Hidden Veggie Acai Bowls

All hail the hidden veggies!!

A close-up look at a delicious Hidden Veggie Acai Bowl from CaliGirl Cooking. The perfect healthy breakfast even the pickiest of eaters will love!

Seriously, who doesn’t want a HUGE serving of vegetables hidden into one of the most delicious acai bowls of all time? If you’re a fruit/breakfast fanatic like me and like to start your day off on the right foot, these Hidden Veggie Acai Bowls are for you.


And, speaking of hidden veggies, if you have picky eaters in your household (ahem, kids) you’re going to LOVE the fact that there is tons of broccoli and spinach packed into each and every one of these bowls.

Back in the day, when I first moved to Santa Barbara, I was living with my brother and sister-in-law and their three young kids until I found a place I could settle into on my own. As part of my “rent,” I’d try to cook for them as much as possible. As most families with young kids do, my bro and SIL were always struggling to get their kids to eat anything besides carbs and fruit. So, I took it upon myself to help them sneak some goodness into their diets in any way we could.

Some of the biggest hits I created for the kids were Hidden Veggie Popsicles. I’d basically whip up a smoothie with kale, carrots and sometimes even avocado the night before, poured the smoothie into a popsicle mold, and first thing in the morning there would be delicious, healthy POPSICLES waiting for the kids for breakfast. I mean, who doesn’t want popsicles for breakfast? They were a huge hit.

A healthy serving of Hidden Veggie Acai Bowls. Your answer to a quick, easy and healthy breakfast!

Fast forward to almost four years later, now I’m trying to sneak as many vegetables into my diet as possible with my ever-changing preggo mama appetite. Throughout my first whole trimester, veggies were not my friend. I’m normally a huge salad eater, but a big bowl of raw greens was the LAST thing I even wanted to think about eating.

Luckily, my healthy appetite for fruit has maintained throughout the duration of my pregnancy (and will hopefully continue to!) I’ve been able to drink our Power Protein Smoothies we make almost every day, which do also have some kale mixed in, and if I’m looking for a healthy snack in the afternoon, a piece of fruit (most likely paired with cheese) is the first thing I’ll grab out of the refrigerator.

On the weekends, the hubs usually spoils me with eggs, bacon, the works, but occasionally we’ll have some place we need to be in the morning and thus need a quick, healthy breakfast to get our day started on the right foot. On these days, you can most likely find us at Backyard Bowls, Santa Barbara’s acai bowl/smoothie mecca that is basically amazing beyond words.

I’ll usually order either their PB&J Quinoa Bowl if I’m in the mood for a warm, belly-filling meal, or their Green Bowl if I’m looking for something more refreshing. The Hidden Veggie Acai Bowls I’m sharing today are my own personal take on the Green Bowl, and I’m pretty sure you’re going to enjoy them just as much as I did!

These Hidden Veggie Acai Bowls from CaliGirl Cooking are the perfect healthy breakfast for picky eaters.

Here’s what you’re going to need: some banana for creaminess, and one more for your toppings (because aren’t the toppings some of the best things about basically eating a smoothie in a bowl?), frozen acai (find it at your local Whole Foods or TJ’s), frozen broccoli and fresh spinach (there’s your veggies!), frozen cherries, pineapple juice, lime juice and some fresh ginger (if you’re feeling adventurous.) I love the ginger for the zinginess it brings to the bowl, but you can easily leave it out if you or your kids aren’t really into such a distinct flavor.

Throw everything into a blender, top with the banana, some sliced strawberries, granola, honey and, my favorite, PEANUT BUTTER, and you’ll have such a delicious, crowd-pleasing breakfast that Hidden Veggie Acai Bowls will soon become the most requested breakfast at your kitchen table. Promise!

An overhead shot of delicious Hidden Veggie Acai Bowls. They'll be a huge hit with kids!

A close-up look at a delicious Hidden Veggie Acai Bowl from CaliGirl Cooking. The perfect healthy breakfast even the pickiest of eaters will love!
Print
Hidden Veggie Acai Bowls
Prep Time
10 mins
Total Time
10 mins
 

This healthy breakfast is packed with filling fruits and vegetables that will keep even the pickiest of eaters happy and full until lunch. 

