At first glance, my diet is pretty uninteresting. I mix some of my favorite vegetables like sweet potatoes, zucchini, cucumber, and kale (sometimes). I top them with some sort of protein: usually lentils, hummus, or another chickpea dish.
Ok, maybe you’re right. I’m getting bored just writing about it.
So how do I eat so many veggies day in and day out without running screaming to the nearest restaurant? The secret’s in the sauce.
I don’t have complete food boredom because of the sauces I put on top of my veggies and meals. Every day it feels like I’m eating something completely different, even if the bulk of my food stays exactly the same.
I love using sauces to bring variety to my food because meal prep gets so much easier! Each week, I roast, sauté, or steam whatever veggies, beans, and grains I got at the store. Throughout the week, I mix them together in different combinations and top with different sauces. I have a new meal in 5 minuts flat every day.
Because I’m always getting asked about ways to make cooking healthy food more delicious and easy, I thought I’d share with you my three favorite sauces. These sauces are the main staples in my kitchen. Each one has lots of wiggle room for substitutions, so they’re easy to make no matter what you have in the fridge. They stay great in the fridge all week long, so you can use them whenever you want.
First up, we have a turmeric tahini dressing. Tahini is a sesame seed paste that tastes like a savory peanut butter. I mix this with some lemon juice, turmeric, salt, water, and the tiniest dollop of maple syrup for a delicious, satisfying sauce that’s perfect for Buddha Bowls and is a dream on top of grilled corn.
Second is a vegan yogurt sauce that’s similar to a tzatziki. This sauce is great on tomato cucumber salads, quinoa, and lentil soups.
Last: vegan pesto. YUM. I love this recipe because pesto is so forgiving. You can use basil, or parsley, or kale, or spinach, (or all four!) as the green, and use almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, or pumpkin seeds as a nut. Lemon juice or vinegar works. The possibilities are endless. Serve this pesto on top of zoodles, spaghetti squash, or on a Buddha bowl!
With these three sauces, you’re well on your way to have exciting, delicious meals you’ll love.
Here are the recipes:
Turmeric Tahini Dressing
- ¼ cup tahini
- ~2 tsp lemon juice
- ½ tsp ground turmeric
- Dash of cayenne (optional)
- 1/2 tsp maple syrup (optional)
- Sea salt
- Ground black pepper
- 3-5 tbsp water
- Stir all ingredients together in a small bowl except the salt, pepper, and water.
- Slowly mix in water about 1 tbsp at a time until the dressing becomes creamy and pourable.
- Add salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup plain, plant-based yogurt (I recommend Kite Hill or Forager).
- Juice from 1 lemon (~1 – 2 tsp)
- 1 minced garlic clove
- ¼ cup chopped parsley
- Salt and pepper to taste (~¼ tsp salt and sprinkle of black pepper)
- Mix all ingredient together.
- Add salt/pepper to taste.
- Adjust lemon juice if necessary.
- 1 bunch basil
- 1 bunch kale
- 2 tsp nutritional yeast
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- ⅓ cup walnuts
- juice of 1 lemon
- black pepper
- Combine shredded kale, basil, olive oil, walnuts, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, salt, and pepper in a blender.
- Blend until smooth.
- Taste and adjust spices as necessary.
Are you ready to dress up your vegetables!? I can’t wait to see what you create!
Thanks for reading, and have a wonderful day,
Samantha Attard, PhD, is the founder of Happy Healthy Human. Sam is a performance coach and yoga instructor who helps people eat, move, and live with intention. Learn more here.