You guys definitely challenged me with your submissions yesterday!!
Thank you so much for sharing what random ingredients you had in your fridge and pantry. I came up with some pretty great solutions.
A testament the power really is in the sauce :0)
QUICK RECAP: 1) I’m sharing with you my “secret ingredient” to writing recipes and making instant meals from whatever I’ve got: SAUCES. In post #1 I explained how a simple sauce can turn a bunch of random ingredients into a real, satisfying meal. I also showed you how all the best cuisines (i.e. French, Italian) use sauces as a defining characteristic. In post #2 I gave you BASIC MEAL FORMULA (starch + protein + vegetable + sauce) with 10 super simple examples of it in use so you see exactly how it works (woot!) and why sauces are transformative. I’m also giving you five more examples today from your submissions plus my MOTHERLOAD universal sauce recipe that goes with everrrrything.
This is a great opportunity for you to learn “how I do it” and start pulling meals together on your own from whatever you have on hand.
As promised (!!)
This is my MOTHERLOAD “universal” it-goes-with-everything sauce. I usually serve this sauce as a cold salad dressing but I have also used it as a “gravy” (lightly heat it on the stove) for steamed veggies and I’ve mixed it with cooked rice and vegetables for a baked casserole. It’s even magical over a baked potato with peas.
FYI--my omni friends like this sauce so much they practically drink it.
Mmmmm Mmmm Sauce (makes about ⅓ cup)
- ¼ cup cold water
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast
- 1-2 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp pure maple syrup
- Juice of ½ lemon
- 1 tbsp miso paste
Combine all ingredients in a blender and whiz until well combined. Chill until serving (it thickens up a bit and gets better with age).
Add more miso for a miso-flavored (Asian-inspired) option, more lemon juice (or lemon zest) for a lemony sauce, more Dijon for a tangier variation or vinegar for a punch. You can also substitute tahini (or a nut butter) for the miso and a whole new flavor profile is ready for you to play with. Additionally, you can slightly alter this dressing by adding 1-2 tsp curry powder, 1-2 tsp dried dill (or fresh), toasted sesame seeds, tomato paste, smoked paprika, or any other herbs and spices you like.
When quadrupling this recipe, I add a can of chickpeas or navy beans. Now you’ve got enough to party!!
It really is the MOTHERLOAD sauce :)
As delicious as it is though, my family does tire of it (and barbecue sauce, and marinara, and teriyaki, and all the other simple sauce examples I suggested yesterday).
This is why I have a list of 122 sauces
and 69 oil-free salad dressing recipes
that I call upon to bring my meals together, especially when I haven’t been to the store in a while.
Without that list, I couldn’t write recipes or pull meals together out of my butternut at 6pm. That list/compilation of sauce recipe is my end-all-be-all-food-bible.
I’ve written close to 5,000 recipes at this point in my career and I’m still shocked at how a quick whisk-it-together sauce transforms “random ingredients” into a real, satisfying MEAL.
I could eat beans and rice with a side of broccoli or kale, sure. I get that “food is fuel” and that those healthy things are a meal… but anytime I do that, it feels like I’m missing something…
... Before I know it my head is in the fridge or pantry looking for that missing thing.
WHEN I USE A SAUCE? That doesn’t happen.
If you can relate, I encourage you to start using more sauces and dressings. Take my suggestions, examples, the Mmm Mmm motherload sauce recipe above, and run with them.
The basic meal formula makes it so easy. Plug and play!
If you’re ready for more, or you’ve been thinking,
“I want your list/compilation of oil-free sauces and dressings Lindsay”
I’ve got great news for you.
You’ll have an opportunity to get all of my sauces and dressing recipes tomorrow.
Look for this email because it is a limited offer.
I’m so glad I got to share my knowledge and love of sauces with you! It lights me up to know that you’ve found my meal formula helpful.
Speaking of that, here are the five more examples of the formula. (Thanks again to everyone who submitted their list of random ingredients yesterday)
1. “Bowtie macaroni, lentils, and Brussels sprouts”
Three good options: Toss all of them with balsamic vinegar or a balsamic vinaigrette (add Dijon for a twist) or with marinara. If you like spicy, mix Sriracha into vegan mayo or yogurt and toss to coast everything for a chilled or slightly warm salad. I recommend roasting the Brussel sprouts if you can.