Course: Breakfast
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 1 frozen acai pack
  • 1 banana, plus 1 additional for topping
  • 1 cup frozen broccoli
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1 cup frozen cherries
  • 3/4 cup pineapple juice
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger (optional)
  • Sliced strawberries, your favorite granola, honey and peanut butter, for topping
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients except toppings in a blender and blend until smooth. 

  2. Pour blender contents into one larger cereal bowl (or two smaller ones) and garnish with desired toppings.

  3. Enjoy immediately!

Hidden Veggie Acai Bowls | CaliGirlCooking.com

Spring Fava Bean and Burrata Grain Salad

The delicious Memorial Day-friendly eats continue! And today I’m even talking about some outdoor entertaining tips to boot 😉

Overhead view of a beautiful summer tablescape featuring a Spring Fava Bean and Burrata Grain Salad.
This post is sponsored by Q Squared.

This Spring Fava Bean and Burrata Grain Salad is most definitely one for the books. It’s full of healthy veggies and quinoa, and topped with my favorite luscious, creamy cheese. Even better, it’s both omnivore- and vegetarian-friendly. Plenty of substance for your meat-loving friends yet perfectly suitable for those plant-eaters among you! (A must for large-group entertaining, as you’ll see below.)

One of the things I love most about Instagram is stumbling across different brands and companies that I may have never encountered otherwise. It’s so fun to see what other influencers are loving, which posts are going viral, and what other Insta-friends are liking and commenting on.


Q Squared is one of those brands whose products I absolutely fell in love with as soon as I saw them cross my feed. They make some of the most beautiful tableware that you’d never guess is made out of melamine and completely shatter-proof. So naturally, when they offered to send me a set of my choosing, I jumped at the opportunity. After all, Memorial Day weekend is upon us which means outdoor-friendly, shatter-proof dinnerware is where it’s at!

A single serving of Spring Fava Bean and Burrata Grain Salad in beautiful QSquared melamine dinner ware.

You can see from the photos just how beautiful these products are (and this is just one of the designs to choose from!) but what you can’t see is just how amazingly durable they are. They truly feel like legitimate dinnerware and you do not have to worry one bit about it looking cheesy or cheap. High class all the way!

As soon as I decided on the Lima design as my set of choice, I started brainstorming what eventually turned into this Spring Fava Bean and Burrata Grain Salad. I knew I wanted to take advantage of all of the bright blues and greens in the dinnerware and all of the in-season spring produce, so I took a little trip to the Farmer’s Market for inspiration. What I came across were the cutest little spring onions and piles upon piles of fresh fava beans. Not to mention fresh basil! I decided that these spring superstars, with the addition of quinoa, toasted walnuts, fresh lemon juice and creamy burrata, would make the perfect grain salad to serve over Memorial Day weekend.

The salad comes together quickly, especially if you cook the quinoa and prep the fava beans in advance. Even better, it’s great served warm, cold or at room temperature. Just add the burrata right before serving to ensure its freshness (and ooziness.)

A close-up view of the creamy burrata oozing over the top of this Spring Fava Bean and Burrata Grain Salad.

Which brings me to the other topic of this post: My Top Four Outdoor Entertaining Tips!

Let me break it down for you real quick here:

1. Opt for sturdy tableware.

You should have two goals for whatever dinner/serving ware you use for your outdoor soiree: it should stand up well to wind (you don’t want to be chasing down paper plates and napkins as soon as a little breeze picks up!) and it should be shatter-proof (especially important if you’re entertaining anywhere near a pool.) Good thing Q Squared has everything you need! (And with a special discount for my readers at that, see below!)

2. Plan your menu around what’s in season in your area.

For me, outdoor entertaining is THE time to showcase the season’s best produce. We’re dining in nature, after all, so why not enjoy what nature has to offer?

3. Serve food that is okay being left out for a bit.

Outdoor cookouts are typically meant to be casual get-togethers, not multi-course plated dinners hot out of the oven. You’ll want dishes that can sit out for a bit for people to help themselves at their convenience.

Be sure to offer something that people of all dietary preferences can enjoy.

