A Surfeit of Sauces

We, like you, eat food. Sometimes that food needs a little accompaniment to spruce it up. We can’t just eat plain pasta, right? Who does that? Here, then, are three of our favorite healthy vegan sauces/spreads.

Kale Pesto

We used this vegan pesto to top our tofu and chickpea flour pasta the other night, and it was great. Sometimes Hungry Harvest gives us more kale than we know what to do with, and this is a nice healthy way to use up a good little bit of it.


Ingredients:

1 avocado
1 1/2 cup kale, shredded
2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
1 clove garlic
Salt to taste
3 Tbsp olive oil

Directions:

Blitz avocado, kale, nutritional yeast, garlic, and salt in the food processor until well combined. Then drizzle olive oil in very slowly while the food processor is running until it is all incorporated and the texture is, you know, pesto texture.

White Bean Caesar Dip

This dip tastes like you’re eating a bowl of Caesar dressing, which feels super decadent. But it’s vegan and super healthy, so you can do it without the guilt you normally feel when you chug a bottle of Newman’s Own. I mean, wait. I don’t do that. Who does that? Never mind.


Ingredients:

2/3 cup dried white beans (normally I’m all about canned beans to save time, but these were on sale at Target…used canned if you didn’t go crazy and buy 10 bags of dried beans)
2 Tbsp capers
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tsp vegan Worcestershire sauce
2 Tsp nutritional yeast
Salt to taste
Water to reach desired consistency

Directions:

Boil a medium saucepan of water and add the beans. Cook until they are soft. You know what beans are supposed to be like. Drain and place in a food processor. Add capers, olive oil, Worcestershire sauce, nutritional yeast, and salt. Blitz until everything is well combined. Slowly add water and process more, stopping when the dip has your preferred consistency.

Smoky Almond Butter Sauce

Nut butters are the unsung heroes of the healthy vegan sauce game. If I’m going into sauce battle, I want nut butters in my sauce army. Even if we lose the sauce war, we lose it fighting the good healthy fight. This metaphor may have gotten away from me.


Ingredients:

1/2 cup smoked almond butter (if you can’t find smoked almond butter, just put some smoked salt in your regular almond butter)
Juice of one grapefruit
1 Tbsp tamari (or soy sauce)

Directions:

Put all of these things in a food processor. That’s it. Put it on burgers, bowls, salads, whatever you feel like.

Spanish Tortilla with Sunflower Romesco

We like to have nice healthy vegan breakfasts, but our morning schedule usually precludes the possibility during the week. We get up at 4:45 am, get everyone’s bags packed for the day, get the kids dressed and fed, and all of us are out the door by 6:10. It’s a flurry of activity that doesn’t leave any space for a leisurely sit-down breakfast, so we have to either eat on the go or wait until we get to work.

The weekends, then, become breakfast prep time. We often make vegan muffins or scones or things like banana bread, but sometimes we want to mix it up with something healthy and savory. This week that turned out to be a vegan Spanish Tortilla with Romesco Sauce from The First Mess, though you could choose to top it with avocado, hummus, hot sauce, or whatever floats your boat. Each serving is under 200 calories, so adding a few more with a tasty sauce or spread won’t hurt.

Sorry the picture’s not the greatest, the light in my work kitchen isn’t the best. But trust me, this was super healthy and delicious.

Ingredients:

2 Tbsp olive oil of your choice
1/2 medium onion, diced (or a whole one, if you really like onion)
2 potatoes, peeled and sliced thin
1 cup chickpea flour
1 Tsp tamari (or soy sauce)
1 Tbsp nutritional yeast
1 cup water

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400° F. Heat the olive oil on medium and, when hot, put in the onion and potato and cook well, about 20 minutes. In the meantime, in a medium bowl mix the chickpea flour, tamari, nutritional yeast, and water and let sit while the potatoes and onion cook.

After the vegetables are cooked, fold them into the flour mixture. When combined, pour everything into an oven safe pan and bake until everything is set and the top is lightly browned, about 10 minutes.

Makes 6 servings, each curiously satisfying when heated in a work microwave and eaten alone in a cubicle.