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 Post subject: Sauces
PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 11:50 pm 
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Hoards Peppermint Jo-Jos
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Location: New Yawk
I never realized before how important sauces are to a dish. I mean, condiments like ketchup go hand in hand with junk food, and salad dressing is great on salads (quinoa salad, to boot). I just forget sometimes that what can keep you from overeating after a meal is that little boost of flavor and the moisture that a sauce adds to a meal.

My boyfriend is also starting to get into nutritional yeast, which is great, because maybe we can start phasing out Daiya, finally. He is really getting into CTate's queso, and has made it twice in under two weeks. He went straight into being vegan for the second time after we started living together and I cooked for him all the time, and seeing as Daiya had just come out, I was kinda mesmerized by its gooeyness as well. We'd often use it in mac and cheese, on enchiladas, or as a topping. Now, we can get off that Sat. fat laden (albeit delicious) stuff, and get onto the other flavoring components of a dish. With that said, he loves curries, salad dressings, sauces, dipping sauces, etc. Anything to make a meal feel more complete. I, on the other hand, have rarely ever given much credit to sauces seeing as they've usually been very heavy on the oil, something that grosses me out even to this day. Oh, and I've always hated gravy. I realize that might seem unusual.

What are your favorite sauces, and what do you do with them? Salsas probably don't count unless they're pureed. I do make a mean mango salsa/chutney, but that's for another thread, I s'pose.


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 Post subject: Re: Sauces
PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 11:57 pm 
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Hoards Peppermint Jo-Jos
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Can a mod move this? For some silly reason I put this in this forum, instead of the Kitchen.


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 Post subject: Re: Sauces
PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 5:41 am 
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Huffs Nutritional Yeast
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Surely if a salsa doesn't count as a sauce it's not a salsa? Unless, of course, it's a dance?


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 Post subject: Re: Sauces
PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 8:57 am 
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I love nut or seed based sauces that are versatile, such as the Red Hot Tahini from the blog. I could always throw peanut sauce on noodles or a salad, or even a wrap. Also, since I am obsessed with hummus, sometimes it's fun to use that as a sauce on stuff.

Barbecue sauce is also a household fave over here. Just made BBQ Tofu Pizza last night and it was wonderful.


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 Post subject: Re: Sauces
PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 9:19 am 
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Trapped On A Desert Island With A Cow
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I looooooooooooove sauces; pretty much make some kind of sauce for everything I cook. Ever since I finally got a Vitamix last year it has made making sauces so much easier because you can use less or no fat and just blend the heck out of the ingredients to get a really smooth, velvet texture and then slowly heat it in a pan or blend til hot if you want.

Lately I've really been getting into tahini sauces because they just add such a pretty umami flavor to dishes. When I don't cook from a cookbook we eat a lot of 'bowl' style meals--some kind of grain/pasta, loads of sauteed veggies and greens, then something like beans, tofu, tempeh, soy curls, etc. and all topped with a sauce. Makes an easy weeknight meal and helps use up leftover food. Appetite for Reduction has tons of fun bowl ideas if you want specific recipes for them.

Some of my favorite sauces are lemon tahini, alfredo, wine & garlic, marsala, mushroom, peanut...

I know you said you don't like gravy but I am a huge fan and vitamixing makes the BEST gravy!!!


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 Post subject: Re: Sauces
PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 9:34 am 
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Drunk Dialed Ian MacKaye
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My favorite so far, and I'll probably never be able to replicate it again because I was kinda winging it, was made by smoking roma tomatoes, onions, and garlic cloves over oak shavings, pureeing the lot in the food processor with salt, a little sugar, and a ton of balsamic, and reducing until well thickened.

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 Post subject: Re: Sauces
PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 9:35 am 
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Also, regular old balsamic reductions are handy.

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 Post subject: Re: Sauces
PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 10:34 am 
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Salsa IS in fact the spanish word for "sauce". Just thought I'd throw that out there, but yeah most people think of it as a dip. My favorite sauce is probably going to be the spicy peanut sauce. In my family growing up we often had an Indonesian peanut/coconut sauce called "katjang". Creamy and delicious! Lately I've been messing around with yakisoba sauce. The store-bought stuff is not suitable for vegans because it oftens contains fish stuffs. Mark Bittman posted his recipe somewhere and I just did that w/ vegan worchetershire sauce instead of the fishy stuff. Love me some yakisoba!

