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Curried Carrots with Mint Cashew Cream Sauce

I was chatting with my best friend Maddie a while back while we were at the Minnesota State Fair--which if you're not familiar with has anything and everything fried on a stick. Maddie has been living in Cyprus (the country, not the city in Texas) for a little over two years, and has learned a lot about local cuisine. While we were discussing the most commonly used spices in the Middle East, we stopped to think about what the United States are known for. What did we come up with? Sugar and salt. The United States uses copious amounts of sugar and salt in our food, both of which are mostly unnecessary. Don't get me wrong, I believe there is a time and place for both, and I love me some dessert, but I don't think they need to be in everything that we eat. When you fall back on using sugar and salt as a safety net, you miss out on all the wonderful spices and herbs you could be tasting.


I try my best to utilize all sorts of spices in my cooking, because I truly believe that they create the food. Have you ever had vegan food? Not the fake meat trying to be real meat, but actually plant-based food? It's some of the best food you can have, because vegan chefs understand how to use flavors to make something outstanding. That's my goal when I play around in the kitchen.


This recipe combines two classic Indian flavors, curry and mint. You get a mild heat from the curry, finished with cool, fresh mint. Bonus: this sauce is dairy-free for all my friends out there that can't do dairy. If you're not lactose-intolerant or vegan, you can make this sauce with plain yogurt instead. Also, this could be a great side to bring with you to Thanksgiving that everyone can (and will want to) eat.


Whether it be in trying this recipe, or just your usual meal prep, I encourage you to try new flavors this week. Skip the salt and reach for something outside of your comfort zone. You may discover a new favorite!


Curried Carrots with Mint Cashew Cream Sauce



Ingredients

  • 1 lb carrots, halved

  • 2 tbsp curry powder

  • 2 tbsp oil

  • 1 cup raw cashews,

  • 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves

  • 1/4-1/2 cup water

  • Juice of 1 lemon

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400F.

  2. Place cashews in a medium bowl, and bring a pot of water to a boil. Once the water is boiling, pour enough to cover the cashews and let them soak.

  3. Toss the halved carrots with the oil and curry powder. Spread evenly in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes, flipping halfway through.

  4. Once you've flipped your carrots, prepare the cashew sauce. Drain the cashews and add to a food processor along with the lemon juice, mint and 1/4 cup water. Process until smooth, adding water as needed to thin it out. You're looking for the consistency of ranch here.

  5. Drizzle the carrots with your cashew sauce and enjoy!

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