Dressings and Sauces for Easy Meals

Bay Area Vegetarians has had multiple requests for “one pot meals” lately. Recipes easy to make on Sunday and then take for lunch throughout the week. In fact, pretty much every time I post something to the list—it could be about vegan shoes or PETA or leafleting by BART—I get responses that ask, “That’s great, but can I have a recipe for a big pot of something?”

Instead, I have several dressing and sauce recipes that I actually think will be more helpful. The “big pot” part is easy. All you need to do is cook one or two batches of grains, according to the directions—rice, lentils, barley, quinoa, etc. Triple the basic recipe. Throw in some canned, cooked chickpeas. That’s your base.

Each day add a handful of veggies: Either frozen, freshly chopped if you like to cook, or a double handful of washed spinach. Then microwave in your office kitchen, pour on the sauce, and you’re good to go. This will leave you so full you’ll need a nap, but it’s very low-fat, healthy, good food.

The sauces are what make the difference. Below are several options, some richer and fattier for those of you who play a lot of, say, ultimate Frisbee or something. Or if you’re just starting to transition away from the Standard American Diet. Others are fat-free and yummy. I would suggest making two different sauces on Sundays, so you have a choice throughout the week, and also keep a jar of salsa on hand so you don’t get bored.

These are big recipes. If you live alone you may want to cut them in half.

Creamy Dill Dressing
Maple Mustard Dressing
Balsamic Poppy Dressing
Beet and Mustard Dressing

Creamy Dill Dressing
4 cups Veganaise
1 cup water
4 Tb wet mustard

4 Tb dry dill
1 Tb tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
½ cup lemon juice
½ cup cider vinegar

–combine in blender, mix, store in fridge. You can substitute Mori-Nu silken tofu for some of the veganaise if you want.

Maple Mustard Dressing

2 cups safflower oil
1 cup Dijon mustard
½ cup maple syrup
½ cup cider vinegar
2 Tb salt
½ tsp pepper
2 Tb dry mustard

1 cup water

Balsamic Poppy Dressing
1 cup balsamic vinegar
2 cups safflower oil
¼ cup lime juice
¼ cup poppy seeds
2 Tb salt

½ tsp pepper
1 Tb rosemary
1 cup water

Beet and Mustard Dressing
Makes approximately 3 cups and lasts for about 2 weeks in the fridge, although it is best eaten soon after making.

Roast 1 large yellow beet. Red ones will work, but try for the yellow ones first.

To roast, wash the beet and cut the top off. Place on a cookie sheet or glass pie plate and bake in a 350 degree oven until soft. The time varies, depending on the size of the beet and the oven. Test it in 30 minutes. It’s done when a toothpick or knife is easily inserted into the middle. If you’re going to roast one, you may as well roast several, because they’re delicious sliced and sprinkled with salt and pepper, or tossed in salads or stir-fry’s.

Let cool and then the skins will slip off very easily. You can do this the day before.

In a blender, combine:
The beet, cut into chunks
1 clove garlic, peeled
1 heaping Tb mustard.
*salt to taste
½ tsp pepper

2 tsp dill (optional)
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup water

–Blend until very smooth, stopping at least once to scrape down the sides. Taste and adjust the seasonings to your personal taste buds. If it’s too thick, add a little more water.

–You can replace the beet with roasted winter squash (butternut, kabocha, etc) or sweet potato.

**don’t add salt until you taste it. Depending on the mustard you use, you may get enough salt that way.