Do you hate vegetables?
I'm going to be 100% honest. I have never been that into vegetables and I have to legitimately coach myself into eating greens. I'll admit, when I decided to be primarily vegetarian, this posed a bit of an issue. When I make them well, or they are served to me at a restaurant, yum. Delicious. I'll eat them all up. But just basic roasted veggies? Not that much fun to me. Which is why I'm all aboard the dressing/sauce train to jazz up them veg.
Here are some of my favorites and I almost always make a whole lot or double the recipe in order to freeze some for another day.
Best Peanut Sauce!
Two ways to make a delicious peanut sauce that goes great on any kind of green veggie (kale, chard) , cruciferous veggie (brussel sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli, broccolini), even bok choy.
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 to 1/2 cup water (depending on how thick you want the sauce)
1/4 cup lime juice
big pinch of salt
1 tablespoon of ginger (I use the kind that is already chopped in a jar that you store in the fridge)
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
As much red pepper as you like spicy.
Throw everything in a blender, blend blend blend, and add a little more water if you need.
Don't have all those ingredients? Another great way to make a delicious peanut sauce:
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 tablespoon of garlic (I use the prechopped kind in the tub that you store in the fridge)
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup water
red pepper flakes to taste.
Same deal. Chuck it in a blender. Mix it up. Pour over whatever veggies you want to upgrade.
This has got to be the easiest thing ever:
1/4 cup mellow white miso
1/4 cup tahini
1 tablespoon of garlic (again, prechopped easiest thing ever or you can use 1-2 cloves of garlic chopped)
1/4 to 3/4 cups of water depending on how thick you want it. Start with less, obviously. And then add to thin.
Chuck it in a blender. Blend. Pour. I pour this all over grain bowls or noodle bowls.
SPICY Tahini Dressing!
Use the recipe above but add half a pack or a full pack of the soup mix for the spicy instant ramen noodles. Instead of using those ramen noodles as a soup, strain, toss with some sesame oil, chuck it in a bowl with a bunch of veggies, and drizzle this spicy dressing over. Voila! Deliciously spicy noodle bowl.
Red Pepper Sauce!
Did you buy the big pack of peppers from Costco and now you're like, shoot these are going to go bad and I didn't make anything with them. Well, fear not! Chop those babies up, drizzle with some olive oil or avocado oil. Roast them up in the oven. When they're done, toss them in a blender with some vegetable broth, chopped garlic, and either some Marconi almonds or cashews (any kind of nut that promotes creaminess). Blend! Keep adding vegetable broth and blending until it makes the consistency you like. You can drizzle this over veggies, over grain bowls, pasta, gnocchi, you name it. You can also make this with just a jar of roasted red peppers. No biggie.
Pesto! You Can do the exact same thing with Kale or Spinach to make a delicious pesto. Because we all know you bought the big bag of spinach thinking you were going to eat a crap ton of salads this week and all of a sudden it's Friday and you're well, shit. This is getting limp, fast.
-A whole bunch of spinach.
-half a cup ish of vegetable broth
-tablespoon of garlic
-half cup of cashews
-salt & pepper to taste
Throw it in a blender and blend til smooth. If you need to add more vegetable broth, keep doing it a little bit at a time until it becomes the consistency you like.
Once you have the basic premise down, you can pretty much make any variety of sauces or dressings. Want it creamy? Add cashews + some kind of liquid like water or vegetable broth. Are you putting this on a hearty green vegetable? You're probably going to need some kind of citrus element to cut that fibrous green. This may be orange juice, lime juice, or lemon juice. Do you want you dressing to be salty or umami type flavor? Miso, salt, tamari, or soy sauce. Get creative. Things don't have to be exact to taste good. You don't have to have the exact ingredients for certain recipes in order to make something great. Food should be exciting and fun and not stressful. For me, thinking about getting enough nutrients in can be stressful, but when I dress things up with fun sauces and delicious dressings, it makes it fun and I get to be creative making funky concoctions.