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Food and Recipe of the Month

May - Vegan Sauces

When creating sauces to go over pasta, brown rice, millet, or other whole grains, you want to avoid using heavy creams, dairy, or high saturated fat ingredients. Probably the sauces most people are familiar with are sauces they grew up with consisting of heavy dairy or cheese as the main ingredient. Let's look at creating healthy version of sauces that you can make and enjoy.

Some substitutes to create the creamy texture of a sauce are; cooked rolled oats, Mochi (pounded sweet brown rice), cooked sweet potato, cooked butternut squash, and vegan milk beverages. Using a food processor to puree cooked soft vegetables is key to creating a smooth sauce. Root vegetables and sweet potato are two vegetables I use often to create sauces. Make sure to peel the sweet potato before cooking and pureeing when making sauces.

Mushrooms can create a nice vegan sauce also. Mushrooms have a high water content which can help create a good sauce. Mushrooms are full of flavor and that flavor is even better when pureed with a little dark miso for flavoring. The following recipe is how to make a sweet potato sauce.

Recipe of the month:

Sweet Potato Sauce over Brown Rice and Vegetables

3 cups sweet potato (peeled and cut up)
1 onion (chopped)
2 cups water
1 T. dark miso
1 T. tahini
1 tsp. sea salt
3 T. cooking water

2 cups cooked brown rice
1/2 head cauliflower (cut up)
1 yellow summer squash (cut up)
1 zucchini (cut up)
1 tsp. sea salt

Put the 3 cups sweet potato, chopped onion. and 2 cups water in a pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, simmer for 15 minutes. Drain the pot, saving the cooking water. Put in a food processor the cooked vegetables, and rest of the sauce ingredients. Puree until smooth.

Put the 1/2 head cauliflower in a pot. Add some of the cooking water, just enough to cover the bottom of pot. Turn on high heat, cover and steam the cauliflower for 5 minutes until fork tender. Add the chopped squash and zucchini. Cover and continue steaming for a couple more minutes. (If water has evaporated, add a little more. You should have a little water in bottom of pan to steam the vegetable.) Add the 2 cups cooked brown rice and 1 tsp. sea salt to the pot. Add the sweet potato sauce and mix all together. Serve hot.


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