This is one of the reasons I love grain salads. Although it’s not vegan due to the cheese, this Spring Fava Bean and Burrata Grain Salad can easily be made so by just omitting that part. Be sure to offer something vegetarian, vegan and omnivore-friendly so no one leaves hungry.

This Spring Fava Bean and Burrata Grain Salad is the perfect dish to serve alongside your favorite cookout food.

Not too difficult, right? Like I mentioned, one of the greatest things about outdoor entertaining is that it’s meant to be CASUAL. Low-key, easy-going vibes are where it’s at. And with the right food and serving ware, can you really go wrong?

Now comes the best part. I’ve teamed up with Q Squared to offer you, my dear readers, a 20% discount on all of their products. So time to stock up! Just be sure to use the discount code CALIGIRL20 at checkout to get this sweet deal. Recipe is below and link to buy all the pretty things is here. What are you waiting for??

A close-up view of the creamy burrata oozing over the top of this Spring Fava Bean and Burrata Grain Salad.
Print
Spring Fava Bean and Burrata Grain Salad

This grain salad is the perfect outdoor entertaining dish. It's loaded with filling quinoa and fresh vegetables and topped with creamy burrata cheese!

Course: Side Dish
Servings: 6 servings
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 1 pound fava beans (about 1/2 cup shelled beans)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper, plus more to taste
  • 3 1/2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 green onion, diced (both the bulb and the green stems)
  • 1/2 cup walnut pieces, toasted
  • 1/3 cup chiffonaded basil, plus more for garnish
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2-3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (to taste)
  • 8 ounces burrata
Instructions
  1. First, prepare the fava beans. You’ll need to pull the beans out of their shells, and then cook the beans in a small pot of boiling water for 30 seconds, transferring them to an ice bath afterwards to cool. At this point, you should be able to peel off the beans’ waxy coating.

  2. In a small saute pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the shelled fava beans and season with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Saute for 5-7 minutes, then remove from heat.

  3. In a large bowl, combine the quinoa, fava beans, spring onion, walnuts and 1/3 cup basil. Dress with olive oil and lemon juice and toss to combine. Season with more salt and pepper as needed. If not serving right away, refrigerate for the time being.

  4. Right before serving, top with burrata. Cut into it (breaking it into smaller pieces) so each person gets a piece as you’re serving.

Spring Fava Bean and Burrata Grain Salad | CaliGirlCooking.com

Herbed Carrot Galette

My Easter cooking is in full swing!

Herbed Carrot Galette | CaliGirlCooking.com

I’m getting in all of the Easter-y dishes I can now since we’ll be on an airplane to Italy on Easter Sunday, and I just can’t pass up all of the delicious dishes I’ve been dying to make for the holiday, like this Herbed Carrot Galette!


Seriously, if we were having any sort of Easter brunch, this galette would be the star of the menu. It starts with a buttery, flaky crust that is graced with a creamy herb-studded mascarpone, all topped with shallots, garlic, thinly-shaved carrots and even more herbs. I mean, can we really go wrong? I think not.

I’ve been itching to make my own take on a galette ever since I was inspired by my gal Becky at Baking the Goods. She made a delicious Ricotta, Potato and Spring Pea Galette for our Spring Fling Brunch last month, and it was seriously the perfect addition to the menu. So when I found myself with a whole bag of leftover carrots after some recipe testing one day, I decided this would be the best way to put them to use.

Herbed Carrot Galette | CaliGirlCooking.com

People often ask me how I keep coming up with recipe ideas and, truthfully, it’s never been a problem for me. I keep a running list of ideas on Google drive and Evernote, and just add ideas as I come up with them. Travel often provides a ton of inspiration for me, as do foodie magazines like Bon Appetit and Food & Wine. Also, family! I still have a ton of recipes I’m working on transcribing from the old family archives, and now I have my husband’s family recipes to work on as well.

Other times, I’m simply inspired to make something by what I have in my refrigerator that might otherwise go to waste, like those carrots. I had actually bought them as a prop for some food photography, but I’m certainly not one for wasting any sort of food. Now I have this Herbed Carrot Galette to thank for that!