2. “Farro, kidney beans, half a green bell pepper, some celery”
Sounds like a Cajun meal! Saute veg, Add Creole Red Pepper Gravy.
3. “Spaghetti, canned green beans, canned carrots.”
I’ve got just the gravy! Dijon Gravy (⅔ cup water, 2T nutritional yeast, 1-2T Dijon, 1-3 tsp Italian seasoning, 1 tsp miso (optional), 2 tsp cornstarch. Whisk together heat over low). Toss canned vegetables in with pasta 1 minute before it’s done to warm. Drain, toss with gravy for a sauce, adding soy or almond milk to thin if desired.
4. “Udon noodles, tofu, frozen pea-carrot medly.”
That’s definitely a job for Pad Thai Peanut Sauce.
5. “Quinoa, black beans, bananas”
Oooh! I get to share one of my secret gems! Have a Belize-inspired meal with my Lime Dressing (3T veg broth, 1-3T white vinegar, juice 1-2 limes, 1-2 tsp maple, ¼ tsp garlic powder and chili powder (or hot sauce), few dashes of cumin, whisk, chill). If you have frozen mango, you could go simpler with my Mango Lime Dressing (blend together 1 cup mango, juice ½ lime, dash ground ginger, Sriracha or other hot sauce if desired).
6. “Pls tell me how to use chipotle hot sauce. I have most beans, hummus, bread, tortillas, salad, frozen corn, rice, pasta, quinoa.”
That hot sauce is used an a substitute for the paprika and chipotle powder in my Smoky Chipotle Dressing! (1/4c vegan mayo or hummus, ⅛ tsp liquid smoke, dash of smoked paprika, very light dash chipotle powder). Spread on a wrap and add black beans, spinach or salad mix, and tomatoes if you have them).
7. “Do you have any recipe that uses apricot preserves?”
Sure do! My Instant Sweet and Sour Sauce (¼ c apple cider vinegar, 2 tbsp apricot jam or preserves, dash garlic powder, hot sauce (optional). Toss over roasted cauliflower and shelled edamame or baked cubed tofu. Serve over rice.
If you’re wondering how I knew what sauce to pair with each…
Or you’ve been thinking...
“Your compilation of sauces and oil-free dressing recipes would be great Lindsay, except I don’t know what flavors go with what.”
You will really love what’s coming next.
With each sauce or dressing, I’ve included EXACTLY what beans, lentils (or tofu), vegetables, and grains go well with it, making my Basic Meal Formula foolproof.
Imagine finding a can of kidney beans, looking to see what sauces go with kidney beans, and then getting vegetable and grain suggestions for a full meal to go with it. MAGICAL!!!
A few people have asked if I use oil (I don’t) or weird ingredients like pomegranate molasses (I don’t x2).
I created all of these sauces and dressings out of staple ingredients you have on hand such as herbs, spices, vinegar, almond or soy milk, hot sauce, soy sauce, mustard, etc.
This means you will always have p-l-e-n-t-y of options. They’re also super easy, just whisk together and go!
If you’re ready to transform ordinary ingredients into extraordinary meals…
If you want to be more satisfied at meal time and not looking for that “something else” after…
If you’d like to cook more intuitively and with ease....
And if “minimalist meals” that work sounds perfect right about now…
Don’t miss tomorrow’s email!!!
You will have the opportunity to get my new cookbook, Happy Herbivore Gets Saucy, 191 Oil-Free Vegan Sauces and Salad Dressings, early at a discounted price.
This is your chance to get all of the sauce recipes and dressing recipes I use to write recipes and make meals, plus a list what foods they go with so you can always use the meal formula to make an amazing meal with canned beans, frozen rice, and veggies you’ve got.
If you want my “secret ingredient” a.k.a. my tried-and-true (191!) sauces and dressings, you need to read tomorrow’s email.
Look for this email because it’s a limited offer.
Lastly, I’m so proud of you for seizing this opportunity to learn how to create “minimalist” meals effortlessly and cook more intuitively.
Anytime someone cooks for themselves I feel like we’re winning the war against the evil processed food industry.