My Versatile Veggie Sauce

Well, I had a bit of a revelation last night in the form of a gooey tangy cheesy sauce which was made entirely from vegetables! I made a batch of it, inspired by something I had seen online and I have ended up using it in 3 amazing recipes last night and today so I figured I just have to share them with you.

You’re in for a treat!

  1. Loaded Nacho Bowl

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2. Asparagus & Salmon Tart

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3. Smoked Salmon & Asparagus Omelette

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So all of these delicious looking creations were rustled up using one of the same elements in the form of this sauce. I was inspired when I had a forage in one of those cupboards in my kitchen that I just never go into and stumbled across two huge catering size bags of nacho type tortilla chips that I bought from Costco forever ago!

I love the pink sea salt ones but they were a bit too breakable for loading up with all the goodies I was planning to smother them in so I went for the amazing blue maize tortilla chips instead. Very cool colour aren’t they?!

So I was busy grabbing things out of the fridge and I realised that one of the key components in a good American-style nacho bowl is that tangy orange cheese sauce that they pour all over them. So a trip to google, pinterest and a few random image trawls later I came across a recipe for what’s called in the states, nacho cheese sauce. Now I know this isn’t something we really eat here in the UK but I thought the concept behind the recipe was too cool not to try.

Made from sweet potatoes and carrots for colour, with cheesiness from nutritional yeast and cayenne to give it a tangy hit, this sauce works really well plus is super easy to whizz up in a hurry.

I forgot to take any pictures of the sauce itself unfortunately but I’m sure you can imagine it! I think it would also be amazing as a pasta sauce, for dipping raw veggies into or even as a sort of croque monsieur base with some crispy ham. mmm good brunch idea…am writing it in my notebook. Anyway, enough talking about it, here it is:

My Versatile Veggie Sauce

  • Servings: a large bowl full
  • Time: 15mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

GF DF NF Ve

  • 2cups sweet potato
  • 1cup carrot
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1tbsp lemon juice
  • 1tbsp veg stock powder
  • 1/2tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2tsp onion powder
  • 1/4tsp cayenne powder
  1. Cook the potato and carrot until soft
  2. Blend with the rest of the ingredients until beautifully creamy and a pourable consistency

I made a seriously spicy thick minced beef sauce by mixing up my own spice seasoning mix from of paprika, cumin, chilli powder, chilli flakes, onion & garlic powder plus heaps of black pepper and seasalt and cooked the browned mince & onions down with some passata for a couple of hours.

Then came the all important layering! Start with a layer of nachos, then cheese sauce, then mince, then sprinkle over grated cheese (I used a vegan alternative called Pizza-melty which is pretty good). Pop in the oven at 180c for 5-10mins to melt the cheese and then do it all over again with another layer. Pop back in the oven again to melt the top layer of cheese. Then finish with plenty of hot salsa, avocado, black olives, fresh cherry tomatoes and you’re done.

One rather epic bowl of loaded nachos that are in fact SO loaded that the nachos have disappeared almost entirely!!

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So that was last nights din-dins….and today I made this lovely asparagus & salmon tart for dinner tonight. I took inspiration from a tart I’ve made before using one of Hemsley & Hemsley’s recipes from their Good & Simple book but it morphed into an entirely different thing and I am rather proud of it I must admit!

I probably rolled the pastry too thin and it cracked a little around the edges but it’s a light and tasty savoury tart which would be lovely with new potatoes and a fresh green salad or taken cold in slices to a picnic.

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Asparagus & Salmon Tart

  • Servings: 6 decent slices
  • Time: 1 hour
  • Difficulty: a bit of effort
  • Print

GF DF NFΒ 

You will need this:

  • 300g block of gluten free dairy free shortcrust pastry (I use Genius)
  • 4 eggs
  • 75ml soya or oat cream (or regular if not dairy free)
  • 125ml of my Versatile Veggie Sauce
  • 1tsp mustard
  • 200g steamed salmon
  • 10 asparagus spears
  • 1 onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • zest of a lemon
  • 2tbsp fresh thyme

You make it like this:

  1. Roll out your pastry and line an 8″ tart case with baking paper and then the pastry (gf pastry tends to be quite hard to handle so keep it 5mm thick and treat carefully!)
  2. Pop in more baking paper, baking beans and blind bake for 10mins at 180c
  3. Steam your salmon in a bamboo steamer or steam oven for 10mins, let it cool before flaking and zest a lemon over the top of it
  4. Lightly boil your asparagus for around 4mins
  5. Saute gently the onion and garlic and at the last minute add the fresh thyme, let this mixture cool before adding to the flaked salmon
  6. Mix up the eggs with the cream, veggie sauce, mustard and plenty of salt and pepper in a jug
  7. Chop the asparagus spears to an identical length from the tips down so that they fit into the tart case as per the piccie and then chop the remaining stalks into halves
  8. Once the tart case has blind baked, remove the baking paper & beans and fill with the salmon and onion mixture
  9. Pour over the egg & sauce mixture until it nearly reaches the top of the pastry
  10. Lay your asparagus tips in a circle pointing into the middle with halves of the stalks in between as in the piccie
  11. Put the tart case onto a flat baking tray and bake for 25-30mins at 180c until set and golden on the top

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Now I had actually made more egg/sauce mixture for the tart than I’ve specified in the above recipe so I had a small amount left over and whilst standing in front of the fridge wondering about what to cook for lunch today I had a genius moment. I used the left over egg/sauce mixture to create a sort of omelette/pancake, threw in the left over asparagus stalks and some smoked salmon I had leftover in the fridge. Amazing lunch. Seriously.

If you wanted to make it I would suggest you need 2 eggs whisked with 1 cup of the veggie sauce, 1 cup of chopped asparagus stalks and a few slices of chopped up smoked salmon. Mix it all together and make like an omelette in a large flat based frying pan or something similar. Cook over a low heat for 10mins until bubbles have formed on the top and then pop under the grill for 5mins just to set the top. Serve with a green salad, parmesan and a drizzle of lemon & olive oil. Lunch yum.

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I hope you enjoy all the creative uses for my new best friend….the world’s most versatile veggie sauce! Go ahead and make a big batch, keep it in the fridge or freeze some – you’ll end up using it for sure. Love Ax

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