Making Cooked Greens Taste Good Using Nut-Based Sauces

Sometimes it blows my mind that I talk about eating vegetables (especially green ones) so much because, as my mother can attest to, I grew up hating, hating vegetables! I blame my supertaster status to a lot of my discomfort in eating vegetables. A supertaster is a person who is more sensitive to bitter flavors including cruciferous vegetables, alcohol, coffee, etc. It’s a real “condition” and it’s more common in women; I originally learned about it in one of my nutrition courses. (By the way, if you think you have kids who might be supertasters, feeding them green smoothies like my Collard Green Smoothie is a delicious way to get them to eat greens. Another way would be to serve cruciferous greens like broccoli with an accompanying dip to mask the flavor…see below for suggestions).

How sad that I missed out on the nutritional benefits of green vegetables for so long given that they are the healthiest foods on the planet (check out Dr. Fuhrman’s Nutritarian Pyramid here). Oh well, I am making up for it now! I’ve noticed that collard greens are fairly inexpensive, too, they sell for $2 a bunch at my farmers’ market. I washed up three bunches of them last night to use in various dishes over the next few days:

I mixed in a bunch of dandelion greens in one of the bowls, too. Talk about bitter, dandelion greens are pretty up there right along with watercress. So what’s the secret in counter-acting the bitterness in green vegetables? It is adding an acid like lemon juice or vinegar. I blend either or both of these with nuts to make a cream-based sauce that I pour over my vegetables and it literally is a meal on its own.

It is unfortunate that a high-speed blender is necessary to turn most nuts into creams, but that’s just the way it is. As you know, I use a Vitamix, but I’ve heard that Blend-Tec is also a great product. Does anyone have any suggestions for other, less expensive high-speed blenders? The Vitamix and Blend-Tecs are about $350-400 a pop, but my opinion is that it’s a good investment if you can swing it (there are refurbished models available too on the company websites that are fully guaranteed).

Last night I decided to use sesame seeds and cashews to make a Creamy Tahini Dressing. I also used two fresh lemons that my friend Ginny gave me last weekend:

I also added some cashews to add creaminess and vinegar to add even more tartness. The sauce turned out pretty awesome:

Here’s the recipe:

I used the collard and dandelion greens I had washed and added them to some mushrooms, onions, chickpeas and tomato sauce I had water-sauteed:

The greens wilt down so don’t be afraid to fill the pot to the top!

Less than five minutes later:

My bowl of green goodness with the cream sauce and some raw onions chopped on top:

I would never, ever in the past have eaten a bowl of cooked greens like this, but the nut-based cream sauce makes it enjoyable and delicious. I love being healthy and all, but I wouldn’t be as happy as I am if I weren’t eating delectable food every day. Life is too short not to enjoy your food. The good news is that healthy food can taste as great as non-healthy food.Β 

Here are a few of my other nut-based cream sauces that help me enjoy eating my former nemesis…vegetables!

My Tangy Cashew Sauce (recipe is here) is similar yet different than the Creamy Tahini Sauce. I encourage you to try both and see which one you like better. The tahini sauce packs a calcium-punch because of the sesame seeds, so it’s a nice alternative to just using cashews.

My all-time favorite sauce to use on veggies is my Peanut-Butter Based Sauce.

I talked about it in this post, but I never posted the printable recipe. This sauce is so easy to make, you can just mix it in a bowl! Here goes:

Have a happy Friday and let me know if you have any sauces you like to serve on vegetables, I’d love to hear them. Also, I’m trying my darndest to build up my Facebook page numbers. I would love for you to “like” my page and share it with your friends! The link is here. See you tomorrow for my Weekly Wrap-up and (possibly) a new healthy, dessert recipe. πŸ™‚



  1. Aggie says

    Thanks for the peanut butter sauce recipe, it looks awesome. I usually just use soy sauce when I make a veggie stir fry so I cannot wait to try this.