Herbed Carrot Galette | CaliGirlCooking.com

Seriously, though, this thing is pretty much to die for. It’s certainly not for the faint of heart (or the incredibly health-conscious) but, hey, it’s the holidays! We deserve to let loose every now and then.

The incredible richness of the dish starts with a basic pate brisee dough for the crust. You can really use whatever pie or quiche dough recipe you prefer, just be sure not to use one that is heavily sweetened as we are making a completely savory dish. I turned to my good ol’ Bouchon Bakery cookbook for my recipe because, let’s face it, Thomas Keller can do no wrong when it comes to tasty, buttery baked goods. I’m sometimes a bit intimidated to dive into the complexity of Keller’s baking world, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that his pate brisee recipe comes together much more quickly and painlessly than other pie dough I’ve whipped up in the past.

Herbed Carrot Galette | CaliGirlCooking.com

After the dough comes the toppings, and what better way to start us off than a creamy, chive-laden mascarpone spread. Again, incredibly easy. We’re talking dumping a healthy serving of freshly snipped chives, salt and pepper into a container’s worth of mascarpone, and stirring it up so you get all of that magnificent flavor in every single bite. But I couldn’t stop there with the cheese. Nope! I also sprinkled on some shredded fontina to add a sharp, salty kick to the mix. Not regretting it one bit.

Herbed Carrot Galette | CaliGirlCooking.com

After we’re done loading the galette with cheese, we can move on to the veggies.

I wanted this Herbed Carrot Galette to really pop with flavor, so I added sliced garlic and shallots to the mix with the thinly shaved carrots. Keeping everything thinly sliced ensures that it will all cook properly (and even get some lovely golden-brown color) in the amount of time it takes to bake off the crust.

Herbed Carrot Galette | CaliGirlCooking.com

I’m happy to report that it only takes about five minutes in the oven for the smell of this Herbed Carrot Galette to start wafting through the entire house. And it only takes another 40 or so minutes until the crust is golden-delicious enough for you to remove from the oven, sprinkle on some more fresh herbs, and enjoy to your heart’s content.

Herbed Carrot Galette | CaliGirlCooking.com

Now, I have one simple question to ask of you: Will all of you pleeeeease make this Herbed Carrot Galette in honor of me as part of your Easter menu?

Be sure to take photos and tag @caligirlcooking in any of your creations! Xo

Herbed Carrot Galette | CaliGirlCooking.com
Print
Herbed Carrot Galette
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
45 mins
Total Time
1 hrs 5 mins
 

This savory galette showcases the best flavors of spring - crunchy carrots and fresh herbs complimented by two creamy, delicious cheeses.

Course: Main Course
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 1 recipe pate brisee (I used the Bouchon Bakery cookbook recipe)
  • 8 ounces mascarpone
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives, plus more for garnish
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch black pepper
  • 1 cup shredded fontina cheese
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 shallot, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 large carrots, shaved with a vegetable peeler or mandolin
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Sprinkle of salt and pepper
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Chopped fresh oregano for garnish
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

  2. Place pate brisee dough between two pieces of parchment paper and roll into a circle about 16-inches in diameter and ¼-inch thick. 

  3. In a small bowl, combine the mascarpone, 1 tablespoon chives, ¼ teaspoon salt and dash of pepper. Remove the top piece of parchment paper from the pate brisee and generously spread on the mascarpone, leaving about a 1 ½- to 2-inch border to fold the dough up and over the toppings.

  4. Next, sprinkle on the fontina cheese, then top with the garlic, shallots and finally, the carrots. Drizzle olive oil over top of the carrots and season lightly with salt and pepper. 

  5. Working your way around the perimeter of the galette, fold up the edges of the dough, allowing them to naturally pleat as you go around in a circle. If any pieces crack, simply pinch them back together.

  6. Keeping the galette on the bottom layer of parchment paper you originally rolled it out on, transfer to a large rimmed baking sheet. Using a pastry brush, brush the beaten egg over the exposed edges of the galette.

  7. Place the galette in the oven for 40-45 minutes, or until the crust has turned a lovely golden brown. Remove and let cool slightly. Sprinkle with additional chives and fresh oregano before serving.

Recipe Notes

You can purchase the Bouchon Bakery cookbook here.

