Since I have been making a concerted effort to eat more veggies, especially at lunch time, I've also discovered the importance of a good sauce.
life is just so much better with sauce
If I just eat a bunch of raw veggies, it's fine and yummy enough - but it feels like I just had a snack, and not like I got to have lunch. Even a plate of plain steamed veggies just feels a bit blah. But! If I have a nice sauce that I can pour on, or mix in with the veggies, or dip the veggies into - suddenly the whole mood changes. Suddenly it feels like a bonafide meal!
Some of my most favorite sauces lately have been tofu ricotta, homemade queso, and the Green Goddess dressing from Appetite for Reduction... I try to look for sauces or dips that are high in flavor, but not super rich or fatty, since I'm usually trying to keep my calories down.
Yesterday I finally made the grilled Brussels Sprouts kabobs I've been wanting to try (fun! yum!), and I made a batch of spinach-basil sauce to go with them. I used a recipe from Healthy Hedonist - it's got jalepeno and light coconut milk and a whole pound of spinach and ginger and lemongrass.... positively packed with flavor. In truth, I don't think it was the best match with the brussels sprouts, but that's okay because they were just great on their own. I still have a lot of that sauce left over, so I'll have to come up with some other uses for it. I love how brilliant and green it is!
I find that having one or two sauces/dressings/dips on hand in the fridge greatly increases my chances of eating veggies, and decreases the chances that I will just nibble mindlessly all afternoon.
Last week I even tried my hand at coming up with my own sauce. It had parsley and garlic and almonds and lemon juice. It was pretty lame. Just sorta thin and unremarkable in the flavor department. But luckily, Mr. VE&T came into the kitchen, and he had all sorts of good ideas. He added some of my homemade soy yogurt, and some tamari... and suddenly the whole thing was much more interesting and delicious.
Mr. VE&T is always encouraging me to make up recipes on my own, but I don't feel like I'm good at it at all. He's the one with all the ideas! He came waltzing in and made my lame-o sauce into something tasty and worthwhile. I keep suggesting to him that he develop a passion for vegan cooking! ha ha. In the end, we had our sauce with oven fried potatoes, steamed romano beans and some lightly sauteed tomatoes and onions. It turned out to be a pretty good dinner!
my attempt at drawing myself feeling "saucy"