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  • Oh my gosh, I love this idea!! I am going to try it and am looking forward to having it simplify my life during the week. Then, maybe on the weekends I will have enough energy to get to more time consuming or creative recipes. Thank you!

  • I never leave comments, but this one earns my thank you. This will really help me continue to reduce my use of store bought sauces, feel better about my cooking, and make use of what is in the kitchen, instead of thinking ‘there’s nothing to eat!’ Much appreciated!

  • Great ideas! And perfect timing, as I’m planning my grocery list and meals right now.
    Just wanted to make a suggestion for those (like me) that can’t tolerate coconut: use any non-dairy milk and blend in a handful of cashews or sunflower seeds, adding 1/2-1 tsp of coconut extract, if you want. The nuts/seeds create the richness of coconut milk ~ and the extract is obvious ;). If you don’t have a monster blender, soak the nuts for a few hours, or strain the mixture before cooking.

    1. Terrific tip, Aviva! I avoid coconut milk due to the sat fat. Have done nondairy milk with coconut flavor but not thought to add the nuts or seeds.

      1. I can’t wait to try this! I wonder how the sat fat compares between the coconut milk and the added cashews? It’s definitely less processed though, right? I love coconut milk, but feel so guilty due to the sat fat too. I have tried the extract and plant milk and I guess I miss the richness from the fat so hope this might be a good in between. Also another “sauce” idea is we use California Balsamics. Have you tried these? I was introduced to these recently. They have many SOS free flavors/ spices. My husband is a road warrior and it’s the first thing ever that he brings with him like his phone. We love the sweet heat, blazing habanero(both of these are good for everything), dill(potatoes), and lemon(salads) to name a few. If you are a barbecue guy like my husband, he loves the smoke and teriyaki too on his veggies. They have $8 flat rate shipping. Mention ChefAJ and you get 2 free samples.

  • Thank you so much! I sometimes run our of ideas….these sauces really help! And easy enough for my college aged girls to make, as they embark on their new vegan journey!

  • Thanks! These are great ideas. I think and cook pretty much the same way and just hope my husband doesn’t notice it’s cabbage and carrots again, because the sauce and add-ons are different ?

  • Love this! I have been telling myself that I just need to remember some sauces…and you go and do it for me! Thank you!!! Can’t wait to get home and start cooking.

  • I really liked this post. I can’t wait to try these sauces. Super good timing as I try to simplify cooking to free up time and decrease stress around cooking. Thanks!!!

  • Would you say each recipe would serve about four people? Love the idea, thanks for sharing! We feed 6 to 8 people a night. I will probably double everything.

  • Great idea’s, thanks Doug, you star yet again.
    Reminds me of my Mum when I was young in Melbourne, Monday was Lamb chops, chips (fries) and peas. That lasted for years until she set the kitchen on fire cooking the chips!
    Also, for us non Americans, what is Chipotle?

    1. Ha! I hope that fire didn’t stop her from cooking!
      Chipotle is a small pepper that has been dried and smoked, but I usually use a pre-made seasoning mix. It’s smoky, and typically associated with Mexican or Tex-Mex food. Think chili powder, cumin, and smoked jalapenos.

  • Love this! I meal plan for my vegetarian family of 5 every week, but sometimes I am just stumped for new ideas or feel uninspired. This is a perfect guide for me and great base recipes! Thank you!

  • Matt, thanks a million for the ideas and recipes. I’ve started a new habit of making a crockpot of soup every Sunday morning and I might also make one or two of these sauces while the soup’s on. That would leave my fridge stocked for the week for streamlined weeknight dinners.

    1. Great question! I actually meant to add that in. Some of the sauces will freeze well in a ziplock bag — tomato and Teriyaki would be best. The coconut may separate, so you’d want to mix it up really well after heating it up. I probably wouldn’t recommend freezing the cashew or tahini.

  • Wonderful post! I’m a new vegan and it can get overwhelming at times trying to come up with new ideas. This is a lifesaver!

  • Thanks for sharing all the great info on sauces in one simple article. There’s so much included here, it’s mind boggling. I can’t wait to try them. On my own, I have been getting so bored.

  • Wowza!! Dude..this is a fantastic list! Thank you-looking forward to trying some unique sauces. Keeping this list ~for life!!

  • Thank you so much! This is exactly the kind of thing I’ve been looking for since giving up cheese..gonna try the tomato & cashew first!

  • OMG – I’m laughing because I get pleasure out of seeing how the men look at cooking.
    They love making a system out of things. I’m a long time gourmet cook , who has become Vegan, and also who is tired of over-thinking, and over working in the kitchen. I worship at the alter of simplicity, and you have helped me. Love your idea’s.

  • This is just brilliant stuff! Thank you for simplifying my life so much! I have each of these sauces in my fridge. Whenever I come home from work, I now choose some vegetables, choose pasta, rice, quinoa or whatever and toss one of these sauces in. Simple and delicious each time!

  • I knew I’d find someone who understands how sauces are the soul if any food! I’ve been looking for a while for an article like this. I’m glad I found it. Thank you!

  • This is perfect!!! I have been looking for a long time for ways to cook delicious vegetables meals and found it too convoluted. It wasn’t until I typed “vegan sauces for vegetables” that I came across your post. Brilliant! I think that this vegan cook just got transformed! Thank you!

  • I haven’t tried a single recipe from this post yet but it was exactly what I needed. On the weekend it’s fun too pull out the fancy vegan cookbooks and try something complicated but when you come home tired from work you just want something quick and simple. I have been looking for simple sauces that I can put on what I have on hand. I can’t wait to try them.

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