  2. Robyn :) says

    I used some sweet chili sauce on a mixture of rice and your coco-nutty kale and it was good πŸ™‚

    Since going to the doctor last week I have lost 8 pounds πŸ™‚ I know part of this is because I have walked everyday, but I think it is more because I have ate mainly vegetarian this past week. I only had some fish on Wednesday and a bit of chicken salad today. I am still not really craving meat(the chicken salad was from Whole Foods and just looked good), but I bought some meat today at WF just in case(and for hubby). I figured theirs would not have all that nasty stuff in it lol. I have also been eating an apple or dried apple chips each day. My goal for this next week is to drink more water.

    I also downloaded Eat To Live on my Nook πŸ™‚

    I really want to thank you, Carrie, for sharing your experiences and recipes on here and encouraging me πŸ™‚ It means a lot.

    • says

      YAY Robyn!!! This is incredible news, you are on the right track. I hope you are feeling like this is something you can continue doing. Do you feel like you have replaced some of your previous foods with healthier choices like fresh fruits and vegetables? It sounds like you are making amazing progress. Just take it one day at a time and stay focused on taking care of yourself. I am so proud of you!!! πŸ™‚

  3. Robyn :) says

    I feel like I have replaced meat with beans as I am not craving it at all. I used to crave hamburgers a lot, I think because I wanted the protein, but now I feel satisfied by the veggies and beans and that is what I think about eating when I get hungry lol. I think the fruits have cut down on my cravings for sweets. I also haven’t been been craving soda, either. Giving up caffeine has been very hard. I am not craving it, BUT I have been getting headaches and feeling depressed and had some more anxiety than usual.

    • says

      Hi Robyn, it’s pretty normal to feel worse before you feel better. Obviously, you should let your doctor know if your symptoms get severe, but hopefully you’ll start to feel a LOT better in a few weeks. Stay focused and keep up the good work.

  4. Ginny says

    Your food ALWAYS looks SO tasty!!! I wish we lived closer! πŸ˜‰

    I’ve been on the prowl for a better blender but really can’t spend the $ on a Vitamix. Would you (or anyone else) know of something that’s much less but works better than your run-of-the-mill Hamilton Beach? I mean, I know it won’t perform like the Vitamix does, but something that is still pretty good. I’ve been looking around, but not sure yet what would help smooth out the smoothies. πŸ˜‰

    Hope you’re having a great weekend!

    • says

      Hi Ginny! I think a regular blender works pretty well for smoothies, unless you find that it has to work too hard to blend in the greens. It will let you know if it breaks. πŸ™‚ What a high-speed blender like a Vitamix can do that a regular blender cannot is turn nuts into cream-sauces. If you can live without these types of sauces, then you can probably live without a Vitamix. I know there are some other blenders on the market like one called a Ninja, but I doubt any of them can do what a Vitamix or a Blend-Tec can do. When you have the extra $$$ to upgrade to one of these machines, I can honestly say it will be money well spent and you’ll probably wonder how you could have ever lived without one. But, until then, a regular blender can still do a lot! πŸ™‚

      • Ginny says

        Thanks for your thoughts! πŸ˜‰ I’ve been using my food processor for nut sauces, and it’s working ok; better than the blender anyway.

          • Ginny says

            I haven’t soaked them, but ya know what, I bet that would help it become an even creamier consistency. Thanks for the idea! πŸ™‚

  5. says

    What great recipes! One of my favorite ways to make greens taste good is in smoothies. Right now I love using frozen spinach in them as I can add a WHOLE lot more spinach without taking up the size of two blenders and it makes it smooth and creamy just like a frozen banana would! Oranges are another of my favorites to add — really helps with the bitterness!

  6. Jackie says

    The Oster Beehive blender can handle most of the same load as the big-ticket blenders, just with a little more care: you have to chop tougher things (veggies, kale, etc.) into smaller pieces, probably soak your nuts (I haven’t tried nuts in it yet), etc. But it will get it all very smooth with these few extra steps.

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