Lately, it's seemed like every healthy living/food blog I follow has been raving about a certain sauce whose ingredients I could only assume were liquid joy and a shot of ecstasy (not that ecstasy...). That sauce would be the now slightly blog-famous Mmmm Sauce, originated by the fabulous Mama Pea, which was based off something called Yumm Sauce at cafe chain Cafe Yumm.
Never one to be ashamed to jump on a bandwagon of any sort, I decided I had to know what the appeal of this condiment-for-everything was. So, I ran to the store to pick up all the ingredients - though one tricky ingredient (another I'd been reading about for months on all the same blogs) eluded me: Nutritional yeast.
By all accounts, nutritional yeast is a wonder food. High in protein, low in fat and free of sugar, dairy and gluten, nutritional yeast is especially a staple of many vegan pantries. Its slightly nutty, cheesy flavor makes it the perfect ingredient to make a vegan "cheeze" sauce, and also a mighty-fine addition to popcorn and garlic bread. OK, awesome, but nutritional yeast, as I discovered, isn't easily found at any old grocery store. I looked high and low at three different markets and couldn't find it anywhere. Turns out, you need to head to a health-food store to find the stuff. I found mine in one of the bulk bins at the Outpost Natural Foods in Bay View, but I'm fairly confident that Whole Foods carries the stuff, as well.
Don't be put off by its extreme likeness to fish food - the stuff is good.
OK, so back to this dream sauce. Why did I title this post "Crash-Test-Dummies Sauce" rather than "Mmmm Sauce?" Well, while the original recipe called for curry, I didn't have curry on hand. What I did have was Punjab Red Tandoori, another Indian spice, so I just decided to use that instead. New ingredient = new name. Eric suggested "Crash Test Dummies" for obvious reasons.
The best part is, after you collect all the ingredients, it's super easy to make. For the original recipe, click here. If you want to make it like mine, just substitute Punjab Red Tandoori for curry - or try another Indian spice! I've also seen spinach added to the recipe, giving the sauce a nice bright green color.
Very, very slightly adapted from Mmmm Sauce
- 1/2 c. canola oil (or oil of your choice)
- 1/2 c. almonds
- 2/3 c. water
- 1/2 c. chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1/2 c. nutritional yeast
- 4 T. lemon juice
- 2 tsp. minced garlic
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1.5 T. curry powder
- 1 tsp. dried oregano
- 1 tsp. dried cilantro
You start off with almonds, chickpeas, oil and water in a food processor. Give it all a whir until it's smooth.
Once that's all liquidy, you simple dump in all the rest of the ingredients and process until smooth, again.
The result, honestly, lives up to the hype. I dipped a finger in right after everything was blended and was blown away. It's a bit nutty with a hint of cheese and garlic - all good things. I made a double batch of the stuff, which is said to keep in the fridge for 7-10 days, and here I am, four days later, having successfully polished off the entire batch.
I first drizzled it over stir-fried veggies and chicken.
After finishing that bowl, I made a small bowl of brown rice, corn and peas and topped with with more sauce. Also amazing.
Since then, Crash-Test-Dummies Sauce has found its way atop sliced cucumbers, quinoa, fresh salads and, more often than not, into my mouth straight from the spoon. It's just that good.
Nutritionally, this sauce is on par with hummus, so even a bowl-licking neanderthal like me can feel good about guzzling down the stuff like
I'm already planning on making a new triple batch tonight. You've been warned: The stuff is addicting.
Thank you, Mama Pea, for concocting such a versatile, flavorful and healthful sauce. I've got a feeling it will remain a staple in my fridge for weeks