Thursday, April 7, 2011

Post-Kid Kitchen: Awesome Sauce

I've been making a concerted effort to eat more leafy green things lately. I love kale, cabbage, spinach, and Swiss chard, but I often forget about them - probably because I tend to serve them plain. Steamed, with a little salt, maybe some pepper. In other words, boring stuff. Sauce to the rescue!

It turns out that serving greens under or in a simple sauce not only makes them that much more delicious, but can also make them seem more meal-like. This making-veggies-into-a-meal has been especially important for me lately, as I've been trying to limit the amount of grain I eat.

The wonderful thing about sauces is that they're often better when kept very simple. This creamy red lentil sauce comes together almost instantly once your lentils are cooked, and uses ingredients you probably have on hand.

Red Lentil Awesome

Red Lentil Awesome Sauce
Serves 4

1 cup red lentils
3 cups water
2 Tbsp tahini
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt

Cook lentils in water for 20 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and blend (an immersion blender is ideal here). That's it! Done! Pour over some steamed kale and green cabbage and call it lunch.

* * *
I'm a sucker for anything "Florentine." "Florentine" is fun to say, and it just sounds delicious. Plain quinoa? Fine, sure. Quinoa Florentine? Ooh, yes please!

I love this sauce over just about anything savory. It's perfect for pasta or tofu, or pasta and tofu, but it also stands up really well to white beans and brown rice. I used a brown-and-wild rice blend for the supper pictured below.

Speaking of tofu, I've tried reintroducing some soy into my diet, and so far, things seem to be going pretty well. But that's another discussion for another time.

Mushroom Awesome
This sauce is a little on the thin side, and tends to disappear into rice,
but I assure you it's there - and it's delicious.

Awesome Sauce Florentine
Serves 4

2 tsp olive oil
1 large onion, diced
8 oz cremini mushrooms, sliced
6 cloves of garlic, minced or pressed
10 oz fresh spinach
1 cup plain, unsweetened rice milk
1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp (that's one heaping 1/4 cup) nutritional yeast
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp salt

I make this sauce in a big electric wok, because it gives the ingredients lots of room, even with the lid on. A large saute pan or even a pasta pot works well, too.

Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Saute the onion for about 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook a few minutes more, stirring frequently. When the mushrooms have begun to soften, add garlic and cook a couple more minutes. Add the spinach, lower the heat to low, and cover for 5 minutes. When the spinach is good and steamed, stir in remaining ingredients and simmer about 5 minutes more. Serve over protein and/or starch of your choice. (Chickpeas! Tempeh! Baked potatoes!)



Anonymous said...

Yum! Looks delicious, can't wait to try.

candace said...

I love sauce and I love greens but for some reason I never put the two together. Well done! I will make and I will love!