I’m pretty sure every time I say the words vegetarian, vegan, or dairy-free, Vishnu’s heart skips a beat. And not in a good way.
That’s why I sometimes don’t tell him what I’m making until after he eats a few bites. Depending on what he has going on, this tactic can work in my favor or not.
When it works in my favor, I get a, “This is good, Par. What’s in it?” And when it doesn’t…well, take this past Sunday when I was making a Vegan Pumpkin Sauce recipe my coworker shared with me…
I start the cooking process by chopping up an onion. Vishnu asks if he can help me in any way. I smile, say no, and tell him to go watch TV and relax. He gives me a weird look and goes away. I continue cooking. About three minutes later he comes back, pokes around a bit, and asks if he can help. This time I tell him to open up a can of pumpkin. He gives me a strange look. And then the questions start.
“What are you making?”
”Why are you being so secretive?”
”Should I make some meat to go with this pasta?”
”Why are you putting pumpkin in the sauce? It tastes gross.”
I do my best to ignore him. After adding the finishing touches to the sauce, I plate our food and we sit down to eat.
After taking a few bites, Vishnu says, “This is good, but you know what would have made it even better? Some meat!”
GAH! At least I got a “this is good!”
Anyway, I LOVED this sauce and found it to be unique and quite delicious all on it’s own. It’s one of the simplest things I’ve ever made and took less than 30 minutes to throw together. And the best part is that you can put whatever creative spin you want on it – different spices, different/additional veggies, etc. And you can’t even tell it’s vegan. I promise!
And don’t listen to Vishnu. It’s great even without any meat!
Vegan Pumpkin Sauce
1 teaspoon coconut oil
1/2 of a medium onion, finely diced
1 pint of grape tomatoes, pureed in a food processor
3 large garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
3 sage leaves, cut using the chiffonade technique
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
Heat the oil in a large pan. Add the onion and cook for a few minutes until the onion is translucent. Add the tomatoes and cook for a few more minutes. Add the garlic, salt, and pepper. Cover and cook for 3-5 minutes. Add the sage, oregano, red pepper flakes, almond milk, and pumpkin puree. Whisk everything together until pumpkin is well incorporated into the sauce. Cover and allow to simmer for 7-10 minutes.
While I think of this as a pasta sauce (because that’s how we ate it), it would pair well with rice, quinoa, and even meat as Vishnu pointed out!
Happy Friday, everyone!