Posts in Dips Sauces Spreads
Vegan Tzatziki

In our house, grain bowls generally follow one of two flavor profiles: Southwestern or Mediterranean. When working with the latter, we often crave the cool, herby flavor of a Greek tzatziki. But how could you make tzatziki without yogurt? Cashews to the rescue, my friends. When blended well, they are a perfect creamy substitute for yogurt.

Vegan Tzatziki

Ingredients:

1 cup soaked cashews

1/4 cup water

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons tahini

juice of half lemon

1/4 cup minced cucumber

1 tablespoon fresh dill, chopped

4 mint leaves, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

salt + pepper to taste

Instructions:

1) In a high speed blender, add the cashews, water, olive oil, tahini, lemon juice, and cucumber. Process until smooth.

2) Add the dill, mint, garlic, salt and pepper. Pulse until combined. Store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Recipe adapted from Nom Yourself

Lemon Tahini Dressing

Umami. Ever heard of it? Umami is best described as the savory flavor. Not salty, not sweet, not sour, not bitter. Umami. It’s present when your mouth waters after tasting non-plant-based foods like parmesan cheese, red meat, and many broths and stocks. It is often missing in plant-based food.

But, thankfully, there are a couple umami bombs that we can use to bring some savory flavor to our plant-based life. Tahini and nutritional yeast are both umami bombs, and yes, they are front and center in this dressing. Throw it on salads, roasted veggies, or really, anything!

Lemon Tahini Dressing (vegan)

Ingredients:

2 cloves of garlic

1/4 cup tahini

juice of 3 large lemons

3 tablespoons nutritional yeast

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

salt + pepper, to taste

Instructions:

1) Pulse the garlic in a food processor. Add the remaining ingredients and process until smooth. Store in refrigerator for up to 7 days. Dressing with thicken upon sitting. Stir well before use.

Recipe adapted from Oh She Glows

Cherry Tomato Salsa

Every Arizonan should have a personalized salsa recipe. I mean, it is the ketchup of the southwest. And much like ketchup, store-bought varieties are loaded with sugar. A leading salsa brand has 1g of sugar per tablespoon. Much of this sugar comes from the use of tomato concentrate, both a money saving move and an easy way to please our tastebuds with a subtle sweetness.

The thing is, salsa is so so so easy to make on your own. By doing so, you get to skip the sugar and enjoy the fresh flavors of real food. This recipe uses cherry tomatoes instead of a typical beefsteak or bush tomato. Cherry tomatoes are naturally sweeter than the larger varieties, which means that you get the benefit of sweet flavors to balance out the heat and acidity, without having to add sugar or tomato paste.

By the way, feel free to pass this recipe off as your own. I wont judge ;)

Cherry Tomato Salsa

Ingredients:

1.5 lbs of cherry tomatoes

2 garlic cloves

2 green onions

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

juice of 2 limes

salt + pepper, to taste

Instructions:

1) Mince the garlic and green onions in a food processor.

2) Add remaining ingredients to food processor. Pulse to combine. Stop at desired consistency. Store in refrigerator for up to 7 days.

Cilantro Corn Salsa

What’s your go-to order at Chipotle? Personally—and unsurprisingly—I am a fiend for their fajita-style veggies. But my favorite ingredient to throw into my burrito bowl is the corn salsa. So, I set out to recreate my own version. I gotta say it was a huge success.

Poblano peppers are subtly spicy, and well balanced with the sweetness of yellow corn and the acidity of the lime juice. Cilantro can be a tough one for folks. I’d recommend you give it a try on this dish even if you aren’t a super-fan. There is so much going on, that the flavor doesn’t stand-out on its own, but is noticeably missing if you decide to leave it out.

So, next time you need to spice up your burrito bowl, give this a shot!

Cilantro Corn Salsa

Ingredients:

2 cans of corn, drained

1/4 white onion, diced

1/2 cup cilantro, chopped

juice of 2 limes + 1 lemon

1 poblano pepper

Instructions:

1) Broil a whole poblano pepper lightly coated in oil for 5 minutes each side. Watch carefully.

2) Remove poblano pepper and place in a brown bag. Roll down to seal in heat. Allow to sit for 15 minutes.

3) Remove poblano pepper and remove skin. Be careful as it will be hot. Remove stem, seeds, and flesh on the inside. Chop into a small dice.

4) All all remaining ingredients together. Toss to combine. Store in the refrigerator for up to 6 days.

Vegan Cashew Sour Cream

Honestly, one of the things I miss most in many vegan versions of southwestern cuisine is sour cream. I love the stuff. I always have. The creaminess and slightly tangy flavor tempers the spice-forward, and often hot, flavor profile native to my home state. So, I’ve been searching for a way to bring that to plant-based cooking. Who would have thought cashews could provide the perfect solution? Yet, somehow, someway, this nut provides everything I need to elevate my southwestern inspired meals!

