spike your veggies

Media noche vegan cuban San Francisco

I’ve been thinking about sauces since talking to Alyssa (from the Live Planted podcast) and listening to Paris To Go’s episode.  Ariana talks about her top vegan condiments/sauces to keep basic ingredients like beans and veggies interesting, which I think is so important.  Sauces tie things together and make a meal feel special and satisfying.  Having a few up your sleeve (and in the fridge) can mean all the difference for making delicious meals on the fly, and making eating a larger volume of fresh whole veggies enjoyable.  Especially if you cook a pot of beans at the beginning of the week, all you have to do is cook some veggies and maybe grains and add it all together for a quick dinner.

For me, texture is also essential.  I keep pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, peanuts, and cashews to toast up in a dry hot pan to add on top of meals.  Seeds are nutritional powerhouses and the crunch is super satisfying.  I also love something sour/pickled with a meal, whether it’s pickled onions, beets, radishes, sauerkraut, or just a huge squeeze of lime/lemon.  With a sprinkle of flaky salt on top, everything tastes out of this world.  Here’s my top sauces right now to keep veggies interesting:

hummus:  not really a SAUCE I guess…but I use it as one.  So versatile, you can thin it out and use it as dressing, toss your pasta in it (HIGHLY recommend this), dollop it on bowls or dip veggies in it. Keep it plain or make it interesting by adding in steamed beets + lime, jalapeños + cilantro, or roasted red peppers or eggplant + harissa.  //basic recipe here//

Hummus pasta fast vegan easy friendly free

hummus tossed with brown rice pasta 

mojo verde:  this herbaceous green sauce is so good spooned on roasted potatoes, with plantains and black beans, stirred into mashed potatoes, tossed with shredded cabbage, carrots and toasted pumpkin seeds for a quick slaw, or even dolloped into a bowl of soup or drizzled in a burrito or on a taco.  //recipe here//

Vegan bowl mojo verde Cuban kabocha squash

mojo verde tossed with roasted kabocha

cashew ricotta:  I’ve been throwing a dollop of this onto my bowls lately, spreading it on sweet potato toast, adding on pasta, and mixing it with pureed steamed cauliflower and chopped sautéed chard to stuff manicotti (or lasagna).  It’s also beautiful dolloped on top of a hot out of the oven pizza.  //recipe here//

cashew ricotta bowl butternut broccoli

cashew ricotta in action with roasted butternut and potato, roasted butternut seeds, broccoli, pickled radish

tahini sauce:  I always have tahini in the fridge and this whips this up in just a minute or two- its creamy, flavorful, and goes great with pretty much anything.  Thin it out to use as salad dressing or drizzle over bowls.  Flavor ideas: add smoked paprika, harissa paste, orange juice and zest, cumin, or get fancy and add maple syrup, nutritional yeast and vinegar to make this sauce for a nice bowl.  //recipe here: I use 1 fresh crushed garlic clove instead of powder//

Tahini bowl quinoa gluten free

peanut:  I especially love this sauce when it’s warm out, on cold noodles and thinly sliced raw veggies, or tossed as a dressing in a big salad.  It’s equally good tossed with warm steamed veggies and tofu or as a pack along dip for raw veggies.  Kids love this one for the familiar flavors, I found the neighbor kids ask me for it and are willing to eat veggies they usually won’t if they can dip in peanut sauce.  //recipe here//

salad

peanut sauce on a chopped salad

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