Category Archives: Sauce

Thai Reese’s Puffs Peanut Butter Sauce

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When I was at the Wine & Food festival, I was lucky enough to meet Justin Warner after his demo. Justin has made a number of sweet and savory recipes for General Mills using their Big G cereals in unexpected ways(here’s the blog post featuring those).

Jason from General Mills sent me some of their cereals along with some unusual ingredients Justin would go crazy with. At first I wasn’t sure how to use some of them(a pestle and mortar? sriracha sauce?), but then it hit me: A Thai sauce with Reese’s Puffs.

It’s not as crazy as it sounds; a lot of the ingredients in Reese’s Puffs are found in regular sauces: Corn starch is a common thickening agent; sugar can be just as important as salt for bringing out flavor profiles; even chocolate is used to add a richness and depth to tomato sauce.

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As with any sauce you should taste as you go along and add salt and seasoning to adjust it to your taste. For a lower-fat version, use cartoned coconut milk or almond milk.

Thai Reese’s Puffs Peanut Butter Sauce

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 0 minutes

Ingredients(Makes enough for 2 servings):

  • 3/4 cup Reese’s Puffs cereal
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce or gluten-free tamari
  • 1 Tablespoon sriracha
  • 2 Tablespoons honey
  • 1 Tablespoon peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup coconut milk

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Method:

  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a food processor or high-speed blender.
  2. Blend until smooth.
  3. Add to sautéed vegetables and tofu or chicken.
  4. Heat the pre-cooked vegetables, chicken, or tofu in the sauce until it is warmed through.
  5. Serve hot.

Black Bean Mole Sauce

Black Bean Mole Sauce

Every now and then I find an old recipe on this  from a couple of years ago, poorly written with even worse photos. Especially when it’s one I loved I’m always tempted to make it again and give it the recognition it should have.

This recipe’s a one food-processor wonder. The ingredient list is a little long, but all you have to do is throw it together, blend it up, and heat to serve—that’s it. It’s also remarkably creamy and flavorful with a sauce for no fat or animal products in it, so it makes a great, healthy crowd-pleaser.

Black Bean Mole Sauce Yield

The finished sauce should be slightly spicy with a cool finish. You can adjust it by adding more or less cayenne and chili powder and as always season it to taste.

Black Bean Mole Sauce

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 0 minutes

Ingredients(Makes about 1 1/4 cups):

  • 1/2 cup black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons white vinegar
  • 5 Tablespoons honey
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon mustard seed
  • ~1/4 cup water

Black Bean Mole Sauce Beans

Method:

  1. Combine all of the ingredients except for the water into a food processor and blend until smooth.
  2. Slowly add the water while blending until the sauce reaches a fluid yet thick consistency.
  3. Heat up before serving. Scoop a generous amount over protein like tofu, tempeh, or chicken.

Black Bean Mole Sauce Tofu

Blueberry Pancake Syrup

Blueberry Pancake Syrup

Fresh fruit in the Summer is great. It really is. But turning that fruit into a maple pancake syrup is just a little bit better.

After I made homemade strawberry syrup, I couldn’t eat it fast enough. It’s a great sweetener for pancakes, ice cream, yogurt, oatmeal—just about anything. After giving it a try I can say that making the recipe with blueberries is just as good.

Blueberry Pancake Syrup Serving

You can use fresh or frozen blueberries for this recipe—it doesn’t make a difference. Unlike the strawberry version, you need to strain the syrup once it’s cooked to get the skins out. Don’t waste the solids though! They’re full of sugar and make a great jam-like spread for toast or mixing into yogurt.

Blueberry Pancake Syrup Pancakes

Blueberry Pancake Syrup

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 15 minutes

Ingredients(Makes about 1 1/2 cups):

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 2/3 cup blueberries
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Blueberry Pancake Syrup Boiled

Method:

  1. In a small pot over a burner, combine the sugar and water and heat until the sugar has dissolved.
  2. Boil the water until the simple syrup reduces to about half of its original volume.
  3. While the water is boiling, puree the blueberries and maple syrup in a blender or food processor until they make a smooth sauce.
  4. Off of the heat, combine the blueberry puree and simple syrup and whisk together. Whisk in the vanilla and cinnamon as well.
  5. Put the pot back onto the stove and continue boiling until the syrup reduces to about half of its volume again. Don’t over-reduce the syrup to be quite as thick as maple syrup because once it cools off of the heat it will thicken.
  6. Strain the sauce through a sieve to remove the blueberry skins.
  7. Store any extra sauce in a sealed container in the refrigerator when not enjoying.

