Category Archives: Dressings and Sauces

Peanutty Red Curry Sauce


Doing some Googling while trying to come up with some new ideas for a Thai-loving client, I came across this quick curry sauce from Pinch of Yum. Ho. Ly. Crap. So good. So easy. And you could put it on anything  — not just the obvious stir-fries, but any type of veggies (ooh, like the cauliflower cakes I have yet to post), even some kind of breakfast Benedict. It would be great on chicken and mild fish too, for the meat-eaters of the world.

I made some brown rice and topped it with sautéed tofu and veggies — a little bit of whatever I had in the fridge. In this case, mushrooms, broccoli, red pepper, asparagus, button mushrooms, kale and the leftover zucchini noodles from my daughter’s dinner (which you saw earlier tonight if you follow VegOut on Instagram).

It’s like a perfect marriage between peanut sauce and a classic red curry. I like to eat things pretty saucy, and I would say this recipe made about 4 servings. I’m not a person who likes a lot of repeats with my food, so it’s kind of a big deal for me to say: I feel like I could eat this every day. This one will definitely be going in the rotation. I may just have to keep a jar of it in the refrigerator so I can whip up quick stir-fries throughout the week. The baby loved it too!

OK, here it is. I have to go finish stuffing my face now.

• 1 15 oz. can coconut milk (Original recipe calls for light, but I only had regular at home and it was great).
• 2 Tbsp. peanut butter (I’m sure you could sub almond butter if you need to)
• 2 Tbsp. red curry paste (I did rounded Tbsp. for sure. I can’t leave well enough alone).
• 1 1/2 Tbsp. soy sauce or Bragg’s Liquid Aminos (In the interest of vegetarianism. Original recipe calls for fish sauce).
• 2 Tbsp. lime juice
• 3 Tbsp. brown sugar
• 1 large garlic clove, minced
• water or broth to taste, optional
• 1/3 c. crushed peanuts, plus more for serving if you like
• green onion, sliced, for serving, optional

Pour the coconut milk into a small saucepan over high heat. When it reaches a gentle simmer, add peanut butter, curry paste, soy sauce, lime juice, brown sugar and garlic. Whisk and keep on high heat for 15 minutes or until the sauce has reduced and thickened a bit.

Add the peanuts and simmer for another 5 to 10 minutes. When the sauce coats the back of a spoon you can add a bit of water or broth (I added about 1/2 c.) to adjust consistency depending on how thick you like it. I went ahead and made mine pretty thin since I knew I would ultimately be sopping it up with some rice. If I were serving it as more of a sauce on a piece of tofu or aforementioned cauliflower cake, I would let it reduce a bit and get a little thicker.

If the sauce separates, never fear. Give it a good whisk before serving. Enjoy!

Vegan Hollandaise


Hollandaise sauce has been a bit of a vegan kryptonite for me. I love it. I grew up eating it on asparagus and I’ve been known to eat just that for dinner in the summer when asparagus is at its best. My veg honeymoon (You can read Part 1 HERE. Sadly, Part 2 is yet to be written. Soon!) included a stay at Stanford Inn vegan resort in Mendocino, CA, where I had two amazing vegan meals each day. More than once this included vegan Hollandaise and I decided it was time I find a version I like.

Well, it took two and a half years, but here you go. I’ve been making this version, from Vegetarian Times, for a few weeks now. I’ve made various versions of tofu benedicts and paired it with tofu and capers as part of an entrée. The original recipe calls for 1/2 c. silken tofu, but I triple it, which uses one whole package of it, then use it throughout the week. I’ve got a new addiction and I love that instead of eating butter and egg yolks, it’s tofu and other healthier deliciousness.

• 1 16 oz. package silken tofu
• 6 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
• 3 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
• 1 1/2 tsp. salt
• 3/8 tsp. cayenne pepper (the sauce gets a little spicier as the week goes on!)
• 3/8 tsp. turmeric
• 6 Tbsp. oil (original recipe calls for corn oil, I’ve used olive and grapeseed)

I make it a little differently than the original recipe called for. Puree the tofu until smooth in the food processor. Add the rest of the ingredients except oil and puree, drizzling in the oil as it’s running.

Transfer to a small saucepan and heat over low/simmer until it’s just warmed through and serve. Enjoy!

Wilted Salad with Warm Vegan “Bacon” Dressing

Forgive me father for I have sinned. It has been (gasp) FIVE weeks since my last post. During that time I have gone out of state for Thanksgiving, had two back-to-back craft-fair-filled weekends, finished Christmas orders, Christmas shopped, headed out of town for a family Christmas and baby shower and cleaned out my back office on my one day off (which was more like 3 hours off after a much needed relaxing brunch with my squeeze over at Toast), worked some more, wrapped presents, trimmed a tree, hosted a holiday part.

