“For Anything” Sauce [Recipe Redux]

by Sarah on April 21, 2017 · 1 comment

Long time, no blogging, huh?

I may have reached the point where there is too much to even catch you up on (if you’re even reading anymore) and I should just gloss over the facts of the past few months. But for now, I’ll give you a recipe that you can use to gloss over your leftovers.*

*Not my best transition…I’m a bit rusty.


I wanted to jump in this month to help The Recipe Redux bring attention to the problem of food waste (in honor of Earth Day). This is something I have been concerned with ever since I lived in Austin and attended a viewing of the documentary Dive. More recently, John Oliver did a fantastic job of explaining the issue and why we all should be concerned.


Now, my contribution is useful for using up leftovers–extra veggies, extra cooked grains, extra bites or bits of meat, or the last few eggs in the carton–but it is doubly effective at promoting conservation, because many of these “extras” are in my fridge because I purposely cook more than I need.

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If the oven’s already on, cook as many vegetables as you can.

If you’re cooking two servings of rice, why not cook four (or more)?

It’s just as easy to cook four chicken breasts as it is two, isn’t it?

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All of these leftovers make for endless combinations of delicious and nutritious lunchtime (or dinner time) concoctions of happiness.*

*If happiness, for you, is defined as “everything random from the fridge dumped in a bowl for me to eat with chopsticks”

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The Professor isn’t down with leftovers, but I cook just so that I can HAVE leftovers.IMG_9506 (640x427)

And I made up a “sauce” (or dressing) that works with, well, ANYTHING. Literally. I have yet to find a vegetable, a grain, or a protein that it does not taste delicious poured over. (And that includes scrambled eggs–or eggs that should have been an omelette but weren’t. It’s like fried rice that way.)IMG_9497 (640x427)

(Leftover) Veggies + Grain + Protein + “For Anything Sauce”

[Bonus points if you actually use an almost empty jar of mustard to make it in rather than throwing it away.]IMG_9485 (427x640)

“For Anything” Sauce

  • 2 parts* stone ground dijon mustard
  • 2 parts lemon juice
  • 1 part maple syrup
  • 1 part low sodium tamari
  • 1/2 part EVOO
  • ground black pepper (to taste)

*NOTE: a “part” for a single serving is a teaspoon…to store some extra, use 1 Tbsp for each “part” (or keep adjusting up from there)

Whisk together all ingredients.

Pour over desired grain, vegetables, and protein.

Stir well.


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I received a free sample of Kikkoman soy sauce mentioned in this post. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by Kikkoman and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.


When I found out that The Recipe Redux and Kikkoman were co-sponsoring a “Sodium Saving, Flavor Raising” contest to substitute soy sauce for salt in a favorite recipe, I knew I would have to participate. Soy sauce is rich in (the best of the tastes) umami, and can add that missing ‘something’ to a dish, and since transitioning to a a Low FODMAP diet, it has become a go-to seasoning addition for almost every dressing, sauce, marinade, and soup or stew I have made. Low FODMAPPERS have to find as many ways to add oomph to recipes as we can, because we can’t fall back on onion or garlic to add subtle undertones of flavor.


The even better news is that using it instead of table salt in a recipe will give you all the flavor with lower sodium. Using 1/2 tsp. Kikkoman Soy Sauce in place of 1/2 tsp. table salt will cut the sodium content of the recipe is cut by 1000 mg.

[In addition to Less Sodium Soy Sauce, Kikkoman offers a variety of other less sodium products including 50% Less Sodium Gluten-Free Tamari Soy Sauce, Less Sodium Teriyaki Marinade & Sauce, and 50% Less Sodium Gluten-Free Teriyaki Marinade & Sauce.]


For this contest, I went to one of my favorite recipes: shakshuka, a traditionally Middle Eastern dish of eggs poached in tomato sauce. I used to eat it with toast, but Low FODMAP has made me a fan of eating rice whenever possible, so I now serve it over rice.img_9434-1280x853

While simply substituting soy sauce for salt wouldn’t make the flavor profile any different in the face of some strong spices, I wanted to play up the slightly Asian undertones by adding ginger and sambal oolek chile paste to the original recipe.


And my shakshuka will never be as pretty as those perfectly round, poached eggs you’ll see on Pinterest or in any recipe search for the dish on Google, it tastes just as good as they do, I’m sure….if not better.


