This should come as no surprise to anyone who knows me or reads this blog, but I love vegetables. What may surprise some, however, is that this was not always the case. In fact, once upon a time, I was a full on vegetable-hater. I mean that I was staunchly anti-vegetable. I would pick the celery and carrots out of Campell’s Chicken Noodle Soup. I would only eat tomato soup that didn’t contain any recognizable tomatoes. I got Subway turkey sandwiches with only turkey and cheese. Then, in college, I decided to become a vegetarian. Still the only vegetables I would eat were corn and potatoes. That’s right, not even iceburg lettuce would pass these lips. I should have owned stock in Post cereal, for the amount of Shredded Mini-wheats I consumed. It wasn’t unheard of for me to finish a box in just a few days.
Fast-forward to the present. Whether in salad form..
…or roasted, and smothered in some kind of sauce…
I never tire of veggies. I eat them all day long. Rare is the meal that doesn’t involve a vegetable in some form or another, and I even include them in my desserts. The recommended 5-9 servings of fruits and veggies? Check. But you can’t eat a plain old bowl of vegetables with nothing on them. Well, I suppose you can, but that is what probably turns people off to veggies, or at the very least contributes to their undeserved reputation of being boring. Enter the veggie bowl. I first started eating “veggie bowls” a few summers ago doing field work for my master’s degree. I would be out in the field from 4 am until 11 or so, and when I returned home, I just wanted something fast, easy, and healthy that wasn’t a granola bar (to this day I only eat granola bars when I have to; I OD’ed on them in the 8 years or so of field work and backpacking). A day or two of cold salad was cool, but after a bit I was looking to make the veggies more exciting. Here are a few sauces that are in regular rotation Chez Katie.
This “cheeze” sauce was one of the first things I used to jazz up my veggies.
Really easy cheeze-y sauce (for people who can’t eat cheese)
½ cup flour
½ cup nutritional yeast
1 ½ -2 cup water
2 tablespoons margarine
1 tablespoon yellow mustard
Combine all ingredients in saucepan over low heat. Stir constantly until combined and thickened. I sometimes add cornstarch if it isn’t thickening.
Note: I add copious quantities of hot sauce to my cheeze sauce. You can use any or none, as your little heart desires, but I am partial to Cholula or Sriracha. Much like BBQ sauce, these condiments can transform an old sock into a delicious meal.
Sun-dried tomato-tofu Sauce
12 ounces silken tofu
2 tablespoons olive oil
¼ cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 tsp salt
3 large roasted red peppers
1 tsp cumin
Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor and puree until smooth and creamy.
Another favorite sauce of mine is Katie‘s Three Ingredient Alfredo Sauce that I usually make with silken tofu instead of the agar base. Gena’s Sweet Pepper Marinara Sauce is also great, and super fast and easy. (I heat mine up though, making it totally not raw. Hope she doesn’t mind!)
Along with my veggie bowls, I also know how important it is to get my daily servings of protein and fats. This isn’t usually an issue for me, since my other favorite food is peanut butter, usually in the form of a blob on my finger (if it is my own jar) or a spoon (if I am pretending that I am a civilized adult). A nice hummus or veggie burger sandwich goes well with veggie bowls, or a couple slices of toast with mashed avocado. If you include some kind of legume or bean, a veggie bowl could be a complete meal.