Blueberry Pancake Syrup Yield 

Homemade Strawberry Syrup

Homemade Strawberry Syrup

The best part about making anything at home is the flavors. Artificial dyes and ingredients just never taste as good as the real deal. You can buy strawberry flavored maple syrup that vaguely tastes like skittles with absolutely no maple syrup in it, but why do that when you can make something with actual strawberries?

Homemade Strawberry Syrup Strawberries

Since Spring is here, Driscolls offered to send me some coupons to use their fresh berries as a recipe ingredient. I was shocked how many recipes they already have on their website including a large section of gluten-free recipes; 106 and they’re still adding more—that’s no joke.

I was inspired to make this syrup because I hadn’t made chickpea flour pancakes in a long time. At first I was just going to cook the berries into the pancakes but that didn’t seem quite as exciting as making a strawberry maple syrup. All you need is the whipped cream and it’s a decadent breakfast.

Homemade Strawberry Syrup Boiled

I originally planned to use this for pancakes and waffles, but after tasting it it’s hard to think of a food this wouldn’t be delicious on. I’m already planning to pick up a pint of vanilla ice cream from the store to drizzle this on. You can also use it in any recipe in place of maple syrup.

Homemade Strawberry Syrup

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 15 minutes

Ingredients(Makes about 1 1/2 cups):

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 2/3 cup hulled strawberries
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Homemade Strawberry Syrup Strawberries 2

Method:

  1. In a small pot over a burner, combine the sugar and water and heat until the sugar has dissolved.
  2. Boil the water until the simple syrup reduces to about half of its original volume.
  3. While the water is boiling, puree the strawberries and maple syrup in a blender or food processor until they make a smooth sauce.
  4. Off of the heat, combine the strawberry puree and simple syrup and whisk together. Whisk in the vanilla and cinnamon as well.
  5. Put the pot back onto the stove and continue boiling until the syrup reduces to about half of its volume again. Don’t over-reduce the syrup to be quite as thick as maple syrup because once it cools off of the heat it will thicken.
  6. Store any extra sauce in a sealed container in the refrigerator when not enjoying.

Homemade Strawberry Syrup Stack

This is also a really delicious topping on plain oatmeal and oatbran for those days you don’t quite feel like making pancakes.

Avocado Sour Cream Chip Dip

Kettle Brand Chips asked 14 bloggers to create a recipe of their favorite holiday dip. My favorite holiday dip is guacamole; I could eat it with a spoon. But too much guacamole can be overpowering on the taste buds, especially at parties when you lose track of how much chips and dip you’ve eaten. Sour cream, on the other hand, has that smooth and clean flavor that lets you dip and dip and dip. I don’t usually like to do sponsored posts, but Kettle Brand Chips is a company I can really get behind. They’re dedicated to using natural ingredients without GMOs and their chips are gluten-free, too. They’re also just delicious; have you tried their Salt & Fresh Ground Pepper flavor? Incredible.

For this recipe I’ve added avocado to a fairly simple sour cream dip. It’s no hassle at all to throw together. The avocado adds a light green color and a rich texture. Even though they’re similar, using both onion powder and fresh chives helps to add layers to the flavor of the dip. I paired this with my favorite flavor of chip, Sea Salt and Vinegar. I think it goes perfectly with the tart flavor of vinegar because the chip lends flavor to the dip while the dip cools the chip down. It would also be incredibly good with any spicy flavor like Jalapeno or Spicy Thai™–anything with a strong saltiness to it. Since there’s very little acidity and seasoning in the dip itself, it’s important to use a chip that will bring that to the table. At the end of this post there’s also a giveaway so be sure to read through!