“Sodium Saving” Low FODMAP Shakshuka with Ginger & Soy

(Serves 4)

  • 4-8 eggs (depending on appetites)*
  • 1 Tbsp. garlic infused olive oil
  • 2 tsp. minced ginger
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 14-oz can no salt added diced tomatoes (preferably fire roasted)
  • 1 8 oz. can no salt added tomato sauce
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 2 tsp. sweet paprika
  • 1/4 tsp. sambal oolek (chile paste)
  • 1 Tbsp. Kikkoman Traditionally Brewed Less Sodium Soy Sauce (or more, to taste)
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 cup brown rice, dry measure
  1. Prepare rice according to package directions.
  2. In a large, wide skillet or sauce pan–preferably with a high ‘lip’/edge and definitely with a lid–saute ginger and bell pepper in garlic infused olive oil until softened.
  3. Add tomatoes and tomato sauce to the pan, stirring well to combine all vegetables.
  4. Stir in spices and Kikkoman soy sauce and bring sauce to a simmer.
  5. Continue to simmer about 5 minutes.
  6. Reduce heat to medium low.
  7. Crack eggs into a small bowl, then slide into the pan one at a time, working in batches if necessary.
  8. Cover pan and cook eggs until whites are (at least mostly) cooked and yolks are just setting up.
  9. Spoon egg(s) into bowls with rice and sprinkle with cilantro.


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So the theme of this month’s Recipe Redux was Grab a Book (and Cook), celebrating December 2016 by choosing a recipe on page 16, 201, 12, or some combination of all those numbers.


Instead, I grabbed an e-mail. But it was sent on December 16th.

[Or the 18th. Whatever.]


The thing is, The Professor is already up north, where I will soon join him, but while he’s gone, I needed to make this recipe, because it features two of his most hated–and my most favorite–ingredients: ginger and peanut butter.


I made it Low FODMAP by removing the shallots and onions, using water instead of broth, and–because too much zucchini always causes me tummy trouble–subsituted the better tasting yellow squash.


I also made it a bit healthier (maybe?) by roasting the veggies instead of frying them, although you could definitely just saute or steam them with the ginger and spices in the pot.


This is CRAZY good and SUPER simple and I wish I had any chance of convincing The Professor to eat it. Guess I’ll just have to save it for every time he goes out of town. :)


Low FODMAP Spicy Ginger Peanut Stew

[Adapted from Julia Moskin’s recipe for The New York Times]

(Serves 8)

  • 1/2 lb. yellow squash (about two small to medium sizes), chopped
  • 1 medium eggplant, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. coconut oil
  • 3-4 Tbsp. minced ginger
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/4 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • 3/4 tsp. turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 asafoetida (optional)
  • 2 14.5 oz cans fire roasted diced tomatoes (with no added seasonings for Low FODMAP)
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 4 cups water
  • 1/2 cup natural peanut butter (or 1/2 cup peanut flour mixed with 1/4 cup water)
  • 2-3 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish
  • 1/4 cup dry roasted peanuts, for garnish
  • 2 cups brown rice, dry measure
  1. Roast squash and eggplant for 20 minutes in a 400 degree oven (until crisp tender, but not mushy). Set aside.
  2. Prepare rice acording to package directions.
  3. While rice is cooking, heat coconut oil in a soup pot over medium heat until melted.
  4. Add ginger and seasonings to the pot, stirring well. Cook and stir about 2-3 minutes.
  5. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, water, and peanut butter to the pot.
  6. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer.
  7. Stir in roasted veggies.
  8. Just before serving, stir in lemon juice and cilantro.
  9. Serve over brown rice, sprinkled with cilantro and peanuts.



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If The Professor ate kale and said it was good, then I feel like I would be abandoning my duties to the world NOT to share the recipe.


Dinosaur kale if you’re fun, Tuscan kale if you’re not. Toasted walnuts. Simple dressing. A smidge of sharp cheese. (I used the special edition Grano Padano from Aldi’s, but Parmesan is also sufficient.)

Easy and delicious. Made The Professor willingly eat kale.

Not sure what more I have to say.

Low FODMAP Dinosaur/Tuscan Kale Salad with Maple Lemon Vinaigrette

(Serves 4-6)

  • 1 bunch Dinosaur/Tuscan kale
  • 1/4 cup toasted walnuts, chopped
  • 1/4 cup shaved Grano Padano or Parmesan cheese
  • 1 Tbsp. garlic-infused olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. EVOO
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 5 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 1/2- 2 Tbsp. maple syrup

Wash and ‘de-stem’ the kale. Cut into thin (1/4″ or so) strips.