This post contains affiliate links. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for continuing to support the brands that make CaliGirl Cooking possible!

Herbed Carrot Galette | CaliGirlCooking.com

Fresh Corn, Leek and Edamame Grain Salad

The perfect weekend recovery food!

Fresh Corn, Leek and Edamame Grain Salad | CaliGirlCooking.com

This Fresh Corn, Leek and Edamame Grain Salad is a perfect, healthy, filling meal if I ever saw one, and it’s oh so delicious. If any of you had a weekend like I had, you’re definitely ready to whip this up with your favorite lean protein for dinner tonight.


As I mentioned on Friday, we were up in Santa Cruz visiting my parents this weekend, which also happened to involve helping my little sis move into her new house and having an early Sunday birthday brunch for me. All of the family affairs, celebrations and craziness never make for the healthiest eating, but I never restrict myself (everything in moderation!) and just make sure to eat extra-healthy in the days leading up to and following all of the madness. That’s what balanced living is all about!

So when we rolled back into town late last night, all I wanted was a big bowl of whole grains and veggies. Unfortunately, I didn’t have any of this Fresh Corn, Leek and Edamame Grain Salad sitting around in the fridge, so we had to settle with takeout. Not necessarily the healthiest of options (although we still try to get a well-balanced meal even when we order out) but we knew we’d get right back in the groove of healthy eating today. Smoothies for breakfast, salads for lunch. You get the idea! This should last all of two days since my birthday is on Wednesday, but we only live once, right?

Fresh Corn, Leek and Edamame Grain Salad | CaliGirlCooking.com

It’s no secret that ever since I tried the most delicious grain salad in Napa, I have been obsessed with the idea of them. It was way back in May of last year that I made this Herbed Grain Salad with Broccoli Rabe and White Beans, so I figured now that we’re having some warmer “salad-friendly” weather here in California, it was high time for me to come up with another fun version featuring some of spring’s freshest produce. I’m very happy to say that this Fresh Corn, Leek and Edamame Grain Salad is not going to let you down and, even better, if you don’t love butter as much as I do, you can easily make this dish vegan!

Fresh Corn, Leek and Edamame Grain Salad | CaliGirlCooking.com

So let’s get down to the dirty details. First of all, if you live anywhere near a Trader Joe’s, you’re already in great shape. I got all of my ingredients for this salad there, except for the lemons because we have an abundance of them growing in our yard at the moment. That being said, you really shouldn’t have any trouble getting these ingredients at just-your-average grocery store, TJ’s just makes it soooo convenient.

I started out by sautéing some fresh leeks and garlic in a healthy dose of butter. It may seem like a lot at first, but keep in mind that we’re adding much more to this dish than just leeks and garlic, and all of those extra ingredients mean we need all of that extra butter. BUT, if you are trying to be uber-healthy or if you follow a vegan diet, you can swap in good ol’ coconut oil and this salad will still turn out amazing. Promise.

After our leeks and garlic have started sweating it out a bit, we add some fresh corn kernels. If you don’t happen to live in an area where you can get fresh corn year round, frozen kernels would also work just fine.

The corn kernels are followed by our cooked, shelled edamame, which Trader Joe’s conveniently sells prepped and ready to go in their produce section. Again, if you don’t have access to these, a frozen bag of shelled edamame would work just fine. Just be sure they’re already cooked!

Fresh Corn, Leek and Edamame Grain Salad | CaliGirlCooking.com

The final steps are to throw in some pre-cooked barley (a great thing to meal prep on the weekends and throw into healthy meals all week) and some snipped fresh chives. The only sort of dressing that graces our salad is the aforementioned butter and a hefty dose of fresh lemon juice. I do want to mention one thing about the ¼ cup quantity I’ve called for here: we have Meyer lemons in our backyard, which tend to be more sweet and less tart than your average lemons. That being said, if you are using standard lemons, you may want to dial it back just a tad. Just remember to taste as you go and balance the acidity out with the salt. You’ll do just fine!

This Fresh Corn, Leek and Edamame Grain Salad is full of filling carbohydrates (which I know some of you colder-weather readers are still totally craving right now) yet plenty of fresh, vibrant produce to remind us that spring is just around the corner. It comes together in under 20 minutes and tastes just as good hot or cold, making it perfect to have on hand for any situation that requires a healthy meal ASAP. It’s quickly become another go-to of mine and I hope it will soon become one of yours too!