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 Post subject: Re: Sauces
PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 11:53 am 
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My 3 favorite sauces: Isa's Red Hot Tahini, the mustard sauce from VCON, and Yellow Rose Recipes nacho sauce.

I have 2 of those 3 recipes memorized, that's how tasty they are.

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 Post subject: Re: Sauces
PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 12:47 pm 
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In addition to what others are saying about peanut, tahini garlic and BBQ and whatnot, I like making (ditto for the Vita-mix love here) Thai curry sauces from scratch and keeping it jarred for rice and noodle dishes. You use less than say, if you made a curry with vegetables in it, and you don't have any soggy leftover issues.

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 Post subject: Re: Sauces
PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 1:16 pm 
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Hoards Peppermint Jo-Jos
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JD, can I get a recipe for the Thai curry sauce? I like the way Thai curries taste, but I've never made any of my own.

My boyfriend would be down with any of these ideas, especially red hot tahini. Me, I hate tahini, hummus, and gravy. My tastes throw a wrench in this plan to be more ... saucy. It's a strong word, hate, but I can't understand them. I've tried. Gravy on the other hand I think will forever be the line in the sand for me.

However, my brother just went vegetarian, and his favorite thing was canned gravy with egg noodles, so I think I might try recreating a vegan version for him. I guess it's like stroganoff, but with shortcuts. A gravy/stroganoff sauce would be in order, methinks. Sauce making is its own profession in a kitchen. An esteemed saucier I am not.


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 Post subject: Re: Sauces
PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 1:39 pm 
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I've never been much of a sauce/dressing/gravy person myself. It always seems too much work to make yet another dish for dinner. I only make it for special occasions. Having said that, I agree with hopshackgirl, since I've had a vitamix I make sauces much more often than before (which was basically only a couple of times a year).
For gravy I love the gravy in Dreena's book eat drink and be vegan (I think that's the name, it's the green book).
I recently got her "let them eat vegan" and there is an extensive sauces and dressings chapter. My favourite are chipotle pumpkin (eating it right now), avocado chipotle and rosemary gravy. I don't like oily sauces either and leave the oil out in all of the recipes and they taste just fine, except for the rosemary gravy, it's essential there. While I loved the flavour of that gravy, and omni hubby said it tastes very "meaty", it is very "heavy" for me due to the oil and definitely for special occasions only.


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 Post subject: Re: Sauces
PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 1:46 pm 
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I definitely agree that sauces make a recipe more satisfying, and I would like to make a resolution right now to make some more sauces.

My favorites: Red Hot Tahini (new favorite); Basil Pesto (classic); and a Spicy, Coconut-y, Peanut Sauce that I think might be Mark Bittman recipe. Also, I suppose this is more of a topping than a sauce, but the Pinenut/Lime Crema from V'Con/VV is so good on top of just about any baked dish, or dolloped on tacos, chilis, or anything!

I've always looked at the V'con mustard sauce, but never made it. Now I think I better try it!


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 Post subject: Re: Sauces
PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 1:50 pm 
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fauxfrancais wrote:
JD, can I get a recipe for the Thai curry sauce? I like the way Thai curries taste, but I've never made any of my own.


Sure thing. This is a spicy, sour green curry.

Heartichoke's Green Curry

2 jalapeno peppers
2-6 Thai green chilies, depending on your heat preference
¼ cup diced shallot
3 cloves of garlic
2 tablespoons of sliced, fresh galangal (or ginger)
¼ cup peeled, fresh ginger
1 tablespoon of fresh kaffir lime leaf
1 tablespoon of peeled, fresh lemongrass
2 tablespoons of white miso
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon tamari
1 tablespoon veg fish sauce
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon of palm or brown sugar
1 can of coconut milk
handful fresh mint
handful Thai basil

Puree in high-powered blender (if not, strain before simmering.).
Adjust seasonings, as desired.
Bring to a boil in a saucepan, and then simmer on the stove for 20 minutes, covered, on low. Stir often.
Serve with baked tofu, vegetables, rice, etc., for your own deconstructed curry, or simply add to quickly stir-fried vegetables for something more traditional. Use any extra sauce as a marinade for tofu or tempeh.

