Even if you’re not 100% vegan, you can still enjoy vegan sauces and vegan spices and seasonings. When you go vegan, you usually start off OK. In fact, you often wonder why you hadn’t adopted this lifestyle before!
But then it gets harder. Cravings start to appear. You may miss creamy food, or dairy, or the satisfaction and satiety you previously got from eating a piece of meat. Don’t worry! With a few of the spices, sauces and flavourings below, you can enjoy a varied and delicious vegan diet. Love being vegan? Check out these 21 Vegan Snacks Under 100 Calories.
What’s gremolata, I hear you ask! Gremolata is an Italian mixed herb concoction. Often, it is used over meats (or tofu for vegans!), or even sprinkled over pasta. There are several ways to make it, but here is how Alyce does it:
Grate the rind of 2 lemons. Squeeze the juice from the lemons into a bowl. Add a large slug of olive oil. Finely chop a bunch of parsley. You can add a bit of fresh oregano and/or basil if you like. Grate 2 large garlic cloves into the mix. Combine all ingredients, cover and place in the fridge for about an hour, so the flavours will infuse. Enjoy over tofu, pasta dishes, on potatoes.
Satay sauce: one of the most famous Vegan Sauces
My beloved husband cannot eat peanuts – they make him really sick and he acts like a big baby. But I can eat ‘em. And I love ‘em! Satay sauce is a great way to add flavour and creaminess to a range of vegan dishes. To make it:
Roast 1 ½ cups of fresh, peeled peanuts under the grill. When brown, place them in a tea towel and bash them with a mallet until fine. Heat some canola oil in a saucepan and cook some finely chopped onion. Add 2 cloves of garlic and until aromatic. Remove from heat. Add peanut mix, water, lemon juice, vinegar and a bit of sugar and cook until sauce thickens. Add chilli to taste, if desired.
Shichimi Togarashi (Japanese Mixed Chili Pepper)
My friend Lou Lou got me onto this. She put it this way, “Sprinkle that shiz all over your broccoli and you’ll be like, ‘Yeah! F**k you, dinner!’” By this, she meant (I think) that this simple, salty herb and spice mix makes a simple plate of broccoli into something delicious. Find this product at Asian groceries, or buy it online. Sprinkle over tofu, veggies or rice.
Dried yeast flakes (nutritional yeast)
Most vegans know about this and if you’re serious about going vegan, get some in your pantry. Nutritional yeast is a deactivated yeast, sold in the form of flakes or as a yellow powder and can be found in the bulk aisle of most natural food stores.
To use it: sprinkle over pasta dishes as you would parmesan. You can use it in curries, mix it through rice, or even sprinkle it on veggies. Want more tips on how to use it? Read 11 ways to use nutritional yeast.
Kecap manis is really popular where I live (in Sydney, Australia) as we are close(ish) to Indonesia and many, many Aussies go to Indonesia to visit; it’s a hugely popular tourist destination. Kecap manis is a sweet, thick soy sauce and it packs just a bit more of a punch than regular soy sauce. Use it as you would any other soy sauce, over rice, veggies, tofu or mix into stir-fries.
Have you heard of HP sauce? It’s a brown-coloured sauce originally produced by HP Foods in the United Kingdom, now produced in the Netherlands. It was named after the Houses of Parliament. HP Sauce has a malt vinegar base, blended with tomato, dates, tamarind extract, sweetener and spices. According to Wikipedia, “It usually is used as a condiment with hot or cold savoury food, or as an ingredient in soups or stews.”
Cashew sour cream
Just starting out as a vegan? Please, please, do yourself a favour and check out my favourite vegan blog, Oh She Glows by Canadian author Angela Liddon. Seriously, this chick has beautiful, user-friendly recipes, lovely photographs and endless inspiration. Cashew sour cream is made from cashews, water, lemon juice, cider vinegar and sea salt. (In my opinion) it is a little tricky, and could be cost-inefficient if you are not able to find a wholesaler that stocks cashews, as these can be costly.
Find the recipe for Cashew Sour Cream here.
Again, this is one recipe I have adapted for myself, and one that I use often. Traditional pesto is not vegan, as it contains parmesan cheese, which is a dairy food. Vegan pesto is easy to make, and can be tossed through pastas and salads, spooned onto tofu, mixed through baked or steamed veggies and eaten on its own, spread over crackers, crisps and bread. I love it! Don’t waste money on commercial brands, it’s so easy to make your own!
To make: 2 bunches of Italian basil. 2 cloves of garlic. 2 teaspoons nutritional yeast, salt and pepper. 1 cup pine nuts. Lemon juice + zest, slug of olive oil. Method: place all ingredients into a blender or Nutribullet, or use a simple mortar and pestle.
Tahini + tahini dressing
Yep – tahini. Get some into your life? What is tahini? Basically, it’s a cream-coloured (or brownish) paste that is made from crushed sesame seeds. It’s a great substitute for people who are intolerant to nuts. It’s great served with sweet or savoury dishes. Use it like peanut butter and have it drizzled over jam/jelly on toast or over sweet cakes with honey. Or, whisk it with some lemon juice and a bit of salt and pepper and use it like a salad dressing. Yum!
My old boss, mentor and colleague, Milton used to love this. He would make his own. In Brazil, it’s served with roasted meats, but on its own it is vegan, and is awesome spread over roasted veggies, pita bread or tofu.
To make: You will need: 1 cup chopped continental parsley leaves, 1 cup chopped coriander, 1 clove of garlic, ½ cup of olive oil, 2 tablespoons vinegar and some fresh chilli to taste. I also add salt, lime and cracked black pepper. Do you love lime? Check out The amazing health properties of limes & why they might save your life
Going vegan shouldn’t be that hard!
Really, it just takes planning and preparation. If you’re ready to take the plunge, check out my 5 Day Vegan Power Cleanse Program and read why you don’t need to be a “perfect” vegan in my post Give “Fake” Vegans a Break. What are your comments?
Tell me your tips for going vegan below!