Veggie bowls top the list of my all-time favorite weekday meals. They’re healthy, delicious, and easy to pull together on a busy day. This veggie bowl combines Sweet Potatoes and Beets with Lemon Garlic Cashew Sauce. Roasting the beets and sweet potatoes caramelizes the sugars and makes them taste simply sinful. You’ll be adding extra color to your veggie bowl by using the beet greens, and topping the whole thing off with avocados. Yum.
About that magical cashew sauce. I have fallen hard for cashew sauce. There’s so much to love. It’s delightfully creamy, easy to make, and takes on the flavor of anything that’s added to it. AND, you won’t believe it’s actually vegan. There are many variations of this delicious vegan sauce on the web. Since I LOVE citrus, I’ve created a version that is deliciously lemony and garlicky. The acid from the lemon pairs well with most vegetables. Try it!
Using the basic sauce without any condiments as a base, it’s easy to get creative with different flavor variations. Give it a try.
Do be sure to give yourself time to soak the cashews for at least an hour before launching into this recipe. The longer the cashews soak, the smoother your sauce will be. Simply place the raw cashews in a bowl and cover them with enough water so all the nuts are submerged by about an inch or more.
The sauce can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator for about a week (the lemon and salt in this version preserves the sauce pretty well, but use your own judgement here). You’re going to just dump all of the cashew sauce ingredients into your blender or food processor and whirl it around until super smooth. I like to make it a little bit on the thin side, but feel free adjust the water a bit to get the consistency you prefer.
Cube the peeled sweet potatoes and beets into small bite-sized pieces so that they cook more quickly (because once you taste the cashew sauce you’ll be tempted to guzzle that stuff down all on its own…better have those veggies cooked sooner rather than later. Trust me on this.) And hey, DON’T BE THROWING AWAY THOSE BEET GREENS! Trim the hard stems off, chop the leaves and sauté them in a little olive oil to serve alongside your root veggies.
When I was making this I noticed I had a perfect avocado. I have a bit of an obsession with avocados. This one was too tempting to ignore, so I cut it up and served it next to the other veggies. OMG. Best decision I ever made. Okay, maybe not THE best decision, but it does rank high up there on my list of “best food-related decisions.” Yes, there’s a list. It’s in my head. A lot of weird stuff happens in there. Please. Don’t. Even. Ask.
So, over time I’ve come to enjoy quinoa. I have to admit, I was lukewarm when I was first introduced to it, and I mostly made myself eat it because I know it’s good for me. The trick for me is pairing it with the right sauce. This Lemon Garlic Cashew Sauce clings to each little tiny quinoa grain so that every spoonful is perfectly delicious. If quinoa isn’t your thing, try another grain, or none at all. The veggies and sauce are great by themselves too.
I hope you enjoy this recipe for Sweet Potatoes and Beets with Lemon Garlic Cashew Sauce. Leave a comment and let me know if you liked it and any tweaks you made. I’d love to hear how you made it your own.
Sweet Potatoes and Beets with Lemon Garlic Cashew Sauce
For the Lemon Garlic Cashew Sauce
- one cup plain raw cashews, pre-soaked for a minimum of one hour (see instructions below)
- 3/4 cup water
- 1 large lemon
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
For the Vegetables
- 3 large beets and their greens
- 2 large sweet potatoes
- 4 tbsp olive oil or avocado oil
- 1 tbsp ground cumin
- salt to taste
- 1 large avocado
- Handful of toasted cashews for garnish optional
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Begin by removing the greens from the beets by cutting them off at the base. Trim and discard the tough stems. Chop the greens and set aside.
- Meanwhile peel the beets and the sweet potatoes and cut them into bite size cubes. Place the sweet potatoes in a bowl and toss with 3 tbsp of the oil. Spread the sweet potatoes on one side of a baking sheet. Do the same with the beets and spread them on the baking sheet next to the sweet potatoes. Sprinkle the ground cumin over the beets and sweet potatoes and salt to taste/preference.
- Place the baking sheet in the preheated oven and cook for about 45 minutes or until the beets are tenter when poked with a fork (the sweet potatoes will cook a little faster, but it's okay if they get a little soft - they will be sweeter and more flavorful too.)
- About 20 minutes before the potatoes and beets are done cooking, begin preparing the quinoa (enough for four servings) per package directions.
- While the quinoa cooks, sauté the beet greens in the remaining 1 tbsp of oil, just until slightly wilted (about 2 minutes). Set aside. Slice up the avocado and set aside.
- For the garnish, take a small handful of cashews and toss them into a small, dry skillet. Turn the burner to medium heat and toss the nuts around until they begin to toast (you will smell them). Watch this step as the nuts can easily burn if unattended. Remove the skillet from the heat when finished and pour the nuts into a bowl.
Lemon Garlic Cashew Sauce
- Place the drained cashews in a high power blender (I use a Blendtec, which I love) or food processor. Add the water, lemon juice and whole cloves of garlic and blend all the ingredients on high until smooth (about 30 seconds). You may want to add a little more water to obtain your preferred consistency. Salt to taste and pulse to combine.
- To serve, place about 1/2 cup of quinoa in a bowl and top with the veggies, arranging them side by side. Drizzle a generous amount of the cashew sauce over the entire bowl. Top with toasted cashews and serve immediately.