Category: Sauces

Cooking Vegan for Lent: Eggplant Stew

While cooking professionally I worked in plenty of kitchens where meatless Fridays were observed. Friday Fish Frys and tuna salad were items that were prepared in huge quantities. Not being Catholic, I never quite understood the ritual of not eating meat on Fridays, but as a cook, I made the food that I was directed to prepare.

At the Deli, vast quantities of Tuna Salad were consumed. We were located in a catholic neighborhood and owned by Catholics. When working at the Brewery we could count on the owner, glass of beer in hand, laying down battered fish in the fryer. He was also a staunch Catholic.

While I've remained confused and uneducated about the abstinence and fasting rules, I am now cooking for people who observe the Season of Lent. This is a perfect opportunity to introduce them to 100% vegan food, and learn more about this religious observance.

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Poblano Cream Sauce: Warmth for the Winter

I love chilies. Anyone who reads this blog understands that. The two plants I managed to maintain and get fruit from this year are my jalapeno and poblano chili plants. My pride and joy is the poblano chili plant. Poblanos are my absolute favorite chili. They usually carry a mild to moderate heat, but have a bit of sweet to them.

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Vegan White Gravy, variations

One of the harder things about going vegan is making sauces. Without all the butter, cream and animal fat, how do you get good flavor into your sauces. I've been investigating this culinary quandary for quite awhile. And while I am adept at making chili sauces and soup broths, I've yet to find the magic in making a good gravy. Until I stumbled upon the secret. Mushrooms.

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Versatile Vegan White Gravy

Originally published in November, 2011, I thought I would revisit this versatile and vibrant vegan gravy. It is simple, yet packed with flavor, and can pair with any number of tasty entrees, especially Portobello Steaks with mashed potatoes and roasted asparagus.

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New Favorite Chili Sauce: Ancho Tamarind

I love a good chili sauce. One that has punch, and a bit of acid, with salt to balance the heat and the sour. I've been making chili sauces for a few years now, some with dried, and some with fresh chilis. I don't make them all the time, but when I do watch out. Your taste buds won't be able to forgive you for seconds in the heat.

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How to Make Simple Syrup

This syrup is a great base for making lemonade, or any other sweetened home-made drink. I’m going to try it out with the Ginger-beer recipe I found over at

Simple syrup can keep for a long time. So don’t worry. If you want to make a big batch (like I’m going to for the ginger beer) use a bigger stock pot. Just remember to keep a close eye on the stuff.

This goes great with Fresh-made Lemonade.

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New Mexico Red Chili Sauce

Blending red chilies after cooking for an hour. Add salt and lime, and serve with enchiliadas, tamales, and tofu.There is a mystique applied to sauces in general, and when it comes to chilis, even more so. Chili Sauce is as individual as the cook who makes it. I enjoy consistency in cooking, and have made this recipe a few hundred times with the same response: “yummy”.

You can find the red chili pods in grocery stores or a Latin/Mexican market. Make sure they are bright red. If you buy them from the bulk bin, make sure to rinse them off before cooking. They tend to get dusty.

I prefer New Mexico Red Chili pods, but if you can’t find them, any dried red chilis will do. Medium or hot is the best choice to make this versatile and vibrant sauce. read more

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Books by Chef Johnna

  • Delectable Vegan Soups -------------------------------------------------------
  • Things Vegans Fry: Crunchy Comfort Food for Vegans

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