Thursday, July 23, 2015

Cooking Vegan: Creamy Tarragon Sauce

If you read the blog (Hi readers!) or follow on Instagram (Check me out!), you know about al2getherFIT celebrating Meatless Monday. 

In preparation for this new weekly celebration, I purchased a vegan cookbook for some inspiration. Not just any cookbook, a cookbook filled with  "amazingly, easy, wildly delicious vegan recipes for every day of the week!" 

Side Note: I LOVE cookbooks so much more than finding a recipe on Pinterest. It's nice to have the actual book in front of you and not needing to unlock your phone every 2 minutes, with doughy fingers, when the screen goes black. Am.I.Right?

When the book first arrived, I was so excited flipping though the gorgeous pages of food. 

Then I wondered how many things would actually get cooked from this cookbook. The sad truth...

I've cooked vegan before, but simple things. Think salads, soups, stirfrys, and some pastries. I consider myself "intermediate" on the vegan cooking scale.

That little piece of intermediate confidence slowly died on Monday.

I picked a recipe, and started cooking it around 2 p.m. 

Side note #2:
When I'm cooking dinner, I usually try and prep everything possible before heading to the gym when Angelo gets home. Some days I'll have the meal fully prepared so we just need to heat it up, OR on other days we use that glorious tool called the crock pot and dinner is served almost immediately upon entering the house. Do what works!

The Recipe: Sweet Potato Gnocchi
I picked this recipe because I'm a gnocchi fan, and I've never made homemade gnocchi before so I sought out the challenge.

Everything was going smoothly until I tried handling the dough. I must of used too many sweet potatoes, and not enough corn starch or something because no matter how much flour I added to the dough, it NEVER got manageable. It never got to the point where it would roll into balls of any sort. It just clumped and stuck to my hands like a thick glue. Isn't that weird? I'm still so confused about it. 

My "gnocchi" ended up having WAY too much flour, shapeless, and more like dumplings. I was totally discouraged at this point and actually thought about throwing everything away. I thought "If I can't get this part of the recipe right, I'm probably not going to get the 2nd half right either."

I put my gnocchi/dumplings in the fridge and headed to the gym. 

Back from the gym, with all ingredients already bought to do the second half of the recipe, I sucked it up and started cooking the Brussel sprouts and sauce for the dumplings....and I'm SO glad I did. Although I adapted this part to what I knew would work for me (since the 1st part went horribly wrong), it still turned out amazing, with the whole table raving about it! 

This sauce is absolutely delicious! It's a creamy tarragon sauce, and I have to admit I was also hesitate because I've never cooked with tarragon before. Would I even like it? (Such negative vibes spewing out of my during this process!) Verdict: I loved it and I want to cook all the things with tarragon (until my supply runs out).

Next time I will use more brussel sprouts and serve the brussel sprouts with the sauce as a side dish. I think any veggie would be fabulous in this sauce; broccoli, asparagus, cauliflower, or zucchini! Maybe I'm just giving my gnocchi/dumplings the stank face, but I probably won't be making any more attempts at them. 

On to the good good....

Vegan Creamy Tarragon Sauce

What you’ll need:
½  cup cashews, soaked in water for at least 2 hours, then drained
1 ½  cup vegetable broth
2 tbsp. EVOO, divided
1 lb. bag of Brussel sprouts, washed, and halved
1 medium yellow onion
6 cloves garlic, sliced
1 cup dry white cooking wine
½  tsp salt
¼  cup tarragon leaves, loosely packed

What you do:
Place cashews and vegetable broth in blender. Blend until smooth, this will take about 2-5 minutes. Set aside.
In a large skillet, heat 1 tbsp. EVOO over medium high heat.
Put in Brussel sprouts and season lightly with salt. Let cook, stirring frequently until caramelized, 5-8 minutes.
Add ¼ cup water and cover to steam, about 2 minutes.
Transfer Brussel sprouts to large bowl and let sit.
In same skillet, add 1 tbsp. EVOO and sauté the onion and sliced garlic until both golden brown.
Add the wine and salt. Stir to combine.Let simmer at a lower heat for 5 minutes to reduce wine by about half.
Pour in cashew mixture and tarragon leaves. Cook and let thicken for 3-5 minutes.
Add in Brussel sprouts and toss to coat.


**This recipe was adapted from the vegan cookbook, Isa Does It. I purchased Isa Does It on HERE


  1. YUM! That sounds yummy. You had me at Brussels Sprouts!

  2. This looks delicious! I've never made a vegan sauce but I might have to try this one!

    1. It was my first vegan sauce too! It didn't disappoint! :)