A Delicious Gluten and Dairy Free Side Dish
These Creamy Peas and Leeks are velvety smooth with a slight cheesy, nutmeg taste. So quick and easy to whip up in your blender and a stove top charm ready in minutes. This is a beautiful side dish that complements without over powering so many other foods. Whip this up on the Holidays or for everyday dinners for that extra side that everyone will enjoy. This recipe makes 6 side servings.
A Little History On Creamed Peas
So many foods have come by trade to the Americas and peas being one of them. They originally made their way here by ships from Africa coming through the Caribbean Islands. These little legumes originated in Western Africa some 6,000 years ago. They were first recorded in 1675 in Jamaica. I bet with the spices there they had some very good recipes.
With trade routes going to so many parts of the world peas became a common dried legume to help people get through the winters. They took hours to rehydrate, but they were the staple diet for famine in the Middle Ages. They were rich in vitamin A, C, K, potassium, magnesium, and calcium and one of the best sources of plant-based protein and loaded with fiber.
Today we have frozen and fresh to pick from nearly year round. How fortunate we’ve become. Creamed pea recipes have been added to and recreated throughout time as a family favorite Holiday recipe. People add pearl onions, scallions, leeks, potatoes, carrots, salmon, tuna and beef, to list just a few.
This recipe I’m making for you today plays with recreating the sauce. Normally the sauce is made with cream and flour, but today we are using cashews and nutritional yeast to make it a little creamy cheesy, nutmeg, lemon juice, onion salt, garlic powder, black pepper, dijon mustard, vegan butter and fresh thyme. Theres nothing wrong with a little change and I think you are really going to love this Cream Peas and Leeks.
How To Clean Leeks
Leeks have never been a favorite of mine to clean. There are two ways to clean leeks. One way is to take all the layers of the leeks apart and wash them separately and then chop them. This works well for seeing where the meat of the leek flesh begins and end, because this helps you see the tender part of the leek. As you get higher on the stem of the tube of the leek it gets harder and less appealing to cook in your recipes.
The second way is to slice the leeks in quarter inch thick slices like little coins with a knife. (I use Ninja Knife) Separate the layers with your fingers. Put them in a large bowl of water. Let them soak for 15 minutes because all the dirt inside the rings will fall to the bottom of the bowl. I rinse the leeks out after they soak. I wash them around with my hands to make sure all the soil and dirt have fallen off. I rinse them a second time. Then your leeks are ready to cook.
How To Make Creamy Peas and Leeks
This dish looks like a labor intensive job but it is not. Although, for those who don’t know how to make these Creamy Peas and Leeks it looks as if you worked hard on it. This makes for a nice quick add on for a side when the main course was a lot of work.
First, make sure to soak your cashews over night before creating this recipe. Or, you can soak them in hot water for about an hour before making the cream. This is very important so as to not have little chunks of nuts in the sauce. The soaking makes them very creamy.
Second, heat a large skillet on medium heat.(I use American made Lodge Cast Iron Skillets when you want to keep it in the oven to stay warm) Add the cleaned sliced leeks and let them wilt down for a couple of minutes. Add the vegan butter and unthawed frozen or fresh peas. Cook for about 3 minutes. Turn off the heat and set aside.
In a high speed blender (I like to use my Ninja BL770 Mega Kitchen System) cream together all the rest of the ingredients. Blend until very smooth and creamy. It should take a couple of minutes. Add the blended sauce to the large skillet and let cook down for about 10 minutes or until you like the tenderness of the peas. I like harder peas so I only cook mine for about 8 to 9 minutes, it might take you longer.
Variations of Making Creamy Peas and Leeks
When I make this recipe I try to think about what main dish I will be serving it with. When I do I consider how much nutritional yeast I put in it. The more nutritional yeast you put in it the cheesier it will taste (but it will also get thicker faster when cooking). I find that it has to have a little more zip for it to have this cheesy flavor so I add a little Yondu Vegetable Umami, soy sauce or Bragg’s Liquid Aminos to it. If the main course is a little mild I will add more nutmeg to the original recipe below. If you want it a little spicy add more black pepper or hot pepper flakes.
I love this dish of Cream Peas and Leeks for the Holidays. I hope you like it as well. Enjoy!
More Recipes You May Like:Print
This gluten and dairy free Creamy Peas and Leeks is so velvety smooth and delicious. The cream is made with soaked whipped cashews, nutritional yeast, Dijon mustard, garlic powder, onion salt, black pepper, nutmeg, lemon juice and fresh thyme. This is a very complementary side dish to many main courses. Kick the sauce up or down with adding the variations I mention above to par nicely with your meal. Perfect easy add on side dish for your Holiday meals. Make 6 side servings.
1 Cutting board
1 Sharp knife
1 Large bowl
1 Large skillet
1 Stirring spoon
1 Set of measuring cups
1 Set of measuring spoons
1 Serving dish
- 2 Large Leeks, sliced
- 3 Tbsp Vegan Butter, for plant-based recipe just leave out the butter
- 1/2 tsp Onion Salt
- 1 lb Frozen or Fresh Peas
- 3 sprigs Fresh Thyme or Dill
- 1 cup Raw Cashews, soaked in hot water for an hour or over night
- 1 3/4 cups Filtered Water
- 1/2 juice Of Fresh Lemon
- 1/4 cup Nutritional Yeast
- 1 tsp Onion Salt, add more if needed
- 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
- 1/8 plus 2 dashes Ground Nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp Ground Black Pepper, add more if desired
- 1 1/2 tsp Dijon Mustard
Soak cashews in hot water for 1 hour or soak them in water over night.
In a large skillet with high sides on medium heat add the cleaned sliced leeks. (Look for how to clean leeks in the instructions up above) Sauté the leeks until wilted. Add the vegan butter, ½ teaspoon of onion salt and peas. Sauté for 3 minutes. Turn of the heat and set aside.
Add the pre-soaked cashews to the high speed blender ( I like to use the Ninja BL770 Mega Kitchen System) with water, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, onion salt, garlic powder, nutmeg, dijon mustard. Blend on high speed for about 4 to 5 minutes. Stop every couple of minutes to clean sides and cream off of cover and blend again. Blend until creamy. It will be watery but that is ok. It will thicken when heated.
Pour the blender mixture into the skillet leeks and peas and cook on medium to medium low heat for 8 to 10 minutes. You may have to cook it longer depending on how soft you want the peas to be. ( If it is getting too thick add a tablespoon of water and turn down heat)
Transfer to a serving dish. Top with fresh thyme or if using dill in the recipe top with fresh dill for garnish.
This Creamy Peas and Leek recipe is good for up to 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator in a closed tight container with a lid.
Keywords: Christmas, Holiday, New Years Eve, side dish, St.Patrick’s, Thanksgiving