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The Saucy Vegetarian Paperback – January 1, 2000
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In contrast to most cookbooks, the recipes are just as quick to follow as they look; the focus is kept tightly on simple uncooked sauces and you will learn how to make all of them. Preparation time is pretty minimal for most recipes so it really is possible to whip up something to put over quinoa, potatoes, spaghetti squash, crusty bread, etc. etc. in ten minutes or so. And it tastes good. If the thought of a cold sauce turns you off, just microwave it for a couple of minutes and you will never know the difference.
The author does a good job of both explaining the principles you need to improvise sauces without following a recipe, and supplying plenty of good recipes to try while you are getting there.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone who wants a quick and straightforward guide to adding flavorful sauces, dressings, spreads, and dips to their food, vegetarian or not. You probably will need to buy some foods you would not likely have in the kitchen otherwise (unusual nut butters, specialty vinegars, etc.) but most of these keep well and are good values.
A word on blending - a food processor is not likely to be enough. At first I was hesitant to make anything for fear of the cleanup involved in a full-size blender full of sticky goop. Then I realized that a hand blender with a tall, narrow blender cup works excellently: nothing splatters if the cup matches the blender properly, there is no issue over cleaning food out from around the blades (just lift the hand blender out, _unplug_, and lick it off!), and it is easy to store leftovers by just capping the blender cup and tossing in the refrigerator. My Osterizer blender just broke recently but I will look for a new, sturdier one.