Whisk together dressing ingredients.

Pour dressing over kale and massage with your hands (or just mix together with a spoon).

Just before serving, sprinkle with cheese and walnuts.

Toss lightly and serve.

Note: I like to dress the salad and let it sit in the fridge for a few hours because I think it tastes better, but the kale shold soften up in as little as 30 minutes.

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I received free samples of the Krusteaz products mentioned in this post. I was not compensated for my time.


Nothing says “Thank You” like freshly baked muffins.img_8772-1280x853

And nothing says “Happy Fall Birthday!” like a giant cake made out of pumpkin pancakes.


Luckily, I was able to “Say it with Krusteaz” AND show off their brand new packaging.


The smell of your kitchen alone is worth baking for…img_8739-1280x853

…but the rave reviews and fabulous taste make these gifts of baked treats truly special.


Pumpkin Pancake Birthday Cake with Spiced Pears

  • 1 box Krusteaz Pumpkin Spice Pancake Mix
  • 1 1/4 cup 2% milk
  • 1 cup water
  • cooking spray (butter or coconut oil)
  • 2 cups fresh pears, peeled and chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. pie spice
  • 1 8 oz. container whipped topping
  • 2-3 Tbsp. maple syrup
  1. In a medium saucepan, combined fresh pears, 2 tsp. pie spice, and a few tablespoons of water (to cover the bottom of the pan). Bring to a simmer and cook until pears are soft, but not mushy.
  2. Meanwhile, stir together pancake mix, milk, and water, in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Heat a small skillet* over medium to high heat.
  4. Working one at a time, make pancakes approximately 6″ in diameter, spraying the pan well with cooking spray in between each one. [If you mess up a few, that’s OK! This recipe allows for about 3 large pancakes to be leftover for snacking….or mistakes.]
  5. Allow pancakes to cool.
  6. While pears and pancakes are cooling, stir together whipped topping and 2 Tbsp. maple syrup.
  7. When pancakes are cool, assemble cake: layer a pancake, topped with whipped topping, sprinkled with pears, then repeat, ending with whipped topping and pears.
  8. Sprinkle remaining tsp. of pie spice over the top of the cake and drizzle with remaining syrup.

*I used a 6″ skillet, so each pancake filled the pan. If you have a larger skillet, you can make more pancakes at a time, but you’ll need to try and keep them uniform size.


I was also given the chance to sample some of Krusteaz Gluten-Free mixes, and I had people in my office–where I left the Blueberry Muffins–coming up to me days later telling me how addictively delicious they were!


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So if you’re like me, you kind of thought, “Cool theme fort this month’s Recipe Redux, but really, aren’t these ‘Plant Power Bowls’ just about the sauce you cover everything in?”


But man, the delicata squash (although butternut or sweet potatoes will do), roasted at 400 degrees with just a little olive oil, salt, pepper, and thyme is so delicious it’s hard to save enough to even MAKE a bowl.img_8931-1280x853

And roasted grapes..nothing added, just popped in to the oven along with the squash (or potatoes) until bursting with sweetness (literally….out spills the juice)–well those go down like candy.img_8990-1280x853

Oh, and of course the spinach, sauteed with lemon juice, ginger, and salt is everything you would hope it could be.img_9000-1280x853

The quinoa is perfect for providing protein, fiber, and perfect for soaking everything up.img_8992-1280x853

But yeah, it’s really just about the sauce.img_8983-1280x823

Pumpkin Spice Miso Peanut Sauce

[Makes enough for 4-6 bowls]

  • 1/4 cup peanut butter (or 4 Tbsp. peanut powder + 2 1/3 Tbsp. water)
  • 3 Tbsp. warm water
  • 1 Tbsp. mellow white miso
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 2 tsp. pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp. pumpkin spice
  • 1/4 tsp sambal oolek (optional)

Whisk together all ingredients.

Pour liberally over the bowl described above….or anything, really.

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I received free samples of the Bumble Bee Albacore Tuna mentioned in this post. I was not compensated for my time.


When you go on a Low FODMAP diet, you start to rely on straight-up protein as the one thing you know will keep your belly calm. So regardless of potential mercury elevating effects (whichI think have been debunked?) I find myself consuming multiple cans of tuna a week. Sometimes just cracked open, water squeezed out, a pinch of salt added, and eaten straight from the can with a fork.

