It’s getting Saucy in my Kitchen

Something I’ve not previously tried my hand at (well not a lot anyway) is marinading. I tend to eat my tofu, tempeh, seitan etc etc as it is, mostly straight from the package.

I am not sure if that’s because I am impatient, unaware or simply because we never really marinated things when I was growing up so it generally doesn’t occur to me.

So – this week – I decided to try my hand at some sauces – new ways of cooking ingredients that I haven’t previously tried. When I started this vegan adventure it was all about what I gained and not what i’d lost – and so (with this in mind) I decided it was high time I challenged myself again and threw myself wholeheartedly into the strange, new and untested.

Here’s what I made:

  • Balsamic tempeh marinade
  • Sweet ricotta tofu paste
  • Jalapeno chipotle Dressing

Not all at the same time and certainly not in the same meal.

All three of them have been a massive hit and have been used copiously this week (in fact I’ve eaten the marinated tempeh for every main meal – quite literally. Its sauce-sational (sorry).

I’ve learned that marinated tempeh / tofu pays huge dividends for the tastebuds and that – now its out there – I won’t be going back. Much as I love tofu in its pure state – this marinade wipes the floor with anything else I have tried thus far.

I’ve also learned that tofu doesn’t need to be a savoury flavour. The sweet ricotta tofu has been amazing on toast with banana for brekky and a welcome replacement to ricotta which I used to use.

Finally – as a former LOVER of chipotle – I am now delighted to have found a sauce thats as creamy as an aioli and just as tasty.

I can’t claim these recipes for my own. I had help with some genius vegan cooks whose recipes I found on Google and added some little twists of my own to shape them to my tastebuds.

If ever you are in doubt – get your sauce on – I feel like a new door to a world of amazing flavours has just opened and I am happy to walk through it.

2016-02-20 08.02.37.jpg

Sweet Ricotta Tofu (served on toast with mashed banana and drizzle maple syrup and small handful of pepitas)

  • 100gm firm tofu
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • Pinch himalayan pink salt

So simple – just blend it all up and pop into a tupperware and serve whenever you want – it will keep for about a week happily before it’s time to say goodbye. This one is my own recipe.

Marinated Balsamic, Maple and Garlic Tempeh

2016-02-21 09.59.07.jpgThis one is courtesy of the amazing Angela Liddon and her ‘Oh She Glows’ Cookbook (which I love). The only difference to the original recipe is my addition of coconut aminos (below)

  • 300gm plain tempeh
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 2 teaspoons tamari
  • 4 teaspoons coconut aminos
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Pinch himalayan pink salt

Take the tempeh out of the package and pat it dry. Then chop into about 16 bite size pieces. Pop into a glass tupperware container. Then blend all the other ingredients together and 2016-02-21 18.45.37.jpgpour over the tempeh. Pop the lid onto the pot and give it a really hearty shake. Then pop in the fridge for about 6-8 hours and occasionally pick it up and shake it to make sure all covered. Once marinated – turn oven onto about 150C and get out a baking tray. Into that tray add a base of tinfoil / alufoil. Bend over the sides of it to shape a basket that would hold liquid happily. Into this ‘basket’ pour the tempeh and it’s marinade. Cover the basket with a foil lid and pop into the oven and bake for about 20 mins. After this time has passed, remove the lid and bake without it for a further 20 – 30 mins or until most of the sauce has dissipated and you are left with a sort of caramelised mess on the base of the foil and lovely semi sticky tempeh. I served this with a fresh vegetable stir-fry one night and with roasted sesame carrots and cauliflower another. Its really versatile and utterly delicious.

Creamy Chipotle Saucy Goodness

This one was a combo of a recipe that popped up on Facebook on a vegan cooking group page and my own little twist. The original recipe is here.

2016-02-21 09.26.41.jpgI love chipotle sauce on corn cobs but, as it turns out, I will actually eat it on anything. This is super tasty and works on salads, roasted / steamed veg, mashed potato, veggie sausages and so on (the list might actually be limitless – it’s that good).

1/2 cup cooked chickpeas (I actually used butter beans as I prefer their texture and flavour and my belly prefers them)
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
1 tbsp tahini (I use hulled)
1/4 tsp garlic powder
3/4 tsp sea salt
2  1/2 tbsp pure maple syrup
1  1/2 tsp dijon mustard
1 tsp Tabasco brand (I actually used slightly more to taste as I wanted to offset the sweetness of the maple)
1/4 cup water, or more to thin as desired
3-5 marinated pickled jalapeños(I use the Sandhurst brand)

Simply blend it all until its a creamy consistency and has the right balance of sweetness and heat…add more jalapeños or tabasco to taste (and if you are feeling brave). Serve generously on everything (!!)

And that’s it folks….a week of sauces and blending. Next up…yummy homemade desserts.

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