Avocado Sour Cream Chip Dip

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 0 minutes

Ingredients(Makes about 8 servings):

  • 1 ripe medium avocado, peeled and pitted
  • 3/4 cup sour cream or low-fat sour cream
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 Tablespoons freshly chopped chives

Method:

  1. In a food processor(or however you’d like to do it), puree the avocado until it’s completely smooth.
  2. Fold together the avocado puree, sour cream, onion powder, salt, and 2 ½ Tablespoons of chopped chives.
  3. Transfer the dip to a serving bowl and garnish with the remaining chives.
  4. Serve with Kettle Brand Chips and veggie crudités

Now it’s your turn to tell me, What is Your favorite holiday dip? Respond to this question with your answer using one of the methods below and you could win a $100 Visa Gift Card!

Rules:

  • No duplicate comments.
  • This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older.
  • Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to respond otherwise a new winner will be selected.
  • This sweepstakes runs from 11/13-12/31.
  • You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:

a) Leave a comment answering what’s your favorite holiday dip?

b) Tweet a public message about this promotion including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “#SweepstakesEntry” Leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post

c) Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post

d) For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.

The Official Rules are available here.

Be sure to visit the Kettle Brand Chips page on BlogHer.com where you can read other bloggers’ reviews and find more chances to win! Good luck!

Homemade Pumpkin Cream Cheese

I used to be obsessed with Panera Bread and their cinnamon crunch bagels and fancy cream cheeses; it’s not nearly as much fun to go to when you can’t have gluten so it’s been a while. But this week I had extra cream cheese to use up and a hankering for gluten-free bagels and knew exactly what to make.

This cream cheese is simple and delicious. It has just the right amount of spice to make a plain bagel really taste special. I always catch myself licking the knife clean after I’m done spreading it on because it’s too good not to.

You don’t need to use particularly fancy ingredients for this recipe. If you don’t have maple syrup you can substitute honey or molasses. Use just as much sweetener as you prefer for the flavor.

Homemade Pumpkin Cream Cheese

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 0 minutes

Ingredients(Makes about 8 servings):

  • 1/2 cup cream cheese
  • 3 Tablespoons pumpkin puree
  • ~2 Tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

Method:

  1. In a small bowl, beat together all of the ingredients until there are no lumps left.
  2. Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks after making. 

It almost makes you wonder how something so simple can be so good.

Vegan Honey Mustard Dip

Vegan Honey Mustard Dip

Last week I moved back to Providence. Now that everything’s been unpacked and I’m settled, there are really only two things I sorely miss: HGTV and the Food Network. While they aren’t my favorite channels, they’re certainly my favorite to have playing in the background when I’m working on other projects. And even better they’re perfect to get ideas from.

One of the last shows I watched was Melissa d’Arabian’s cooking program where she made an easy honey mustard dip. It instantly reminded me of the type of sauce you’d get from McDonalds with an order of chicken mcnuggets and knew it’d be good. However I wanted to make it more like something that I’d eat. 

Vegan Honey Mustard Dip Ingredients

Instead of mayonnaise this recipe uses a vegan mayonnaise substitute that’s tofu based. While I’m sure that doesn’t sound appetizing, I actually prefer the flavor of it to traditional mayonnaise. Instead of honey I used two non-animal based sweeteners: maple syrup and agave. The maple syrup gives an earthy flavor while the agave makes the dip taste a little bit fruity.

Vegan Honey Mustard Dip

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 0 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup vegan mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup stone ground mustard
  • 1 Tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 Tablespoon agave nectar

Method:

  1. Mix all of the ingredients together in a small bowl.
  2. Add more or less sweetener to taste.
  3. Keep cold in the refrigerator when not eating.

Vegan Honey Mustard Dip 2

This dip has been great with pretzels, apples, and carrots. You can also eat it with chicken or tofu. I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t thought about pouring this on a salad even though it’s not quite a dressing; it’s just too good to ignore.

Lightened Up White Sauce

Lightened Up White Sauce

This recipe was one happy accident and a good reminder that not everything that doesn’t turned out as planned isn’t great.

I started out trying to make a white bean dip since hummus hasn’t been appetizing at all lately. As soon as I whirled these ingredients in the food processor and tasted it, I could tell it was delicious but not quite a “dip”. This definitely couldn’t go to waste.

