Healthy Sauces from Around the World

Sauces used for dipping, spreading, and marinating can sometimes be full of ingredients that aren’t the healthiest. Here are some recipes from around the globe that are sure to satisfy your family’s palate and nutritional needs.

CHIMICHURRI is a sauce that can be found in many dishes from Argentina. It’s a great dipping sauce for bread, as well as a traditional marinade for “Gaucho-style” steak and potatoes. It’s rich in herbs, garlic, and olive oil making it a heart-healthy topping or marinade to all veggies and proteins.

1 cup chopped parsley

4 minced cloves of garlic

1 tsp. sea salt

½ tsp. fresh ground pepper

½ tsp. chili pepper flakes

1 tbsp. fresh oregano leaves

2 tbsp. minced shallot

¾ cup olive oil

3 tbsp. red wine vinegar

3 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

Place all ingredients in a food processor, so it chops up nicely—but don’t puree! Muy bien!

 

CUCUMBER RAITA is a flavorful sauce from India that’s often used with grilled proteins, rice, couscous, and potatoes. But also feel free to dip some naan (yummy Indian bread) into the raita as a healthy snack.

1 cup grated cucumber (you will have to squeeze the water out of the cucumber while grating to get the pulp into your measuring cup)

2 cups plain low-fat yogurt

1 minced garlic clove

1 tsp. chopped cilantro

½ tsp. salt

Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl (by hand) and your raita is ready to be dipped into or to be spread on top of your main meal foods.

 

GREMOLATA is a sauce from Italy. Instead of buttering your bread, you can use gremolata as a dip. Mostly, however, this sauce is sprinkled on your grilled proteins directly after they’ve been cooked.

1 small bunch of chopped parsley leaves

1 lemon- just the grated rind

1 clove garlic finely chopped

Mix the three ingredients and you’ve got your gremolata. Buon apetito!

 

TZATZIKI is a super heart-healthy sauce that comes from Greece. Mediterranean culture seems to understand which foods keep us healthiest. It’s delicious for pita dipping or spread on proteins/meats and potatoes.

2 cucumbers peeled, seeded, and finely chopped

½ diced white onion

1 seeded and diced tomato

2 cups plain Greek yogurt

1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

1 tbsp. olive oil

½ tsp. salt

½ tsp. dill

1 tsp. chopped oregano

1 clove minced garlic

Mix all ingredients. Sauce is ready. Opa!

The above recipes are sure to delight your taste buds and keep your waistline in line. Just make sure that what you’re using to dip is also a healthy option. A Paleo or gluten-free bread is a decent choice. Even better: raw veggies like carrots, celery, broccoli, and jicama will all work well with the above sauces.

The bottom line is that you can eat well nutrition- and health-wise without sacrificing deliciousness. Most fun is that you can experience different flavors from around the world. Eat well and enjoy!

CanaGel Melts

Too Busy to Keep up with Greens? Here’s a Smoothie Sure to Satisfy

Getting bored or fickle with your plant-based diet? Do you sometimes look in the fridge or pantry and nothing looks enticing? Perhaps it’s time to mix-it-up a bit. There’s an outstanding green smoothie that’s an oldie but a goodie. It’s a 10-minute prep and blend, and promises to delight in flavor and nutritional satisfaction.

New York Times bestselling author Angela Liddon has invented 100’s of vegan recipes, but there’s one kitchen sink-type drink full of veggies that promises to keep you feeling sated for hours. Its ingredients were chosen specifically by Liddon to create a perfect shake; it doesn’t include bananas, which is one reason why if you make a large batch, it will last for an entire day. She calls it the “All Day Glow Green Smoothie.” And glow you will.

She describes the flavor as “refreshing, tangy, and lightly sweet.” Included in the recipe is: fresh turmeric (found at Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods), which is a natural anti-inflammatory and pain-reliever; fresh cilantro beneficial for detoxifying; fresh parsley, an antioxidant containing vitamin K; red leaf lettuce containing iron and fiber; lemon, an antibacterial high in vitamin C; avocado for the good fat; and mango containing vitamin A and C along with prebiotic dietary fiber.

Here’s the recipe. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (250 mL) coconut water
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) mango juice (I love Happy Planet Organic Mango juice)
  • 2 large (400 g total) Granny Smith apples, cored and roughly chopped
  • 2 cups (70 g) packed red leaf lettuce or romaine
  • 2/3 cup (18 g) loosely packed fresh parsley leaves
  • 1/3 cup (15 g) packed fresh cilantro leaves OR ¼ cup of fresh mint
  • 1/2 cup (70 g) frozen mango chunks
  • 1/4 cup (50 g) packed avocado
  • 4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice, or to taste
  • 2 small, pinky-sized pieces (12 g total) peeled fresh turmeric
  • 5 to 6 large ice cubes, or as needed

Directions:

  1. Add the coconut water and mango juice into a (64-ounce) high-speed blender. (If your blender is on the small side, you may want to make a half-batch.)
  2. Now add the rest of the ingredients. Blend on high until super smooth. If you have a Vitamix, use the tamper stick to get things moving. Taste and adjust sweetness if desired. If it’s too tart, feel free to add a bit of liquid sweetener.
  3. Serve and enjoy! Place any leftovers into an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to 24 hours. I love to enjoy half in the morning, and the other half in the afternoon.