Fresh Corn, Leek and Edamame Grain Salad | CaliGirlCooking.com

Fresh Corn, Leek and Edamame Grain Salad | CaliGirlCooking.com
Print
Fresh Corn, Leek and Edamame Grain Salad
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
20 mins
 

This hearty and healthy grain salad is the perfect dish to usher in warmer weather - loaded with filling carbohydrates and vibrant produce, enjoy it alone or with your favorite lean protein!

Course: Main Course, Salad, Side Dish
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons butter (or coconut oil, for vegan version)
  • 1 trimmed leek, thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 2 cups corn kernels (about 2 small ears)
  • 1 1/2 cups shelled, cooked edamame
  • 2 cups cooked barley
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (or to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
Instructions
  1. Melt butter or coconut oil in a deep saute pan over medium heat. Add leeks and garlic and saute for about 3 minutes, until leeks begin to sweat and become fragrant. Add corn kernels and turn heat up to medium-high.

  2. Let corn kernels cook for another 3 minutes, then add edamame. Let cook for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the corn and edamame begin to get golden flecks on their skins (a slight char.)

  3. Turn heat back down to medium and add barley and chives. Stir to combine.

  4. Add lemon juice, salt and pepper (tasting as you go) until you’ve achieved your desired level of balanced flavors. Serve warm or cold. 

Fresh Corn, Leek and Edamame Grain Salad | CaliGirlCooking.com

Creamed Curried Spinach with Bacon Naan

Sometimes I just don’t know how I come up with certain things.

Creamed Curried Spinach with Bacon Naan | CaliGirlCooking.com

Take this Creamed Curried Spinach with Bacon Naan, for example. I suppose it’s not too surprising that I paired a creamy, vegetable-laden, curry-laced dip with everyone’s favorite Indian carb, but I’m not too sure adding chunks of bacon to the bread is really staying in line with the traditional flavors of that culture. Oh well, that’s what cooking is all about, right? Taking already established, delicious dishes and turning them into your own?


And let me tell you a little story about bacon, and why I feel compelled to add it to just about everything I cook these days (in small amounts, that is.) You see, one of my hubby’s best friends has a family hook up with a local butcher in the Bay Area, and for my hubby’s bachelor party he literally brought all. the. meat. We’re talking tomahawk steaks, ham steaks, sausages and, of course, bacon. It was LITERALLY a sausage fest. My hubs came back raving about this bacon, and the next time we were up visiting his friend we snagged a small pack to bring home with us.

Fast forward a few months, to Christmastime, and we had mentioned to his friend that we were due for a replenishment of our bacon stock. We show up to his parents’ house on Christmas Day, and he literally goes into the garage and comes back with a 15-POUND box of this bacon for us.  So we’re basically set with bacon for life, or at least for the foreseeable future. Thank goodness for plenty of freezer space!

Creamed Curried Spinach with Bacon Naan | CaliGirlCooking.com

Needless to say, we always have some on hand so I couldn’t help but add a little bit to the naan I was making for this Creamed Curried Spinach. (I must also mention that I was partially inspired by our favorite little spot in Napa, Model Bakery, and the bacon bread that’s regularly part of their daily homemade bread selection.) Let me tell you, the end result is nothing short of spectacular. I adapted the naan recipe from this one I found on Girl Versus Dough, basically just adding in the bacon and using my stovetop griddle instead of the gas grill outside. The end result is a chewy and moist naan that holds up extremely well to the whole dipping and scooping up the creamed spinach process, yet melts in your mouth save for the slight salty crunch of the bacon. Delish.

Creamed Curried Spinach with Bacon Naan | CaliGirlCooking.com

So now that we’ve talked about the bacon naan, I’ve also GOT to tell you about this Creamed Curried Spinach because it is out of this world. First of all, this part of the dish is completely vegan. Do you believe it? Well, if I told you I used my trusty cashew cream as a base I bet you would. Seriously, I don’t think there’s any sort of cream sauce that vegan sub can’t stand up to. So, if you’re vegan, I strongly urge you to give this a shot, and simply find (or make) some sort of substitute for the bacon naan.