Lightened Up White Sauce Collage

The great thing about pasta is that it takes on all the flavors of the sauce on it making it the perfect canvas for the basil, spicy black pepper, and tangy rich goat cheese. The beans cut out half the fat but don’t sacrifice flavor or texture. You’d never even guess they were there!

Lightened Up White Sauce

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 0 minutes

Ingredients(Makes about 4 servings):

  • 1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 4oz creamy goat cheese*
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • Small handful basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • Lemon zest to finish

*You could also use 4oz neufchatel cream cheese for a less tangy flavor.

Lightened Up White Sauce Long

Method:

  1. Combine the beans, goat cheese, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and basil in a food processor and blend until smooth.
  2. Cook your pasta until al dente. Drain the water from the pot and toss each serving of pasta with 1/4 cup of sauce. Add in extra vegetables if desired.
  3. Serve hot and finish with lemon zest and extra black pepper.
  4. Store leftover sauce in a sealed container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.

Lightened Up White Sauce Plated

Definitely a happy accident.

Easy Vegan Cheese Sauce

easy-vegan-cheese-sauce

I used to have a teacher who loved Cheese Wiz so much, he kept a tube at his desk. I’m pretty sure there’s no actual cheese in Cheese Wiz, just like there’s no actual cheese in this recipe. But I promise you this is a much healthier way to get a cheesy fix.

I didn’t like sunflower seed butter the first couple of times I tried it. I think most people feel the same way if you try to enjoy it like peanut butter or almond butter or even cashew butter; it’s oddly savory and unenjoyable. But once I tried it in savory ways it grew on me.

easy-vegan-cheese-sauce-sunflower-seed-butter

Sunflower seed butter makes a better “cheese” sauce than any other nuts I’ve tried. It gives the sauce a rich and velvety texture, and the nutritional yeast and seasonings create a flavor that doesn’t taste exactly like the real thing but delicious nonetheless. 

Easy Vegan Cheese Sauce

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 0 minutes

Ingredients(Makes about 3/4 cup sauce):

  • 6 Tablespoons sunflower seed butter
  • 3 Tablespoons water
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

easy-vegan-cheese-sauce-mixed

Method:

  1. Mix all of the ingredients together.
  2. Store in an sealed container in the refrigerator. As it cools, the sauce will get thicker. Either bring it to room temperature before using or mix in a little extra water until it gets to the desired consistency.

easy-vegan-cheese-sauce-tofu-scramble

There are plenty of ways that this would taste good. I made cheesy vegan burritos with corn flour tortillas, scrambled tofu, and steamed kale.

Quick Fruit Sauce

quick-fruit-sauce

This Summer I’ve been obsessed with these pancakes. Maybe it’s because I hadn’t had good gluten-free pancakes before them. Or because I’m just relishing having a stove that’s not 3 floors down(oh, the life of a student).

As much as I loved having them with a dredge of maple syrup, I figured that couldn’t be good day after day. Instead I wanted to sweeten them the natural way with some fruit. By using chia seeds to thicken the sauce, it comes together literally in minutes but has the texture of a sauce that’s been cooking for much longer.

quick-fruit-sauce-bite

Look how thick it is(that’s what she said)! It’s hearty, warm, and the perfect pancake companion. The chia seeds not only thicken but also add a healthy dose of omega-3s.

You can use almost any fruit for this—strawberries, blueberries, cherries, grapes, mango. The one exception I’ve found is that using all raspberries creates a very tart sauce. If you want to make a raspberry version, switch out half with a sweeter fruit like strawberries or add a tablespoon of sweetener.

Quick Fruit Sauce

Prep Time: 0 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Ingredients(makes 1-2 servings):

  • 3/4 cup fruit, fresh or frozen
  • 1 Tablespoon chia seeds

quick-fruit-sauce-ingredients

Method:

  1. Pour the fruit into a microwavable bowl and microwave on high for 1 minute for fresh fruit or 3 minute for frozen fruit until hot and bubbly.
  2. Mash the fruit into a puree and mix in the chia seeds.
  3. Let the sauce sit for 5 minutes to thicken. Pour hot onto pancakes, waffles, French toast, or a dessert.

quick-fruit-sauce-plate

This is so easy to make, I throw it together in between mixing and pouring the pancake batter. If it gets better than that, I don’t know how.