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It’s been awhile since I posted a recipe. But today, I decided to go into a food prep frenzy, clear out some stuff that needed eating and make some sauces. These sauces are all gluten-free, oil-free, low-FODMAP, and all you need is a high-powered blender or food processor to make them. Here are the 3 easy vegan sauces I made today.
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Easy Vegan Sauces #1: Walnut-Kale Pesto
- 2 cups of kale, stems removed
- 1/2 cup raw walnuts
- 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1 tsp dried basil
Add all ingredients except water to your blender or food processor and blend until in paste form. Next, add small amounts of water as needed to smooth out.
Why I use nutritional yeast:
As a vegan, I have to supplement my diet with vitamin B12. I could take a pill or eat chemically fortified foods that have B12 in them, but I choose nutritional yeast because of its cheesy, nutty flavor that adds deliciousness to my food. Nutritional yeast is also packed with other vitamins and even some protein. Also, it is not an active yeast like the kind you use to bake bread, so it does not trigger candida or other yeast reactions.
Easy Vegan Sauces #2: Macadamia Nut Paste
As implied by the title, this paste is the base for sauces and not the sauce itself. But you can have it as-is as a cheesy spread, or thin it out to make a sauce. I like to add non-dairy milk and chives to make a pasta sauce, or some water, paprika and chili flakes for a nacho cheese sauce. But it all starts with these basics.
- 1 cup raw macadamia nuts (you can also use cashews (not low-FODMAP) or pine nuts)
- 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp miso paste
- Place nuts in blender or food processor. Blend until they form a paste (will start sticking to the sides). Next, add nutritional yeast, lemon juice and miso paste and blend again.
- Add small amounts of water until paste is fully blended and holds together.
Why I use miso paste:
Miso paste contains soybeans and salt, and is the base for miso soup. It has a rich salty flavor that does well in vegan cheeses. This is one of the few times I add salt to my food, and I only do it because there is evidence that the soy in miso counteracts any harmful effects salt may have in your diet. However, if you want to cut salt altogether and still get a salty flavor, Bragg’s Liquid Aminos will work too (see the bottom of the next recipe for more info about Bragg’s).
Easy Vegan Sauces #3: Turmeric peanut sauce
- 1 cup of PB2 peanut powder
- a dash of cayenne pepper (optional)
- 1 tbsp powdered ginger
- about 1 tsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 2 tbsp lime juice
- 1/4 Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
- 1-2 tbsp of water
Add all ingredients in the blender. Or, you can whisk them together by hand. You may need to add more or less water to get the consistency of sauce you prefer. I use this sauce with tofu, spring rolls and over rice.
Why I use powdered peanut butter instead of real peanut butter:
I don’t know if you’ve read a peanut butter label (or labels for most other nut butters, for that matter), but they usually contain oil. Some of the cheaper ones contain more than one kind of oil. The “natural” peanut butters often use palm oil. First of all, I try to avoid oil when possible. I am of the school of thought that oil is not a nutritional necessity, and anything that clogs my arteries is not something I want to eat regularly. Second, palm oil is supposedly all harvested from rain forests using unsustainable practices–even the “ethically harvested” palm oil. So that leaves oil-free peanut butter, which is hard to find consistently when you’re travelling around as much as we do. I can find the PB2 just about everywhere I go.
Why I add turmeric to peanut sauce:
I try to add turmeric to everything I can. It has anti-inflammatory properties and some Eastern medicine practices even use it as a cancer-fighter. It has a mild, slightly peppery taste that you’ll barely notice, but you will definitely notice its bright yellow color!
Why I use Bragg’s Liquid Aminos:
Soy sauce is a staple ingredient in many Asian dishes that I love to make, but traditional soy sauce has wheat in it and is not gluten-free. Bragg’s Liquid Aminos is also a soy-based sauce that tastes just like it, but without the added gluten. As a bonus, there’s no added salt either!
I also used the rest of my huge bag of kale to make a smoothie with orange juice, frozen pineapple, bananas and an apple. By the way, if you worry about your cholesterol, using psyllium to thicken things like smoothies supposedly helps. I tried it and I bet you’ll never taste it. But the doctor who suggested it to me forgot I told him 5 minutes ago that I am on a whole-foods, plant-based diet–which means I’m on a cholesterol-free diet. I said, “If I’m not eating any cholesterol then will this psyllium make a difference?” He paused for a moment then responded, “I guess not.” =)