Creamed Curried Spinach with Bacon Naan | CaliGirlCooking.com

Okay, back to our Creamed Curried Spinach with Bacon Naan. When making the cashew cream this time around, I simply added a hefty dose of curry powder instead of nutritional yeast. I then stirred it into some wilted onions, garlic, and spinach, and fancied it up with some fresh cherry tomatoes and a dash of red pepper flakes. The result was so creamy and bursting with flavor, I really am giddy with excitement for you to try this.

All glowing reviews aside, I do realize that Creamed Curried Spinach with Bacon Naan is not the most photogenic, but PLEASE do not let that stop you. You will be incredibly sorry if you do. Most Indian food involves dipping into a blurry blend of exotic herbs, spices and sauces without silverware, and this is no exception. Use your bacon naan as your spoon and really get in there and shovel some hefty scoops straight into your mouth. I’m pretty sure once you start eating this you’re not going to be able to stop, so get after it!

Creamed Curried Spinach with Bacon Naan | CaliGirlCooking.com

Creamed Curried Spinach with Bacon Naan | CaliGirlCooking.com
Print
Creamed Curried Spinach with Bacon Naan
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
2 hr 30 mins
 

A vegan, Indian-inspired curried spinach dish is accompanied by homemade naan studded with crunchy, salty bits of bacon. 

Course: Appetizer, Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 4 servings
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
For the bacon naan:
  • 3/4 cup water, bathtub temperature (about 110 degrees Fahrenheit)
  • 3/4 cup milk, bathtub temperature (about 110 degrees Fahrenheit)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 4 pieces cooked bacon, chopped
For the creamed curried spinach:
  • 2 cups raw cashews, soaked in water for at least 4 hours (or up to overnight)
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups filtered water
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 1/2 small sweet yellow onion, diced
  • 1 8-ounce bag fresh spinach
  • 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
Instructions
  1. First, make the naan. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the water, milk, yeast and salt. Next, add the Greek yogurt and honey, then slowly stir in the flour. Before the mixture gets too thick, stir in the chopped bacon and continue stirring until all ingredients are combined and a sticky dough forms. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let sit in a warm place, away from drafts, for about two hours or until doubled in size. 

  2. With lightly floured hands, punch down the dough and divide into six even pieces. (The dough will be quite sticky, so just keep adding enough flour until you can handle it without all of it sticking to your fingers.) 

  3. Heat a griddle over medium heat on the stove. Spray with nonstick spray (I used coconut oil spray from Trader Joe’s.) Using your hands, form each piece of dough into a flat, oval shape that’s about 1/4-inch thick. Place the dough (working in batches) on the griddle and cook for about 3 minutes each side, until it becomes slightly charred and feels like it’s been cooked through. If your naan seems to puff up a lot when it’s cooking on its first side, simply flip it once that side’s done and then press down with the back of a spatula while it’s cooking on its second side. This will help it spread out more and cook more evenly.

  4. Remove cooked naan from griddle and keep in a warm oven until ready to serve.

  5. Next, make the curried cashew cream. Drain the cashews from their soaking water and add to a high-powered blender with the curry powder, ½ teaspoon salt and filtered water. Puree until a creamy sauce forms, adding a tad more water if needed. Measure out two cups of the cashew cream and reserve the rest for another use.

  6. In a large saute pan, melt the coconut oil. Add the garlic and onion and saute until fragrant and translucent, about 3-5 minutes on medium-high heat. Turn the heat down to medium-low and add about 1/3 of the fresh spinach to the pan, stirring until the spinach begins to wilt. Add the tomatoes. Next, add about 1/3 of the curried cashew cream. Continue this process two more times, until you’ve used up all of the spinach and the whole two cups of the curried cashew cream. 

  7. Stir in the lemon juice, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Simmer on low until ready to serve. Serve with bacon naan. No utensils required!

Recipe Notes

The Bacon Naan recipe was adapted from the No-Knead Grilled Naan recipe on Girls Versus Dough.

Creamed Curried Spinach with Bacon Naan | CaliGirlCooking.com