At a time like this, we all have questions. For the less pressing ones, I have an answer, and it involves sauce. The one, big, solvable daily question we are all facing is this: how am I going to make all these random leftovers into a meal without going to the store? This leads to satellite questions like, how much broccoli salad can one person eat in a day (answer: a shocking amount); and, when we’ve reached that point, what am I going to do with all this tahini I bought for that recipe
I’m so glad you asked. Thankfully the internet is now mobbed with tips like this on how to use the things that have been hanging in your pantry, waiting for their moment and your desperation. As mentioned in “get saucy with me,” (a darned useful collection of taste sensations), the right sauce or dressing is sometimes all you need to pull together humble ingredients and make them a feast.
Even though tahini opens up many options, you may need to wait for your next store run to make this baby that minimalist baker calls “liquid gold.” It is easy, fast and delicious, but requires some advanced pantry staples, all of which I promise we’ll use in the weeks to come. Namely, you’ll probably need to wrangle up some nutritional yeast and chickpeas* (Vegans can relax–I know you have these on auto delivery). The rest of you for sure have curry powder, right? And likely turmeric, from that time you vowed to mix up a comforting mug of golden milk to drink after your daily yoga. Or maybe because you actually are drinking golden milk after daily yoga. Namaste you! The rest is all pretty standard pantry fare.
This goes well as a dip or a dressing, and can transform rice, pasta, baked potatoes, sandwiches, quesadillas, salads, etc into something a little more exciting that “that stuff in Tupperware.” Bake up a couple loaves of easiest French bread ever, and you’ve just bought yourself a day off from lunch and snack duty.
Check out Lunch Deconstructed as a solid starting point for how to make leftovers into a feast, and stay tuned for some crock pot clinics on mass production of foundational lunch/snack fare. Does it get more exciting???
I hope you all are staying healthy, sane and well-fed!
*careful and prompt readers will note that the first version of this called out raw cashews. In my isolated state I somehow forgot that no cashews will be pulverized for this sauce. Bonus!
Liquid Gold Sauce
- 1/2 cup chickpeas (rinsed and drained)
- 1 Tbsp nutritional yeast
- 2 small cloves garlic, skin removed
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice (or sub lime)
- 1 Tbsp tahini (or cashew butter)
- 1/4 tsp sea salt, plus more to taste
- 1/4 tsp ground turmeric
- 1/4 tsp curry powder
- 1/8 tsp ground cumin (for milder sauce, omit the cumin and use only curry powder)
- 1 dash cayenne pepper (optional // omit for less heat)
- 2 tsp maple syrup (plus more to taste)
- 1/3 cup water, plus more as needed
- To a small blender or food processor (though it won’t be as creamy), add chickpeas, nutritional yeast, garlic, lemon, tahini, salt, ground turmeric, curry powder, ground cumin, cayenne (optional, but c’mon), maple syrup, and water.
- Blend on high until creamy and smooth. Add more water as needed until a thick, pourable sauce is achieved.
- Taste and adjust flavor as needed, adding more salt to taste, curry powder for spice, tahini for creaminess / nuttiness, lemon for acidity, cayenne for heat, or maple syrup for sweetness.
- Use immediately or store covered in the refrigerator up to 1 week. You can also freeze it up to 1 month and thaw before use (do not heat) although best when fresh.
- Perfect for use on just about anything — think roasted sweet potatoes, burrito bowls, salads, and more!