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 Post subject: Re: Sauces
PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 1:57 pm 
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I really love the chickpea gravy in AFR, and if you think you could attempt gravy, that might be worth it.

I am totally enamored of the dressings in AFR, and I will use the goddess dressing on pretty much anything!

I also love the pantry BBQ sauce on the PPKblog. I use it so often because it's quick and delicious!

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 Post subject: Re: Sauces
PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 6:04 pm 
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We eat the peanut sauce from VWAV a lot. It makes a lot, so you can keep some in a jar in the fridge. I also like just mixing stuff together in the magic bullet - last night I did mori nu tofu, avocado, apple cider vinegar, nooch, cumin, and sriracha. Yum!


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 Post subject: Re: Sauces
PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 6:08 pm 
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I love romesco sauces and pestos. Also, thinned out tahini-hummus dressings on couscous wraps.

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 Post subject: Re: Sauces
PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 6:24 pm 
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Romesco sauce is probably my favorite! It's so good. Roasted hazelnuts or almonds, roasted red peppers, roasted tomatoes, garlic, red wine vinegar, olive oil; blend or food process depending on what you have or what texture you like. It's not too oily at all, and you can always replace the olive oil with vegetable broth or leave it out altogether, it's still tasty. There's a recipe in Veganomicon for chickpea romesco that I would eat every day.

I also use a lot of cashew crema a la Viva Vegan! It's good on tacos, enchiladas, posole - and, less conventionally, pizza.

Pesto is another one that's flexible and you can control the amount of oil - I use half if I'm trying to cut down on it. You can use any kind of nut, too, for different tastes and also for not spending a million dollars on pinenuts. I like walnut and pepitas.

I'm also a big fan of tahini. There's a tahini recipe in AFR for tahini dressing, I think, that's really good.


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 Post subject: Re: Sauces
PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 6:29 pm 
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I would really like to try to make a mole sauce, but for some reason I am scared. Someone talk me through it?


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 Post subject: Re: Sauces
PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 6:51 pm 
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I'm the opposite of you-- I would eat sauce with a spoon if I could!

I love to roast tomatoes with some salt and sugar and mix them with blended cashews and fresh basil. I always have the sauce over pasta, but I can see it being good over roasted veggies or any kind of protein.

I agree with others that have suggested peanut and tahini sauces--my go-to "recipe" is peanut butter and/or tahini+water+soy+sriracha to taste

Soy, rice wine vinegar, and sesame oil make a great dipping sauce, which can be stretched out with some vegetable broth or water and thickened with cornstarch for a stir-fry. (And of course you can add hot sauce or sriracha to make it spicy)

If you have access to canned curry paste, than you can literally just mix a couple spoons of curry with some coconut milk, simmer, splash it with soy or vegan fish sauce, and voila.

Or, for an easy "cheesy" sauce, melt some Earth Balance and stir in some flour, milk of your choice, a ton of nutritional yeast, a touch of mustard if you want it to be sharp, and salt to taste. If you want to keep it fat free, you could skip the margarine, thicken the broth and/or milk with cornstarch, then stir in the yeast and seasonings. You can use this recipe as a base, omit the mustard, then mix in any kind of spice mix (curry powder, cajun seasoning. chile powder or chipotle sauce, etc.) you like.


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 Post subject: Re: Sauces
PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 7:58 pm 
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Loomi wrote:
Surely if a salsa doesn't count as a sauce it's not a salsa? Unless, of course, it's a dance?


I'm so sad I can't find the Manchurian Mamba scene from Without A Clue in English now.

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=hznXgsWpmAI

Edited because I am awesome and don't know how to embed a video.


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 Post subject: Re: Sauces
PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 8:38 pm 
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Jo Stepaniak has a really old book out called "The Saucy Vegetarian" (really vegan). I used to use it a lot and now that I remember it, will have to go back and take a look! She got me started using ume plum vinegar, which is a key ingredient in the tahini and peanut sauces I make.
http://www.amazon.com/Saucy-Vegetarian- ... 1570670919

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 Post subject: Re: Sauces
PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 7:23 pm 
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Hoards Peppermint Jo-Jos
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I really want pasta with romesco sauce now. That and some thai curry vegetables over rice. I like these suggestions alot!

I reserve that chickpeas belong in blondies, not in sauces. I may be alone on that.


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