Because that’s what you do when you can’t eat a bowl of watermelon for a snack anymore.img_8861-1280x853

What perfect timing then, with Bumble Bee Seafoods recent announcement that it would be the first major American tuna supplier to certify all of its canned white albacore tuna as Non-GMO, in addition to an expansion of  Trace My Catch feature, which will now include all of its salmon, sardines, and clam products, in addition to its tuna.img_8866-1280x774

In honor of these sustainable achievements–and because October is National Seafood Month–I was given the opportunity to create a recipe using the new, Non-GMO branded tuna for a recipe.


I figured I should probably move beyond the salt, fork, can mode of consumption mentioned earlier, but I didn’t feel the need to get TOO complicated. After all, my cooking time these days involves whatever I can make happen in the 10 minutes I stand up to stretch from dissertation transcription and writing.img_8875-1280x853

This, though, this is worth taking a break for.


Low FODMAP Curry Coconut Tuna Salad

[Makes 1-2 servings, depending on hunger level :)]

  • 1 6 oz. can Bumble Bee Non-GMO Wild Caught Albacore Tuna in Water
  • 2 Tbsp. finely diced carrots
  • 1 Tbsp. finely chopped cilantro
  • 1 Tbsp. plain, unsweetened coconut milk yogurt
  • 1 Tbsp. Low FODMAP* curry powder
  • 2 tsp. lime juice
  • 1/8 tsp. Low FODMAP* garam masala
  • salt, to taste
  • 1/2 Tbsp. unsweetened flaked coconut

*Includes no onion or garlic powder.

  1. Rinse and drain tuna.
  2. In a small mixing bowl, combine all ingredients, except salt and coconut.
  3. Stir everything together, adding salt taste.
  4. Sprinkle with coconut just before serving.

(I prefer mine on Romaine lettuce, perhaps with a side of leftover, cold rice–seriously– or a wheat-free toast, or rice cake.)

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I received free samples of Sabra Spreads mentioned in this post. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by Sabra and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.


Call me gobsmacked the first time I saw The Professor swipe hummus across a piece of bread and make a sandwich.

For someone who won’t let me put any toppings but cheese on pizza, let’s just say, hummus on a sandwich is thinking WAY outside of the culinary box.img_8607-1280x854

It should NOT be surprising, then, that The Professor was also the first to dig into (spread onto?) the new Sabra Spreads that made their way to our doorstep.img_8592-1280x853

[I have no idea if he liked them or not, but this also means nothing, as the only time he will comment on how good something is is 1) if someone else made it, and 2) that someone is a professional chef.]


I knew that when it came to this recipe contest (co-sponsored by The Recipe Redux), I really needed to think outside of the (lunch) box, so to speak, but it turns out, the random combination that came about because of the random things I tend to buy without knowing how I’ll use them is NOT THAT WEIRD. In fact, I found quite a few recipes pairing grapes and salmon…but none on a sandwich!


I wanted to keep this as Low FODMAP as possible, and since 1 Tbsp. of hummus is moderately “safe” on the diet, I figured 1 Tbsp. of sandwich spread would also be OK. [I suffered very few consequences that I can report.]


This is on a corn tortilla (for FODMAP friendly purposes), but it would taste great on a flour or whole wheat tortilla or wrap as well.


You might still think the combo sounds strange, and that’s OK.

The Professor would eat it, though.*


*OK, he definitely would NOT eat this, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t. :)

Smoked Salmon, Grape, & Spinach Wrap

  • 1 large corn, flour, or whole wheat tortilla
  • 1-2 Tbsp. Sabra Spreads Sea Salt & Cracked Black Pepper
  • 2 oz. thinly sliced smoked salmon
  • 1 cup loosely packed baby spinach
  • 1/3 cup chopped red grapes
  • 2 Tbsp. crumbled feta
  1. Spread Sabra Spread onto tortilla.
  2. Layer salmon and spinach on top.
  3. Sprinkle with grapes and feta cheese.
  4. Roll up and eat!

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I received coupons for the Nasoya products mentioned in this post. I was not compensated for my time.


OK. The title of this post is highly misleading. It SHOULD be called Peanut Butter Miso Tofu w. Strawberry Jam & Soy Dipping Sauce. But I’ve learned that with children (and some 35-year-old adult males who shall remain nameless) it is often better to keep it simple, and the names of any potentially alarming ingredients out of the working title. [Until they’ve tried it, of course.]


