Sauces

Meatless Rochester-style Meat Hot Sauce

In the Western New York city of Rochester, ordering hot sauce on an item will often get you something you may not have expected — a meat-based spicy “sauce” that more closely resembles chili without the beans and veggies. It’s mostly found in Rochester’s “hots” restaurants — greasy spoon joints that serve hot dogs, burgers, and other picnic-type menu items.

In Rochester, we celebrate this hot sauce by slathering it on everything from burgers and dogs to macaroni salad, french fries, and even omelets. So you could imagine how a meat-eater turned plant-based guy like me would be on a mission to “veganize” this regional specialty.

So yeah, I did it. And yeah, I served it to local meat eaters. And yeah, they came back for more!

This recipe is based off the original Nick Tahou’s meat sauce recipe but uses no meat, no oil, and is completely plant-based. Try it on my Ultimate Oil-Free Vegan Garbage Plate!

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Perfect Plant-Based Oil-Free Caesar Dressing

I love Caesar salad and so does my wife. Up until now, I really missed it. I tried several recipes for vegan Caesar dressing I found online, but they either had oil in them (which I left out) or just didn’t cut it. Some were cashew-based, some were tofu-based, and one was even hummus-based.

None of them worked. The consistency wasn’t right, or the flavor, or both. Then my genius of a wife said to me one day, “Why don’t you try to use plant-based yogurt? You used to use a yogurt Caesar dressing before we were plant-based. Try that.”

LIGHT BULB = BOOM.

Immediately I looked for a yogurt-based Caesar dressing online and began “veganizing it” to fit the WFPB diet. After a couple iterations and some tweaking, it’s here — The Perfect Plant-Based Oil-Free Caesar Dressing.

We’re now having fresh Caesar salads a few times a week either as a full meal at lunch time or as a side at dinner. I hope you love this as much as we do!

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Oil-Free Vegan Mayonnaise (Plain or Fiesta-style)

Vegan mayonnaise. This is a tough one. The store-bought brands are unhealthy as hell. Have you looked at the ingredients? In all of them that I’m aware of, the main ingredient is oil (or water, then oil). That’s not something I want to just plop on top of my otherwise healthy dinner. In one tablespoon of the most popular variety, there are 9 grams of fat. No thanks.

So if you’re looking for an alternative, here’s my altered version of Green Garden Mayonnaise from The China Study Cookbook. This is great on its own, but also versatile enough to flavor with your favorite spices or herbs to customize. My favorite version is my “Fiesta-style” mayonnaise because, well, I just like to party (alteration in the directions).

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Non-Dairy Hollandaise Sauce

I love a good hollandaise sauce. But good hollandaise sauces are cream-based. Until now. We love this tofu-based, dairy-free, vegan sauce. It’s so good that I actually feel guilty eating a lot of it, even though I shouldn’t. Not only is this perfect for our Eggless Avocado and Tomato Benedict, but it’s also great over steamed veggies, baked potatoes, or whatever else you can think of!

This makes about 4 cups.

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Super Easy Oil-Free Vegan Tomato Sauce

I was raised on this tomato sauce. This recipe was given to me by my Italian mother, and then I “veganized” it to create an oil-free vegan tomato sauce that’s compliant with the WFPB diet. And I’ll be honest with you, I can’t tell the difference. Not only is my version as delicious as hers, it’s way healthier. She starts hers with olive oil and Italian sausage, and the sausage really gives her sauce a great flavor. In order to replicate that flavor but keep the sauce meatless, I added fennel seed, a key component of Italian sausage. To complete the transition to an oil-free vegan tomato sauce, I swapped out her olive oil for white wine.

So no, it’s not a “start with a bushel of tomatoes and cook them down all day” kind of traditional Italian sauce, but it’s damn good. Let’s be honest. Who the hell wants to go through all of that every time you want sauce when you can buy canned tomatoes and sauce, saving both time and money? Not me. And probably not you.

Feel free to customize this recipe to suit your tastes. Add mushrooms, veggies, soy protein crumbles, whatever you like. Enjoy!

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Creamy Versatile Instant Pot Cheese Sauce

I’ve tried a lot of different “cheese” sauces, and this is my favorite. It’s becoming a staple in our house. We use it on vegetables, baked potatoes, Mexican dishes, and even as queso with chips. It’s really versatile. I’ve also used this in mac and cheese and thickened small batches up with tapioca starch for grilled cheese sandwiches!

This recipe is for the basic version. If you’re looking for something spicy, like for nachos, add diced jalapeños or some chipotle spice.

This makes about 5 cups.

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