I’m in love with sauces right now. I absolutely get caught up in making the same type of meals often, because it’s what I like, or it’s what’s easy. I think the most common repeats are stirfry and salad haha – sometimes I’ll use rice, sometimes quinoa, different combinations of veg, some roasted, some steamed, some raw, a variety of greens – whatever I’m in the mood for. However, the thing that makes all these meals unique and exciting is the sauce! There are so many possibilities! Here are two that I’ve made lately:
1. Tahini Sauce (from the fabulous cookbook “La Dolce Vegan” by Sarah Kramer). Blend together:
– 1/2 cup shallots
– 2 cloves of garlic
– 1 tbsp dark sesame oil
– 1 tbsp maple syrup
– 1/4 cup lemon juice
– 3 tbsp tamari sauce
– 1/2 cup tahini
– 1/2 cup vegetable stock (I just used water)
– 1/4 cup olive oil
– 1/4 cup oil (e.g. flax, hemp – I used avocado)
It blends to a smooth, creamy consistency. I love it with rice!
2. Kale Pesto <– love this idea
One of those happy moments where I find a good recipe and just happen to have all the ingredients in my kitchen! This is how it’s made:
– 1 bunch kale (I just got a bunch from a farmers market in Kits)
– 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
– rind of 1/2 lemon
– 1/4 cup oil (I used avocado oil)
– 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
– 3/4 cup pecans (ok, I didn’t have pecans, but I used my artistic license and used roasted, unsalted pumpkin for an extra iron boost instead)
– a pinch of good quality sea salt
Once you have all the ingredients measured out, the next step is super easy – throw it in the food processor and voila! On the website that I found this recipe (http://www.rawfoodrecipes.com/recipes/lemony-kale-pesto.html), there was a comment that someone required more oil to get it to a better consistency, but I didn’t find that.
Now, here is the delicious concoction I came up with using these two sauces, which, incidentally, was not a stir fry or salad (I was branching out apparently!). I had frozen vegan spinach ravioli from Karmavore, so I boiled that up, tossed it with Kale Pesto, added some raw heirloom tomatoes (also fresh from the farmers market), put a few dollops of Tahini Sauce on top, garnished with micro greens (also fresh from the farmers market), and pine nuts. Here’s the final product:
My rating: 10/10. Seriously. All the ingredients were fresh and flavourful, and I was super impressed with myself in how it turned out, and how well the two sauces went together! Also, it really makes a difference to me how healthy this meal was – here’s my breakdown:
– high in iron (tahini, kale, pumpkin seeds, micro greens, spinach)
– Kale is high in vitamins K, C, and A and maganese – and the process of grinding it up actually makes me think I ate more of it. It filled up the food processor when leafy, but compacted right down once blended. I probably had half of that bunch in that one dish!
– Microgreens – these are new to me, and I like them already. Microgreens, as I’ve learned, are green vegetables or herbs that are harvested in the sprouting phase. They’re grown in soil, and when harvested at this early age, apparently pack way more punch nutritionally than the full grown version. Microgreens are most commonly harvested from leafy greens such as kale, arugula, beet greens, onions, radish greens, watercress, chard and bok choy and herbs such as cilantro, basil, chervil, parsley and chives. At the farmer’s market, the grower was telling me they had a nutritional analysis done on a few of them, and for one quarter of the quantity, they had double the amount of some of the vitamins and minerals (sorry so vague – he just showed me the chart, and I don’t remember the specifics, other than higher and significant quantities of iron!). Obviously the nutritional properties vary depending on what blend of microgreens it is. I endeavour to get more info on this!
– Tomatoes – another dash of vitamin C to help my body break down all that iron!
– B12 – nutritional yeast is one of the only sources of B12 that I get – so I like that this recipe has it!
This is one for the books – I will be making both the sauces and the dinner again and again!