Cashew cream is a vegan obsession that can certainly have a place in a Primal kitchen. To make cashew cream, simply blend cashew nuts with water. A little bit of water makes thick, spreadable cream—and a lot of water turns cashew cream into cashew milk. Either way, the texture is smooth and creamy while the flavor is mild and slightly sweet.
The natural sweetness makes cashew cream an instant dessert. Try a spoonful right out of the blender—it’s like nutty whipped cream. It’s good. A little too good. Don’t say you haven’t been warned.
Surprisingly, though, all it takes is a little salt, acidity, and spices to take cashew cream in a completely different direction. With those slight modifications, you’ll have yourself a savory dressing. Cashew cream is an obvious replacement for dairy, or, in this recipe, a stand-in for mayonnaise. Believe it or not, this mayonnaise-free chicken salad can easily compete against traditional chicken salad with mayo. The creamy, slightly tangy dressing coats the chicken nicely, and some celery and shallot add a little crunch.
Unlike traditional chicken salad, this recipe also adds fresh turmeric root for a hint of earthy flavor and powerful health benefits. (If you also want to add curry powder to make full-on curried chicken salad, go for it.) The great thing about fresh turmeric root is, well, its fresh flavor—as opposed to dried turmeric powder, which can be stale and muted. Fresh turmeric root is similar to ginger in appearance (except for turmeric’s bright orange color) and can be sliced, grated and used in similar ways. Turmeric root will stay fresh in the refrigerator for several weeks and can be added to foods like soups, stir-fries and your other favorite dressings and sauces.
Time in the Kitchen: 15 minutes (plus at least 4 hours to soak the nuts)
Cashew Turmeric Chicken Salad
It’s hard to make tiny batches of cashew cream, so this recipe will make a little more than you need for the dressing. The amount of water added here makes a thick, but not stiff, cream. Add a little less water for a thicker cream or add 1 1/2 to 2 cups water (350 ml – 475 ml) to make cashew milk.
First, soak cashews at least 4 hours or overnight in cold water. Drain and rinse.
Put the cashews and 1/2 cup (120 ml) water in a high-powered blender. Blend for 1 to 2 minutes, scraping down the sides as needed, until the consistency is similar to whipped cream. The texture should be very creamy with no bits of nut left at all.
Cashew Turmeric Chicken Salad
Recipe Note: A microplane zester works well for grating fresh turmeric root. Fresh turmeric will stain anything it comes in contact with bright orange, so make sure to wash your grater and your hands immediately.
In a small bowl, whisk together 6 tablespoons (90 ml) of cashew cream, plus the lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, coconut aminos, Dijon, olive oil, turmeric root, parsley and salt.
In a large bowl, mix together the chicken, dressing, celery and shallot. Top the chicken salad with cracked black pepper.
3 Bottles of Greek Vinaigrette: Using real, organic oil of oregano, organic apple cider vinegar and the freshest ingredients (avocado oil, organic red wine vinegar, black pepper and lemon) our perfectly balanced vinaigrette is a tantalizing and refreshing complement to any salad. Its lush herb flavor is balanced with a hint of sweetness, savory spices and the zest of fragrant lemon oil—the quintessential addition to roasted chicken…or drizzle some on top of your vegetable lasagna. It also pairs very well with heavier fish like mackerel or sablefish.
3 Bottles of Honey Mustard Vinaigrette: This succulent dressing packs in the pungency of stone ground mustard and the sweetness of organic honey, perfectly enhanced by a tangy bold touch of lemon. It pairs well with slightly bitter greens, like chicory, Belgian endive, escarole or radicchio, and is succulent enough to be used as a dipping sauce for veggies…or to flavor your favorite fish, chicken or beef dishes. Honey mustard-flavored braised short ribs, anyone?
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