Though I’ve always been one for holiday jubilee, grasping any excuse to get my family and friends around an overflowing table together, Passover has unwaveringly held a strong point of contention – an eight day and evening long commitment to swearing off leavened bread and it’s gloriously carb-laden compadres in the name of morality and self expansion, the quest for a humble soul.. and matzah. But, sweeping out the chametz (leavened bits and bites), doesn’t mean we have to thrust ourselves into an alternate universe of processed and depriving matzah brei, matzah pizza, PB and matzah, jelly rings, and macaroons. Instead making sneaky substitutions with more plant based ingredients and meals we’re already munching inherently holding that Kosher for Passover stamp of approval, our waist lines, cells, and spirits can all make it through unscathed.
Because pasta is Passover proscribed, finding substitutions like spiralized zucchini, beet, parsnip, and carrots allow you that same noodle bowl experience, sans leavening and with an extra nutritive boost. A very simple bowl of food, nourishing and comforting wrapped into one big bite, my Sweet Potato Noodles with Creamy Roasted Garlic Cashew Sauce are just the meal for Passover or really any day of the week. Deeply garlicky (in that perfectly perfect / should probably hold off on the midday make-out sesh kind of way), this recipe is made with lightly sautéed sweet potato ‘noodles,’ a creamy roasted garlic and cashew sauce, and an adornment of wilted lacinato kale, cannellini beans, and fresh basil, creating that noodle-y and comfort food experience with an elevated plant based twist. Making 4 generous servings, enough for you to keep handy in your refrigerator and reheat over the course of the workweek, I serve mine with an extra sprinkle of fresh basil for good measure.
Sweet Potato Noodles with Creamy Roasted Garlic Cashew Sauce [serves 4]
1 cup raw cashews
1 head garlic, about 8 cloves
4 teaspoons olive oil
¾ filtered water
2 medium sweet potatoes (about 1 ½ pounds), spiralized into thin ‘noodles’
2 cups lacinato kale, roughly chopped
1 can (15 ounces) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
¼ cup fresh basil, roughly chopped
salt & pepper to taste
In a small bowl, cover raw cashews with water until they are completely submerged. Cover bowl and refrigerate for a minimum of 4 hours – overnight, or until cashews appear swollen and are softer to the touch. Drain water and thoroughly rinse cashews. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F, rack in the middle.
Trim about ¼ inch off the top of the head of the garlic, exposing the tops of the garlic cloves. Drizzle with 1 teaspoon olive oil, letting the oil sink into the cloves, then wrap garlic in aluminum foil. Roast for 40-50 minutes, or until garlic is fragrant, golden, and very soft.
Extract garlic cloves from head’s skin then transfer cloves, soaked cashews, and filtered water to a high speed blender. Pulse until very smooth and creamy. Season to taste then set aside.
In a large skillet heat remaining 3 teaspoons olive oil over medium heat until just hot. Add the spiralized sweet potato and sauté, stirring frequently, until ‘noodles’ are tender, yet crisp – about 5 minutes. Stir in kale, beans, and sauce and continue to sauté until kale has just wilted and sauce is warmed through. Season to taste, remove from heat, and transfer to desired bowls. Garnish with chopped basil, serve and enjoy!
Nutritional Information [per serving = about 1 ½ cups prepared recipe]
455 Calories, 19.5g Fat, 60g Carbohydrates, 11g Fiber, 10g Sugar, 14g Protein
All ingredients for this recipe generously provided by Whole Foods Market, Friendship Heights