Vegan Cashew Sour Cream

Ingredients:

1 cup soaked cashews

1/2 cup water

juice of half a lemon

pinch of salt

Instructions:

1) Blend all ingredients in a high speed blender (a food processor will not get the desired consistency here!) Add more water if necessary. Store in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.

Butternut Squash Cheezy Pasta

Have you ever taken a bite of something and done a little dance move? Then took another, and danced again. And another bite, another move, repeating this cycle until you’ve both choreographed a full “So You Think You Can Dance” routine and finished the bowl? Just me? Well, take a bite of this dish and then tell me it didn’t make you want to bust a move!

Listen, I’m not a huge squash fan. Its just not my fave. But when fall comes around grocery stores are basically throwing it into your shopping cart. So when I end up with butternut squash, I want to minimize all the nasty, soggy parts that I don’t like about squash, and maximize the semi-sweet, nutty flavor. How do I do this? Puree that bad boy, turn it into a sauce, and dump it over pasta with freshly cracked black pepper.

When butternut squash is pureed, the earthy, nutty flavors really come out to play and you end up with a velvety texture that is oh-so appealing. In this recipe, we throw in a bit of nutritional yeast to give it a cheese-like funk (in the best way), and flavor with some garlic and spices.

This one will be a crowd pleaser. If you serve it to a dinner party, I’ll guarantee the dinner ends in a dance party.

Butternut Squash Cheezy Pasta (vegan)

Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients:

3 cups butternut squash, diced + peeled

3/4 cups soaked cashews

2 cloves garlic

1/4 cup water

2 tablespoons nutritional yeast

2 teaspoons chili powder

2 teaspoons onion powder

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon white vinegar

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 lb uncooked pasta

Instructions:

1) Steam the butternut squash until tender.

2) Blend all ingredients (except pasta) in a high speed blender. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.

3) Heat a large pot of water over high heat. Once boiling, add pasta and cook according to package directions.

4) In a large bowl, dump drained pasta and add butternut squash sauce. Stir to combine. Serve with fresh cracked black pepper on top. Enjoy!

Cashew Dill Dip

Wow! This dip from Veggie Campus is incredible! I am always looking for sauces, dips, dressings, etc to jazz up grain bowls, roasted veggies, or salads! And this dip delivered!! This would also make a great raw veggie dip for kids.

I will be eating this on everything from now on! :) 

Cashew Dill Dip (vegan + gluten free)

Ingredients:

1 cup soaked cashews (soaked in water overnight)

juice from one lemon

1 1/2 tablespoons nutritional yeast

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 clove of garlic

1/2 cup water

1 1/2 tablespoons fresh dill

sea salt

black pepper

 

Instructions:

1) Blend all ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Enjoy!

 

recipe adapted from Veggie Campus

Any Nut Butter

This non-recipe recipe is my new favorite thing to make from scratch. Just like my 'Any Nut Milk' recipe, this one calls for just one ingredient: nuts! 

All you need is 4 cups of nuts, maybe a pinch of salt, and a good food processor! I recommend trying pecan butter, hazelnut butter, and sunflower seed butter, but get creative! Any nut or seed should do!

Any Nut Butter

Just pour 4 cups of nuts into the food processor and blend, blend, blend! Now the thing to remember is to keep blending. You are going to question me on this. But keep blending! You are going to be blending for a very long time. Trust me! First the nuts blend into a flour consistency, but if you keep blending the oils from the nuts eventually create a smooth nut butter consistency.

Any Nut Butter

Ingredients:

4 cups of nuts or seeds

pinch of salt (optional)

Instructions:

1) Pour nuts into food processor and blend.

2) Keep blending until smooth! 

Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.

Any Nut Butter
Tofu + Veggie Green Tacos
Tofu + Veggie Green Tacos

I am always looking for unique ways to pack myself with green vegetables. I love my leafy greens like swiss chard, kale of all varieties and spinach. While these three get much deserved praise for the nutritional punch they provide, it is easy to forget just how amazing good ole romaine lettuce can be. Its always there when you need it, perfectly crisp, and loaded with vitamins and minerals. 

With that in mind, I put together a dish that can be described as a close cousin to lettuce wraps. Meet the 'Green Taco'. Romaine's length makes it the perfect vessel to stuff with goodies and wrap-up nice and tight as you would any old taco. And like a hard-shell, romaine brings an awesome crunch to your bite! Check out the recipe below!

Tofu + Veggie Green Tacos
Tofu + Veggie Green Tacos
print recipe
Tofu + Veggie Green Tacos
Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup frozen corn
  • 1/4 cup frozen shelled edamame
  • 2 small heads broccoli, cut into small florets
  • 1 block tofu, pressed and cubed
  • 12 romaine leaves
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon harissa (or any chili paste)
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup - 1/2 cup water
Instructions
1) Steam frozen corn, frozen edamame and broccoli florets until tender. About 5 minutes over boiling water.2) Saute tofu in teaspoon of sesame oil until browned on all sides. Be sure to stir frequently. 3) Prepare sauce by combining garlic, harissa, peanut butter, sesame oil, rice wine vinegar, and water in a food processor. If too thick add a few tablespoons of water until desired consistency.4) Place tofu and veggies on romaine leaves. Top with sauce. Enjoy!
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 12 tacos
5 Sauces for Every Grain Bowl

Everyone knows that your grain bowl is only as good as your sauce. To take your grain bowl to the next level, I’ve compiled 5 of my go-to sauces!

