Gooey Cabbage, Quinoa, & Chickpea Saute with Cashew Cheese
by Ali Seiter
I’ve often waxed poetic about whiling away the hours in the kitchen, experimenting with the dozens (probably hundreds, by now) of tantalizing recipes, imagined by a wide variety of creative bloggers, that comprise my now 29-page long “Recipes to Try” Word document. However, in my desire to recreate as many mouthwatering, preconceived dishes as possible, I often forget the deep satisfaction derived from scrounging together a surprisingly delicious meal merely from the contents of your refrigerator. No shopping lists, no preparation, no double-checking of measurements—only you, the ingredients you happen to have on hand, and your culinary creative skill. Sure, perhaps most of the time only a simple stir fry emerges from these types of recipe-less endeavors, but other similar occasions produce unexpected gastronomic masterpieces; or at least dishes requiring only a bit of honing to achieve their full flavor potential.
I experienced the luck of creating one of these successful improvisational dishes the other day in an attempt to use up as many of the leftovers I had accumulated over my college winter break as possible. After all, I planned on flying back to New York the following day and didn’t forsee my parents partaking in the cashew cheese I had made a couple days prior, even considering their recent shift to a plant-based diet. What began as a simple saute of mixed veggies, quinoa, and chickpeas transformed into an unctuous, ooey-gooey, wonderfully savory one-dish meal thanks to the melting of four slices of the aforementioned cashew cheese over the just-shy-of-tender amalgamation. Talk about a scrumptious bout of unexpected inspiration.
Cabbage, Quinoa, & Chickpea Saute with Cashew Cheese—Soy Free, Low Fat, Low Sodium
2 tsp olive oil
1 shallot, chopped
1 sprig of fresh rosemary, leaves removed and chopped
Handful of green beans, about 1/3 cup chopped
10 cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 head green cabbage, shredded
1/2 cup cooked quinoa
1/2 cup chickpeas
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
4 slices of cashew cheese
In a medium-sized skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the shallot and rosemary and saute for 3-5 minutes, taking care not to burn the shallot. Add the green beans and tomatoes, cover, and cook for 5-7 minutes. Add the cabbage, cover again, and cook for 7-10 minutes, stirring periodically. Add the quinoa, chickpeas, and balsamic vinegar, and stir until heated through. Layer the slices of cashew cheese on top of the entire saute, cover, and cook for 3 minutes. Stir the semi-melted cheese into the veggies and stir until everything becomes coated in cheesy goodness.
I served this dish alongside a simple salad of mixed greens, bean sprouts, and Liquid Gold Dressing.
Meal Checklist: Protein—chickpeas, cashews. Whole Grain—quinoa. Vegetables—shallots, rosemary, green beans, cherry tomatoes, mixed bean sprouts. Leafy Greens—cabbage, mixed salad greens.
Comment Provoking Questions: What is your go-to no-plan meal? What is the best dish you’ve created solely by improvisation? What are the ingredients you always keep on hand to perk up improvised meals?
Until next time, Ali.