26 November 2012

Vegan "Sauces"

We're back (and a bit more tan)! Our week away was wonderful - full of family time, new sights, and new experiences! I managed to get most of my necessary work done while I was gone, which really just means that I'm prepared for tomorrow. Hmm, and when I say "prepared," I mean that only as far as definition 1a of the link (making things ready), but not so much as far as definition 1b (a proper state of mind). I think the real world is going to hit with a vengeance.

Staying with the idea of preparations, however, I thought I'd ease back into blogging by posting about a variety of "sauces" that I make. There are a variety of sauces I make for specific dishes (you'll see a new one later this week), some of which I've posted about already. These sauces can certainly be used for other applications (e.g., the sauce from garlic wine pasta might be decadent over some faux chicken), but this post is dedicated to sauces that aren't for anything specific. You  know, the ones that you might use in other recipes, or for a variety of different applications. Admittedly, this list is based on my own food preferences and experimentations, so I might be missing something you'd assume was here. If that's the case, leave me a comment because I'm 99% positive I've got a recipe for every sauce you can think of in one of the cookbooks I've got or links I've saved. Happy saucing!

Vegan BBQ Sauce
Ingredients
2 T. veggie/canola oil
1 very small onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1 tsp. red pepper flakes OR scant 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 T. paprika
1 1/2 c. ketchup
1/2 c. amber beer
1/4 c. apple cider vinegar
1/4 c. water
1/4 c. brown sugar
2 T. Dijon mustard
2 T. Worcestershire sauce (see below)
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 tsp. browning sauce

Directions
1. Saute onions in oil until soft and translucent.
2. Add garlic, red pepper flakes, and paprika, saute for another minute.
3. Add all other ingredients.
4. Partially cover and cook for 15 minutes (until slightly thicker).

Note: You can likely find vegan BBQ sauce if you look around, but I don't buy them because they often have high fructose corn syrup in them and because this sauce is ridiculously good.



Worcestershire Sauce
Ingredients
4 T. soy sauce
2 T. apple cider vinegar
6 T. brown rice syrup or apple juice concentrate (I use the syrup)
1 tsp. blackstrap molasses (not regular molasses)
1 tsp. powdered ginger
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
pinch of onion powder

Directions
1. Place all ingredients in a blender and mix well. 
2. Store in refrigerator in a jar with a tight-fitting lid (I've kept mine for up to 6 months or so).

Note: Most store-bought w-sauce is not vegan; it often has anchovies in it.


Basic Vegan Gravy
Ingredients (based heavily on the gravy from my tofu pot pie)
1/2 c. nutritional yeast
1/4 c. all purpose flour
1/3 c. canola oil
1 1/2 c. water
2-3 T. soy sauce
1/2 to 1 tsp. onion powder
1/4 to 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
3/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper (or to taste)
browning sauce (to desired darkness)

Directions
1. Toast nutritional yeast and flour in a sauce pan.
2. Add canola oil, cook until well combined (the longer it cooks, the richer it gets). 
3. Add all other ingredients, cook until desired thickness (add more water if you'd like a thinner gravy).

Note: To  make this with a fuller flavor, consider sauteing onions and/or mushrooms at the beginning. You can also add  veggie broth in place of some or all of the water, but then cut down on the salt. 



Vegan Buttermilk Ranch
Ingredients
2/3 c. vegan mayo
1/3 c. unsweetened soymilk
1 tsp. lemon juice
2 tsp. Penzey's Buttermilk Ranch Seasoning blend

Directions
1. Add the lemon juice to the soymilk and stir until thickened (this happens really quickly).
2. Add all ingredients to a pint jar with a tight-fitting lid, shake well to combine.

Note: My preference for the mayo in this recipe is Just Mayo (whereas we use Vegenaise for nearly everything else mayo). This will keep in the fridge for maybe a week, then it will begin to separate.




All-Purpose Marinade
Ingredients
3/4 c. soy sauce
1 T. lemon juice
3 T. balsamic vinegar
3 T. canola oil
1/3 c. water
1 1/2 tsp. Penzey's Old World Seasoning
1/2 tsp. paprika (optional, in Old World)
1/4 tsp. garlic powder (optional, in Old World)
1/2 tsp. onion powder (optional, in Old World)
dash pepper (optional, in Old World)
1/4 tsp. (or less) liquid smoke

Directions
Combine all ingredients in a jar with a tight-fitting lid, shake to combine.

Note: I use this when we grill tofu, but it could be used for any other place where a savory marinade would work. Clearly you can play around with the ingredients as you see fit. Finally, liquid smoke is a very interesting ingredient - a little goes a loooooooooooong way. Some people love it; I am not one of those people. However, since I generally use this marinade when grilling, I like the flavor this very small amount adds.

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