health.

    I second Angela’s words about your sensitivity.


    • says

      Thanks Gena! I agree with your assessment of the difference between the PCRM billboards that were definitely meant to rile people up and Dr. Fuhrman’s method of delivering his interpretation of the facts. I think some people have unfairly lumped all of the advocates of an ultra-healthy vegan diet together as being anti-fat which is not at all true, whether we’re talking about people or food! Again, thanks for your input and enjoy the rest of the weekend! ๐Ÿ™‚

      • says

        Agree. I’ve seen certain vegan health figures who shall remain nameless bash ALL fats, including almond butter and even seeds. Whereas Fuhrman is all about healthy fat, just not oil. I don’t totally agree with the oil stuff, as you know, but I basically agree with the emphasis on healthy fat from whole foods sources, and realize he’s not anti-dietary fat wholesale!

  6. Beth says

    Ok, I am going to have to chime in on the Fuhrman discussion. I really think he is all about the science and he is a Dr. so he is all about preventing and reversing disease, so a lot of his recommendations and attitudes are coming from a Dr. to a patient perspective where the diet change IS the medicinal approach. You wouldn’t feel guilty if your neighborhood Dr. prescribed antibiotics for a week and you missed one dose. But when I have heard him address healthy people he makes it known that it is about lifestyle and not about counting nutrient content of every food we eat. His 6 week challenge is just that… 6 weeks of challenging change to our lifestyle. The other 46 weeks of the year is spent incorporating those good habits into our lifestyle, and living one day at a time.

    • says

      Thanks for your input, Beth. I really liked your comment that you wouldn’t feel guilty or shamed if your doctor prescribed you medicine for a medical condition. Therefore, we can extend that logic to being overweight or obese and looking at it from the same perspective. Unfortunately, there are so many emotional connections to our appearance and how we look at food in general that it often becomes a very sensitive subject to address.

  7. Gary says


    My other half and I will make lots of good uses for the cashew sauce- it’s terrific for lots of good main courses. Thx- a question though- do you heat it some how? Or are you putting it on cold or room temp? Thx again.

    • says

      Hi Gary, I usually make the cashew sauce from scratch and then just pour it over a hot dish. So, it isn’t served hot, but it gets warmed by the food.

      • Gary says

        Terrific, thx! My favorite so far is over baby spinach, cannelloni beans, ripe tomatoes, and yellow squash…and in a few weeks we’ll try it with garlic scapes when the farmers here in CT harvest them- tasty and colorful!


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