Sunday, September 14, 2014

3 Sauces, Infinite Possibilities

Hey, everyone! I hope you've been having a few great first weeks of school. My first two weeks have actually been really great. Junior year isn't as scary as everyone says.... well, at least not yet. 

Cooking during the school year can be really hard - especially if you pack a lunch to school (which I highly encourage). One thing that is always a life saver in the mornings is frozen pesto. My dad or I will make pesto and then freeze it in an ice cube tray. In the morning, all you do is boil some whole-wheat pasta, defrost the pesto cube, stir them together and put them in a Thermos. Adding vegetables is always a good idea, too. I know, I know, what a typical thing for me to say, but it really does make it taste better. I've got to admit, though, pesto can be a little boring if I have it every single day. That's why I've created three amazing and very different sauces that you can freeze. The best part is that you can use them for so many things! Don't just feel limited to lunches here - use these during dinner and even breakfast, too. 

My favorite ways to use these sauces are, but are not limited to:

  • Spread over meat/fish and grill/bake to perfection
  • Toss in some whole-wheat pasta and add veggies, beans and/or meat of your choice
  • Use as a condiment for some super snazzy sandwiches 
  • Dip chopped vegetables in them 
  • Spread on whole-wheat toast with avocado and freshly ground pepper 
  • Flavor any cooked whole grain (quinoa, brown rice, bulgur, etc.) with the sauce of your choosing and jazz it up with some colorful veggies 
  • Add to any soup or stew
  • Package them in jars and give them to friends as gifts
  • Whatever your heart desires!
The absolute best part about these sauces is the fact that they all have the exact same preparation process. They take about ten minutes to make each. Make them all at once on a Sunday so you're all stocked up for the week, or try them out one at a time. Your choice! Enjoy!

From left to right: Classic Pesto, Roasted Red Pepper and Cilantro Pesto, and Sunshine Sauce 

3 Sauces, Infinite Possibilities

Ingredients for Classic Pesto (Makes about 2 cups) 
1 (12 oz) package of fresh basil, leaves only 
3 large garlic cloves, peeled 
1/4 cup pine nuts 
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese 
The juice of half of a large lemon 
Salt and pepper, to taste 
Extra-virgin olive oil 

Ingredients for Roasted Red Pepper and Cilantro Pesto (Makes about 1.5 cups)
2 cups fresh cilantro
1 cup pre-washed baby spinach
3 large garlic cloves, peeled
1/3 cup roughly chopped roasted red peppers
1/4 cup raw, unsalted almonds (it doesn't matter whether they're whole, slivered or sliced) 
The juice of 1/2 of a large lime 
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp smoked paprika 
Salt and pepper, to taste 
Extra-virgin olive oil 

Ingredients for Sunshine Sauce (Makes about 1 cup) 
1 cup raw, unsalted cashews, soaked in a bowl of water for 30 minutes 
2 large garlic cloves, peeled
1 large handful of fresh basil
The juice of 1/2 of a large lemon
The juice of 1/2 of a large lime 
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes 
Salt and lemon pepper/pepper, to taste 
Extra-virgin olive oil 

Preparation for All Sauces
Combine all the ingredients in a Vita-Mix or food processor. Remove the plastic plug from the lid. Start blending on a low speed. Gradually drizzle in a couple tablespoons of olive oil, increasing the speed as you go. Add more olive oil and/or water if you want the consistency to be smoother or thinner. Stop blending once you're happy with the consistency. Adjust the seasonings as needed. Transfer to an ice cube tray and freeze to save for later use. When you want to use it later, simply pop a cube of sauce out of the tray and defrost in the microwave for about 20 seconds. Enjoy!

Thanks for reading! Please share your recreations with me using #teenscancooktoo on Instagram! I love seeing what you guys create. Make sure you share this with all your friends at the social media sites below: 

Stay healthy!

- Madeline

No comments:

Post a Comment