Category Archives: Sauces/Spreads

Noochy Hemp Sprinkle

For putting on everything.  Hemp seeds and nooch– or nutritional yeast, if you’re not a seasoned vegan– combine to make a super tasty, savory condiment that’s good for you, too.  I’ve been sprinkling it on avocado toast, rice and beans, pasta, soup, and basically whatever else where I want to add a delicious cheesy/umami richness and a nice boost of protein, B vitamins, and omega-3s.  I plan on trying it on roasted broccoli real soon and also bet it would be fab on popcorn.  And potatoes. And polenta.  It’s kind of addictive.

½ cup hulled hemp seeds/hearts
¼ cup nutritional yeast flakes
¼ tsp garlic powder
scant ¼ tsp fine sea salt

Add everything to a food processor and process for about 30-45 seconds, stopping to scrape the sides of the bowl as needed, until ingredients form a fine crumb.  Transfer to a jar/air-tight container and store in the fridge.

Yield: About ¾ cup

Vanilla Maple Tahini Spread

vanilla maple tahini on waffle

Spread it on things.  Eat it with a spoon.  Add some protein and iron to your morning waffles and savor the warming, delicious flavors of tahini, maple syrup, and vanilla.

½ cup tahini, room temperature (I like this kind)
1½ tbsp maple syrup
¼ tsp vanilla extract

Place all ingredients in a large mixing bowl.  Mix with an electric mixer (hand or stand) for about 30 seconds (I used mine on speed 2), until well combined and a bit fluffed.  Spread will keep in the fridge for several days, but will thicken.  If desired, bring to room temperature and re-fluff with electric mixture.

Yield: a heaping 1/2 cup

Roasted Romanesco with Creamy Horseradish Cashew Sauce

romanesco with horseradish cashew sauce

Oh horseradish, where have you been all my life?  Technically horseradish isn’t completely new to me, but it wasn’t until very recently that I experienced it fresh.  And now I’m hooked.


This crazy root vegetable satisfies my cravings for tang and heat, with a painful in a good way blast through the sinuses burn.  Here I’ve combined it with creamed cashews, lemon, and a little garlic– ingredients which temper its heat somewhat but keep its essence intact.  So far I’ve enjoyed this sauce on a tempeh sandwich, with beets, and dolloped on top of another freak vegetable (and fellow member of the brassicaceae family), romanesco, roasted in olive oil and garlic.  Most assuredly, if there’s a silver lining to the dropping temperatures and increasing dreariness, it’s the ability to use the oven without cooking myself into a sweaty mess.  In fact, a little oven warmth is now welcome.  Isn’t the pursuit of coziness kind of what fall is all about?  And while bathing myself in hot buttered pumpkin spice isn’t really my jam (but if it’s yours, rock on! no judgement here), enjoying roasted vegetables on the regular?  That I can get down with.
*This recipe makes more sauce than you will use on the romanesco. Try it on a sandwich, on a baked sweet potato (or regular potato), on roasted beets, and so on. I originally tried to make it with half the amount of all the ingredients, but had trouble processing such a small volume as smoothly as I wanted in my blender. But if you have a mini-processor or blender and want to try halving the recipe you might have more success.
*I pulsed in the horseradish for some texture, but if you’d prefer a smoother (and probably slightly spicier) sauce, you can add it at the same time as the other sauce ingredients.

roasted romanesco

1 head of romanesco, trimmed of outer stems and stalk, cut into chunks
2-3 garlic cloves, lightly smashed with the side of a chef’s knife handle
2-3 tbsp olive oil
sea salt and black pepper
horseradish cashew sauce (recipe follows)
handful of fresh parsley, chopped, optional

  • Preheat oven to 400˚F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Toss romanesco with olive oil, smashed garlic, salt, and pepper, and spread out on prepared baking sheet. Roast for about 30-35 minutes, stirring once half-way through, until nicely browned. Serve topped with a few dollops of horseradish cashew sauce and sprinkled with parsley (if using) and black pepper.

Yield: About 4 servings

Horseradish Cashew Sauce
1 cup raw cashews, soaked for at least 4 hours, drained
1 garlic clove
¼ + 1 tbsp water
4 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp olive oil
sea salt, to taste
4 tbsp grated fresh horseradish

  • Combine everything but the horseradish in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth, stopping the machine to scrape sides as necessary. Add grated horseradish and pulse to combine. Taste for seasonings and adjust accordingly.

Yield: About 1 cup

romanesco with horseradish cashew sauce

Spinach Cashew Cream

spinach cashew cream

Somewhere between a spread and a sauce, this creamy green stuff is where it’s at. One night I spread it on gluten-free crispbread to make hors d’oeuvres.  Another night I enjoyed it over pasta (pesto style, thinned out with a little pasta water) with garlicky sautéed spinach and toasted pine nuts. I can’t wait to try it on pizza.  And I think it would be fab on a baked potato, on a sandwich, a bowl of grains… pretty much anything savory!

lemon and garlic spinachspinach cashew cream

½ cup cashews, soaked overnight or for at least 4 hours, drained
2 packed cups spinach (leaves only)
1-2 cloves garlic
3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
salt and black pepper, to taste
splash of water
2 tbsp olive oil

Use a food processor fitted with a steel blade (or a blender) to process everything except the olive oil until relatively smooth, scraping the sides as needed. With the machine running, slowly pour in the olive oil and blend until smooth. Taste for seasonings and adjust as necessary.

spinach cashew cream


Sweet Potato Fries with Cilantro Lime Cashew Dip

sweet potato fries with cilantro lime cashew dip

Brooklyn is cold.  Really, really cold.  And so this winter finds me using the oven probably more than I ever have in the six years in which I have lived in this apartment.  I find myself in the rhythm of turning it on, roasting potatoes and things, baking muffins (these) and cookies.  Indeed, what once seemed a laborious task–removing all the pans from their storage inside the oven, taking the time to wait for both the preheat and the actual cooking time– is now closer to habit.  And the bonus of course is, at least for a bit, a warmer kitchen.
*After cutting the sweet potatoes, blot them well with a paper towel to remove excess moisture.  This helps prevent them from getting too soft.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAsweet potatoes fries sweet potato fries

Sweet Potato Fries:
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled, cut into fries around ½- ¾” thick
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp ground cumin
1/8 tsp garlic powder
scant 1/8 tsp cayenne
1½ tbsp olive oil

  • Preheat oven to 475F. Line a large, heavy bottomed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • In a small bowl, mix salt, cumin, garlic powder, and cayenne.
  • Place sweet potato fries on sheet. Drizzle on olive oil and sprinkle on spices. Toss to coat evenly, then spread out in a single layer.
  • Bake in oven for about 25 minutes, stirring once halfway through. Then raise the oven temperature to broil, and let cook for about 5 more minutes, keeping a close watch, to let fries crisp up a bit more.

sweet potato fries

Cilantro Lime Cashew Dip:
½ cup raw cashews, soaked overnight or for at least 4 hours
2 tbsp fresh lime juice
4 tbsp warm water
1 tbsp olive oil
½ garlic clove
salt and black pepper, to taste
¼ cup cilantro (leaves only)

Place everything except the cilantro in a food processor, and blend until smooth, scraping the sides of the machine as necessary. Taste for seasonings, then pulse in cilantro, until just combined.

sweet potato fries with cilantro lime cashew dip