A few of us managed to gather for a wintery Cooking Club at Karen W.’s new loft downtown last week. I was totally going to phone it in and bring salad fixin’s but decided to do at least a LITTLE better. I feel like I only had it a couple of times, but I remember really loving the warm bacon dressing my mom used to make. Well, she probably still makes it — I just don’t eat it anymore…

Since I was heading straight from work to the store by the time I thought of it, I couldn’t look up mom’s recipe, but found one that sounded similar online. I subbed fake bacon for the bacon and –instead of the bacon fat that usually sits as the base of the dressing — I used olive oil with two little drops of hickory liquid smoke.

I offered hard boiled eggs — as the original recipe includes — and also made a vegan option by soaking a block of firm tofu in water and turmeric overnight, then pressing out the liquid in my tofu press for a crumbly egg-like feel.

I think I pulled it off and I think I’ll be making it a lot this winter. I wonder if my mom would even go for it… I doubled this recipe and it was plenty for six to eight servings.  Here it is!

• Spinach
• 2-3 hard boiled eggs or 1 block extra firm tofu + turmeric
• 1/2 pkg. fake bacon, cooked and crumbled
• 3 Tbsp. olive oil
• Liquid Smoke (hickory)
• 3 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
• 1 tsp. sugar
• 1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
• salt and pepper
• sliced mushrooms (white is the traditional here, I think I went with baby bellas)
• 1 small red onion, cut into thin slices

1. The recipe says to remove stems from the spinach, but I didn’t bother. We did it buffet style so people could add what they like. Make sure it is washed well and dried.

2. Non-vegan version: To boil eggs, place eggs in pan and cover with water until there is about an inch of water above the eggs. Bring to a boil, turn the pan off and leave it, covered, for about 15 minutes. Cool or rinse with cold water until cool. Peel off shell and slice.

Vegan version: Soak tofu in water with a few shakes of turmeric over night. It won’t give it too much flavor but it will be a nice yellow color.

3. Add 3 Tbsp. olive oil or vegetable oil (I went with olive) to a small saucepan and add 2-3 drops liquid smoke. It doesn’t take much! Whisk in vinegar, sugar and mustard. Season with a pinch each salt and pepper.

4. Create salad with spinach, mushrooms, onion, egg or tofu, and bacon. Top with warm dressing and serve immediately.

Easy Italiany Dressing

I just made this easy Italian-type dressing to go on my salad for lunch and it was pretty good! Might try it with a milder oil next time, but I think if it sat in the refrigerator for a bit the flavors would have been perfect. I’ll definitely use this again!

Whisk together:
• 6 Tbsp. olive oil
• 2 Tbsp. white wine vinegar (I added a little extra)
• 1 Tbsp. lemon juice (again, a little splash extra)
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• 2 Tbsp. fresh parsley
• 1 tsp. dried basil, crushed
• pinch dried oregano
• 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes, crushed
• salt and pepper to taste

Miso Dressing

I was throwing together an Asian dinner tonight and had some kale that needed to be used tonight or I would lose it. I decided to grab a tub of miso at the store and whip up some dressing for it. It was delicious. (If I do say so myself!) I’m still learning about all the different types of miso, so I randomly chose mellow white miso. It was great both in the dressing and the soup I made out of it (recipe to come later on that…).

I might thin it out a little next time with some water or a bit more vinegar, but all in all I’d say this was a winner. I think it would work well as a dip for raw veggies or egg rolls too.

In a blender or by hand (which is the option I chose) whisk together the following until smooth.

• 1/4 c. miso paste
• 2 Tbsp. rice vinegar
• 2 Tbsp. sesame oil
• 2 Tbsp. soy sauce  or Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
• 1/2 tsp. fresh minced ginger or 1 tsp. ginger powder
• water as needed to thin out

I steamed a ton of kale (stems removed) using a steamer basket in a large pot for about 10 minutes until it was vibrant green and cooked to my liking. I then drizzled with dressing and sprinkled a bit of black and white sesame seeds on top. I think this would be really good on just about any vegetables — especially the green ones (asparagus, Brussels sprouts, etc.)

Check back tomorrow for the simple miso soup recipe and a bit of info on miso, which is packed with protein, vitamins and minerals!

Vegan Gravy

Gravy. Kind of sounds gross, right? But gravy is soooo good. Or it can be, anyway. I haven’t had gravy since I became vegetarian and for some reason I wanted to finally give it a try to complete my comfort food masterpiece. It was chilly tonight (understatement, perhaps) and I knew we would be heading out to trick-or-treat with the little one, so I thought we needed some good, hearty food.

