Get saucy

Make these sauces once a week and use them for grain bowls, salads, pasta, or other dishes throughout the week.

Contributed by Linda Shiue, MD


Get saucy

An important rule of healthy cooking: Never forget flavor! This is where these sauces come in. Make sauce once a week and keep it in the fridge. Just like that, you have the finishing touch on your grain bowl or other healthy recipe.

All of these will store well in a covered jar or container in the refrigerator for a week.

Ingredients

Tahini dressing (Makes: 1 cup)

  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • Juice of 1 large lemon (about 3 tablespoons juice)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
  • Water, as needed, to thin

Kale-walnut pesto (Makes: about 1 cup)

  • 1 cup packed kale leaves, stems removed
  • 1/2 cup packed fresh basil leaves
  • 2 tablespoons toasted walnuts
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, more if needed for desired consistency
  • Optional: 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast

Soy-sesame vinaigrette (Makes: about 1/2 cup)

  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 chopped green onion
  • 1 teaspoon gochugaru (Korean red chili pepper powder) or crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon toasted white sesame seeds

Peanut sauce (Makes: 3/4 to 1 cup)

  • 4 tablespoons creamy natural peanut butter
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons water, to thin out the sauce, if necessary
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon sambal oelek (chili garlic sauce), or desired amount red pepper flakes (adjust to taste)

Cashew cream (Makes: 1 cup)

  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked for at least 2 hours, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 to 1 cup water (start with 1/2 cup, just enough to almost cover cashews)

Classic vinaigrette (Makes: 3/4 cup)

  • 3 tablespoons vinegar or citrus juice
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional additions: fresh or dried herbs, spices, minced garlic or shallots, citrus zest
  • Note: You want a 3:1 ratio of oil to vinegar or acid. 

Directions

For Tahini dressing, soy-sesame vinaigrette, or peanut sauce: Whisk all ingredients together.

For kale-walnut pesto: Process all together in a food processor.

For cashew cream: Blend together in a high-speed blender until it is the consistency of whipped cream.

For classic vinaigrette: Shake together in a jar; adjust flavors to taste.

Nutrition Information

Tahini dressing (for 1/8 of recipe, about 2 tablespoons)

  • Calories: 53
  • Total fat: 4 g
  • Saturated fat: 0.5 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
  • Sodium: 156 mg
  • Total carbohydrate: 4 g
  • Dietary fiber: 1 g
  • Sugars: 2 g
  • Protein: 1 g

Kale-walnut pesto (for 1/8 recipe, about 2 tablespoons)

  • Calories: 46
  • Total fat: 5 g
  • Saturated fat: 0.5 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
  • Sodium: 152 mg
  • Total carbohydrate: 1 g
  • Dietary fiber: 1 g
  • Sugars: 0 g
  • Protein: 1 g
  • Note: Does not include optional Parmesan or nutritional yeast

Soy-sesame vinaigrette (for 1/4 of recipe, about 2 tablespoons)

  • Calories: 42
  • Total fat: 3 g
  • Saturated fat: 0.5 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
  • Sodium: 292 mg
  • Total carbohydrate: 3 g
  • Dietary fiber: 1 g
  • Sugars: 2 g
  • Protein: 1 g

Peanut sauce (for 1/8 recipe, about 2 tablespoons)

  • Calories: 58
  • Total fat: 4 g
  • Saturated fat: 1 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
  • Sodium: 207 mg
  • Total carbohydrate: 4 g
  • Dietary fiber: 1 g
  • Sugars: 2 g
  • Protein: 2 g

Cashew cream (for 1/8 recipe, about 2 tablespoons) 

  • Calories: 90
  • Total fat: 7 g
  • Saturated fat: 1 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
  • Sodium: 0 mg
  • Total carbohydrate: 2 g
  • Dietary fiber: 1 g
  • Sugars: 1 g
  • Protein: 3 g

Classic vinaigrette (for 1/8 recipe, about 1 1/2 tablespoons)

  • Calories: 121
  • Total fat: 14 g
  • Saturated fat: 2 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
  • Sodium: 15 mg
  • Total carbohydrate: 0 g
  • Dietary fiber: 0 g
  • Sugars: 0 g
  • Protein: 0 g
  • Note: Does not include added salt