And this recipe IS for kids. As part of Nasoya‘s Outside-of-the-Lunchbox recipe series for the new school year, I was offered free products in exchange for a recipe. [That was the least difficult decision I had to make that day.]img_8419-1280x853

Since joining a Low FODMAP community online, I’ve learned that yes, even kids need to go on a Low FODMAP diet sometimes, and that their parents need something to feed them. So for this thinking outside-of-the-lunchbox challenge, I also wanted to think low FODMAP, and something that would be just as great warm the night before, and then delicious packed up in a lunchbox as leftovers.


This recipe absoluely fits the bill. As well as all those naturally kid-friendly (OK, and adult-friendly) characteristics of being both sweet and salty, healthy and delicious, and has the strong potential to be finger food.img_8455-1280x853

Thank you, Nasoya! [I’ll let y’all thank ME, later. :)]



Peanut Butter Miso Tofu w. Strawberry Jam & Soy Dipping Sauce

[Serves 4]

  • 1 14 oz.-package Nasoya firm or extra firm tofu
  • 2 Tbsp. natural peanut butter*
  • 2 Tbsp. water
  • 2 tsp. mellow white miso
  • 2 tsp. lemon or lime juice

For the dipping sauce:

  • 1/4 cup strawberry jam (Low FODMAP approved)
  • 1 Tbsp. tamari or soy sauce
  • 3 Tbsp. water (adjust according to jam consistency)
  • pinch of ground ginger
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. samball oolek (optional, if you–or your children–like things with a little kick!)

*The salt and sugar content of the peanut butter you use may affect how much miso you want to add. Adjust according to taste.

  1. Drain tofu. Cut into 8 equal-sized blocks and press between paper (or cloth) towels for at leat 20 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  3. Cube tofu and arrange on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray.
  4. Bake tofu for 20 minutes, or until golden brown.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk together peanut butter, miso, water, and lime/lemon juice.
  6. In a second small bowl, whisk together dipping sauce ingredients.
  7. When tofu has finished baking, heat a smidge of coconut oil in a frying panover medium-high heat.
  8. Add tofu to the pan, stirring rapidly and continuously for about 30 seconds.
  9. Pour peanut sauce over tofu, and continue to stir.
  10. Cook until tofu is coated and browned.
  11. Serve warm OR cold over rice (or another grain), with a side of dipping sauce and cut veggies.


P.S. This is how I press tofu in The Smart Kitchen.


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To be honest, for someone who loves to cook as much as I do, I don’t have too many early memories of cooking.


There was making pancakes with Papa Smart on weekends, but really that was me wanting to take over because he erred on the side of burnt and I love them still gooey in the middle. (It’s true.)

There was apparently cookie making with my Grammie but that I remember mostly because of some fantastic photos of me and my cousin licking chocolate off of her fingers.

And of course, the delicious spaghetti with a side of “garlic (powder & butter) bread” I used to make for my sister when I babysat.

Not having strong memories of cooking does NOT, however, mean I don’t have memories of FOOD.img_8383-1280x853

One thing I remember very strongly is the carrot and raisin “salad” Mama Smart always (always!) made for our church Lenten potlucks. Probably there was a lesson on how to make it, or I stirred it together for her, or maybe I just picked out all the raisins and prevented smooth assembly….either way, it is still a taste memory from my childhood.img_8392-1280x855

For whatever reason, that is the dish that stuck in my brain when I heard this month’s Recipe Redux theme…but of course I had to add a new twist. [And since there are now 1,000,000 versions of carrot salad all over the internet, I don’t even know if this one will stand out to anyone but me. :)]


[Low FODMAP] Warm Carrot & Kale Salad with Creamy Maple Dijon Dressing

(Serves 4 as a side dish)

  • 4 cups shredded carrots
  • 3 cups frozen chopped kale, thawed [substitute spinach if you can’t find kale]
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 3 tsp. (or so) olive oil
  • 1 cup plain kefir [or yogurt, if not following a Low FODMAP diet]
  • 4 tsp. maple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp. stone ground dijon mustard
  • 3 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. salt (or more, to taste)
  1. Whisk together kefir, maple syrup, mustard, lemon juice, and salt.
  2. Heat oil over medium heat in a large saucepan.
  3. Add carrots, kale, and raisins to the pan.
  4. Stir well, and continue to saute until carrots are crisp tender.
  5. Pour dressing over carrots and kale, stirring well to combine.
  6. Cook until heated through.
  7. Serve immediately.

NOTE: This does taste great cold. It just wouldn’t be a warm salad then. Obviously.

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