5 Sauces for Every Grain Bowl

Harissa Mayo

This is quite possibly the easiest recipe. Mix a spoonful of harissa with two spoonfuls vegan mayo and you got this sauce! Dollop on any bowl to provide a little spicy but creamy kick!

Asian Peanut Butter Sauce

Again, hardly a recipe, but so good! Mix 1 tablespoon peanut butter, with 1 tablespoon sesame oil, and 2 tablespoons soy sauce. I like to combine in a small mason jar, close the lid, and shake like crazy to incorporate the peanut butter.

Avocado Garlic Aioli

I’ve posted this one before but it’s a classic! Find the recipe here.

Mustard Sauce

I love love love this mustard sauce! So tangy and bright. Goes great with grain bowls! Find the recipe here.

Lemon Dijon

This sauce is super refreshing and is my current fave! Combine 1 tablespoon dijon, 6 tablespoons olive oil, 1 minced garlic clove, 1 tablespoon vegan mayo, the juice of one lemon, and season with salt and pepper.

Texas Caviar

Ahhh 'Texas Caviar'... Honestly, who even knows the origin of this recipe. When something is so simple, and so delicious, it really doesn't matter. This dish has been at nearly every one of my family gatherings, and it is my go-to for potlucks. Simple to throw together, and uses whole-foods and plant based ingredients. This crowd pleaser comes together in a second. Wherever it ends up, someone is bound to ask for the recipe. Now you can be a potluck hero too!

 

Texas Caviar
print recipe
Texas Caviar
Ingredients
  • 1 can corn
  • 1 can black eyed peas
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 2/3 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 2/3 cup green onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp cumin
Instructions
1) In a small bowl, prepare the dressing. Mix the olive oil, vinegar, garlic, salt, pepper and cumin.2) Place all other ingredients in a large bowl. Toss with the dressing. Enjoy!
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 8 servings
Texas Caviar
Texas Caviar
Non-Dairy Cheez Sauce

This Oh She Glows recipe is a once-a-weeker in our house! Honestly this cheez sauce is to die for! We make it as a pasta sauce, throw it in our bean burritos, and serve it on top of nachos! It is so easy and so yummy!

The best part about this cheez sauce is that it is made from whole food ingredients. It isn't like store-bought fake cheeses with unpronounceable ingredients... it is made from potatoes and carrots! How cool is that!?

Non Dairy Cheez Sauce
print recipe
Non-Dairy Cheez Sauce
Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup raw cashews
  • 1 1/4 cup potatoes, diced and peeled
  • 1/3 cup carrots, diced
  • 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • (optional) hot sauce
Instructions
1) Soak cashews in a bowl of water overnight or for at least 1 hour. Rinse and drain.2) Put the potatoes and carrots in a pot and add water to cover. Bring to a boil over high heat for 15 minutes until fork-tender. Drain.3) Transfer all ingredients to a Vitamix to blend. If it is too thick you can add another splash of water to help it blend. Add more salt and hot sauce to taste. (The sauce will last in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one week)
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 4-6 cups

 

recipe from Oh She Glows

Limey Guacamole

I love a citrus-y guacamole! Made with the juice of the lime, this guacamole is super zingy and bright! 

Eat it with chips, top it on roasted crispy potatoes, add a dollop to black bean tacos, or spread on toast! 

Limey Guacamole
print recipe
Limey Guacamole
Ingredients
  • 5 avocados
  • juice of one lime
  • 1/2 tsp pink salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
Instructions
1) Mash avocados with a fork until desired consistency.2) Add lime juice, salt, pepper, cayenne, and garlic powder.3) Stir to combine!
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 1 cup
Limey Guacamole
Pesto Vegan Mayo

This is another great example of a non-recipe recipe! With hardly any prep work and two ingredients, this pesto mayo is a staple in our house. I made this recipe from Gwyneth Paltrow's cookbook, It's All Good, about 5 years ago and haven't looked back. 

While I almost exclusively use this as a dip to eat with veggies, like Gwyneth suggests, this would make an amazing sandwich spread or topping on roasted vegetables. I recommend making it with my Walnut Basil Pesto here!

Pesto Vegan Mayo
print recipe
Pesto Vegan Mayo
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons Vegan Mayo
  • 1 tablespoon Pesto
Instructions
Stir pesto and mayo together! Use as a dip for veggies, a spread for sandwiches or use it to top your grain bowls!
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 3 tablespoons
Pesto Vegan Mayo
Pesto Vegan Mayo

adapted from It's All Good...