Now that the popularity of plant-based nutrition is growing in leaps and bounds, seeking out delicious and creative vegan recipes has become a breeze. Whether you find these treasures in fabulous vegan cookbooks or your favorite food blog, you won’t go hungry if you choose to make meatless meals.
Although I love to search the Internet and flip through my favorite cookbooks for impressive new recipes, I’ll never underestimate the value of returning to the basics of cooking. Think of the variety of dishes you can create with just one easy sauce recipe!
A simple marinara sauce can be used to make many different types of pizzas, pastas and parmigiana dishes (with vegan cheese, of course), and can also serve as a dipping sauce for fun finger foods. It’s such a great idea to keep a jar of your favorite homemade sauce in the refrigerator at all times to have ready for your upcoming meal at a moment’s notice.
In honor of getting back to basics (which, btw, is a good idea for a lot of things), I decided to post 5 easy vegan sauce recipes…
5 BASIC AND ESSENTIAL VEGAN SAUCES
Vegan American Princess Pesto Sauce
Created by Ellen Francis
- -4 cups torn fresh basil leaves (no stems)
- -4 Tablespoons minced garlic
- -1 cup pine nuts
- -1 cup shelled walnuts (halves or pieces)
- -Juice of a half lemon
- -6 Tablespoons nutritional yeast (“nooch”)
- -5 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- -Salt & pepper, to taste
1) Place basil, garlic, nuts, lemon juice and nutritional yeast in a food processor.
2) Run the food processor for about a minute and then start pouring the olive oil in through the opening.
3) Process until the mixture is pureed and smooth, about 3 minutes.
4) Add salt & pepper, to taste.
5) Add to pasta and serve.
6) Store covered in the refrigerator for a few days.
Ellen’s Easy Barbecue Sauce
Created by Ellen Francis
- -1 tbs olive oil
- -2 cups ketchup
- -1 cup water
- -1 tbs onion powder
- -1 tbs garlic powder
- -1 tsp minced garlic
- -5 tbs agave syrup
- -1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- -2 tbs soy sauce
- -1 tbs lemon juice
- -Salt & pepper to taste
In a medium saucepan, combine all of the ingredients. Bring to boil and then reduce to simmer. Continue to simmer on low, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for about an hour.
The Perfect Marinara Sauce
By Christina Pirello
- -Extra-virgin olive oil
- -1 small onion, finely diced
- -3 or 4 cloves fresh garlic, finely minced
- -Sea salt
- -A few pinches of fresh oregano (pulled from about 3 or 4 twigs) or a generous pinch of dried oregano
- -1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
- -Spring or filtered water
- -2 (28 ounce) cans of crushed or diced tomatoes, undrained (I prefer crushed tomatoes but the original recipe calls for diced tomatoes)
- -1 carrot, left whole
- -2 bay leaves
- -3 to 4 sprigs basil, leaves removed
- -Cracked black pepper
- 1) Place a small amount of oil, onion and garlic in a soup pot over medium heat.
- 2) When the onion begins to sizzle, add a pinch of salt and oregano (or a few pinches of fresh oregano, if using) and saute 2 to 3 minutes.
- 3) Add tomato paste, 2 cans of water (tomato paste can) and stir until smooth.
- 4) Add tomatoes with juice, a light seasoning of salt, carrot and bay leaves.
- 5) Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and cook, covered with loose lid, for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- 6) Remove carrot and bay leaves. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.
- 7) Stir in basil and cook, uncovered, 15 minutes more.
- Side note: Whenever you make a soup or a sauce (or anything) with bay leaves, make sure to remove them before serving because they are a choking hazard.
Creamy Cashew “Cheezy” Sauce
From Plant Powered Living
- -2 cups raw cashews
- -Juice of one lemon
- -1/4 small red onion
- -1/4 to 1 Jalapeño or Serrano pepper (depending on your heat tolerance; perhaps omit for the kids)
- -Filtered water
- -1/2 to 1 cup Nutritional Yeast
- -Sea salt & pepper to taste (at least 1 teaspoon of sea salt)
- -1/4 tsp turmeric
- -1/2 tsp paprika
- 1) Put 2 cups of cashews in your high powered blender and add water so that it covers the nuts by about an inch or two.
- 2) Then add the remaining sauce ingredients and blend on high until smooth.
- 3) Taste and add any additional salt or seasonings you wish, to obtain the flavor you prefer.
From Vegan Yum Yum
- -1/4 cup tahini (suggested: Arrowhead Mills Organic Sesame Tahini)
- -2 Tbs Low Sodium Tamari, or nama shoyu, or regular soy sauce
- -3 Tbs Water
- -1 Tbs Sugar, or raw agave nectar
- -1 Tbs Rice Vinegar
- -1 tsp Chili Sauce or 1 Chopped Fresh Chili
- -1 tsp Dijon or Stone-ground Mustard
- -1 Pinch Salt, if needed
- -Lots of Fresh Black Pepper
Blend together all of the above ingredients.
There you have it…5 easy & essential vegan sauce recipes. Now you can create a multitude of fabulous meatless meals in a jiffy. I’d love to hear how you plan to use these sauces, so feel free to leave a comment below.