I made vegan stuffing (I used some help with from the store, with veggie broth and vegan margarine), vegan mashed potatoes (vegan margarine and almond milk) and sautéed together some lentils leftover from last week’s lentil burgers, onions, spinach, baby Portobello mushrooms in olive oil and veg broth. Then I set to making the gravy. This was extremely easy and I couldn’t believe how good it tasted.

I think any meat-eater would have been impressed with this gravy! I think I was a little heavy-handed with the salt, but it was still really good. Though we’re both vegetarian, my squeeze doesn’t like to eat “fake’ meats or anything that smells or tastes like meat (whereas I like a good ol’ fake BLT from time to time…). I had to convince him (which didn’t take long) that it was just a “sauce” — don’t think of it as a meaty thing. Holy delicious. We both loved it.

I didn’t photograph it because, well, gravy isn’t pretty. you know what gravy is supposed to look like. And it will become the right consistency — don’t worry.  I think this would actually be good on biscuits with some fake sausage in the morning, for the record… I used whole wheat flour, so it was very “tan” in color, but if I had used white flour, it would have looked like traditional sausage gravy, I imagine.

OK, here it is!

• 1/2 c. vegetable oil
• 3-6 cloves garlic, finely minced
• 2-3 slices yellow onion, chopped (I went with one small cooking onion, chopped)
• 1/2 c. flour (I went with whole wheat flour)
• 4 tsp. nutritional yeast (I just realized I used 4 Tbsp. — oops! it seems to have turned out just fine though!)
• 4 Tbsp. low sodium soy sauce or Bragg’s Liquid Aminos (I went with the latter)
• 2 c. water
• 1/2 tsp. dried sage
• 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
• 1/2 tsp. salt
• 5 or 6 chopped mushrooms (optional, I went with a handful of baby bellas)
• extra flour or cornstarch to thicken if necessary

1. Add vegetable oil to a small saucepan and heat to medium or medium low. Add onion and garlic and cook for about two minutes until a bit tender or translucent.

2. Add flour, yeast and soy sauce and it will be a thick paste.

3. Add water, little by little stirring/whisking well as you go.

4. Bring to a boil on medium to medium-high heat, stirring constantly, then lower to simmer.

5. Add pepper, sage and mushrooms (if you choose to).

This only makes about 10 minutes to make and I’d make it right before you are ready to serve it. I can’t wait to make this again, and try it on meat-eaters!

Cooking Club: Rutabaga Chips with Curry Mayo

Here was Amy E’s contribution to the most recent cooking club! I ate a ton of these, then made someone take them away from me. Sadly, I didn’t take any pictures, but you can imagine what oven-baked chips looked like right?

Here it goes, in Amy’s words:

• 1 whole rutabaga (it’s a big, ugly, waxy purple root, in case you are not sure what you’re looking for. Also, fun fact: In Europe rutabagas are carved out to make jack-o-lanterns.)
• Salt to taste
• Olive oil
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Peel the skin off the rutabaga (you can do this with a sharp knife). Using a chef’s knife or a mandoline, slice thin, and as evenly as you can. (I found that the chewier chips were a result of one side of the chip being too thick. Also, the chips shrank a LOT in the oven, so feel free to cut big — but not thick — pieces.)
3. In a large bowl, toss with olive oil (I probably used about 2 tsp?) and salt to taste (I used about a tsp). Spread in one layer on a baking sheet and place in the oven. The chips will need about a half-hour, but watch them carefully so they don’t burn. If you notice them browning quickly, flip the chips over and turn down the temperature a bit. I ended up baking them at 350 for about 30 minutes and then turned the heat down to 200, but I had a lot of burnt pieces that I didn’t serve, so be more vigilant than I was.
4. When they are done, take them out of the oven and let cool before serving. Place on paper towels for a while if they are greasy.
These would probably also be delicious and crispier deep-fried.
Curry Mayonnaise (Adapted from Mark Bittman’s recipe for food processor mayonnaise)
• 1 egg
• 2 tsp. brown or dijon mustard
• 1 Tbsp. lemon juice plus 1 tsp. white vinegar
• 1 c. neutral oil (I used canola oil)
• 2 tsp. curry powder
1. Put everything but the oil in the food processor and turn the food processor on.
2. In the little insert that goes in the lid (the “food pusher”) there should be a tiny hole. Pour the oil into the insert while the food processor is running and it will drip into the bowl in a slow, steady stream. Wait until the oil is incorporated, turn off your food processor, and taste. Adjust seasoning and vinegar levels as necessary (that’s why I added the 1 tsp of vinegar).
If you don’t have a food processor, you’ll have to add the oil — slowly and steadily — by hand, but you will be fine.