I need new sauces, veggies, dips now that tomatoes are a no.
October 11, 2013 12:06 PM   Subscribe

I'm vegan, and have recently developed an allergy to tomatoes (when I eat them, or broccoli, I get hand ezcema, which may be related to chromium.) I need ideas for new toppings for pasta (I like goddess dressing but need variety) and tortilla chips (guacamole is good but not all the time) as well as suggestions for ways to incorporate other vegetables into my diet. I miss tomatoes very much and feel a little lost.
posted by juniper to Food & Drink (25 answers total) 25 users marked this as a favorite
Butternut squash makes a really good pasta sauce.
posted by phunniemee at 12:09 PM on October 11, 2013

Pumpkin! This is my favorite pasta sauce of all time (and can easily be made vegan with veggie broth and coconut oil).
posted by decathecting at 12:14 PM on October 11, 2013

Green pesto is easy to make vegan (use nutritional yeast instead of parmesan, and you can make it with greens other than basil too).

For tortillas, I like black bean dip (combo of beans, cilantro, onion, lime juice, hot sauce/chili powder) and mango salsa. Will tomatillos bug your condition? If not, salsa verde is great.
posted by Paper rabies at 12:15 PM on October 11, 2013 [2 favorites]

And for dip, hummus. You can make (or buy, but making is really easy) tons of different flavors with peppers and eggplant and black beans and garlic and whatever else you like.
posted by decathecting at 12:15 PM on October 11, 2013

Good quality olive oil, garlic, and a touch of sea salt is good on pasta. Additional possible ingredients would be things like rosemary, red pepper flakes, chipotle pepper, basil, etc...
posted by MexicanYenta at 12:17 PM on October 11, 2013 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Awesome answers so far, you're making me hungry. Paper rabies, I think tomatillos would cause the same problem. I don't like sweet fruit salsas, but is there another vegetable or fruit that would make a good one?
posted by juniper at 12:26 PM on October 11, 2013

You can make a sauce from bell peppers pretty much the same way you'd make one from tomatoes. Sautée some chopped onions, add diced bell peppers, simmer until soft and run through a blender.
posted by Too-Ticky at 12:28 PM on October 11, 2013

Yumm sauce! Meant as a topping for a rice and bean bowl, but it's delicious as a dip and I'm sure would be good on pasta. Too-Ticky's answer also reminded me of a delicious roasted red pepper sauce I had on pasta once.
posted by Empidonax at 12:41 PM on October 11, 2013 [1 favorite]

Get a copy of The Saucy Vegetarian.
posted by paperback version at 12:41 PM on October 11, 2013

You can roast veggies and make sauces out of them, or buy roasted red peppers.

I make a nice sauce with roasted red pepper, olive oil, salt, pepper and white balsamic vinegar.

Tapenade (skip the anchovy) is a fun dip and loaded with good oils!

Purple cabbage is yummy. Saute in margarine (I like the flavor, olive oil if you don't) then add a dash of sugar and regular balsamic vinegar. Simmer for about 1/2 hour. SO YUMMY!

You can make a black bean salsa out of corn, black beans, green onions, roasted green chilis and garlic and chili powder. The chiles can be purchased in the Mexican/Latin section of your grocery store. Kroger even has a store brand!

You can make curries with coconut milk to have on pasta or brown rice. It doesn't even need to be hard. Here's a recipe for vegan curry paste. Here is a source for the rare spices you'll need, Penzey's is AWESOME!

Miso is another flavor that's delicious, either as soup or on tofu, or in a sauce. Ummmmmami.

You can do this!
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 12:43 PM on October 11, 2013 [1 favorite]

Also just remembered that baba ganoush is great on pasta (and, of course, as a dip).
posted by Empidonax at 12:43 PM on October 11, 2013 [1 favorite]

Garlic lemon pasta sauce:

Boil your pasta. In the latter half of the pasta process, scoop some pasta water out of the pot in a measuring cup - make sure it's at least 1/4 C of water.

Chop up a LOT of garlic. In a small pan, cook the garlic in ample olive oil (remembering that the goal is not just to keep the garlic from burning but to produce garlic olive oil to incorporate into the sauce). Cook the garlic longer than you normally would - not just until it's fragrant but until it starts to look a little cooked.

Add about 1/4 C nutritional yeast and the juice of half a lemon or lime. Salt. Add pasta water until it is thinned enough to pour with the aid of a spatula. Add more nutritional yeast, salt, lemon or lime and water as needed until it tastes good to you. You can also add a little chili powder.

This is much better than it sounds - I get lots of compliments when I serve it.
posted by Frowner at 12:43 PM on October 11, 2013 [5 favorites]

For tortilla chips, I really like taking dried chili peppers - ancho, guajillo, New Mexico, play around with whatever you can find - and making a salsa out of them. Toast them in a dry skillet for a few minutes until they sort of puff up, then discard the seeds and cover them with water for maybe 30 minutes. Drain off the water (but reserve it), then blend those yummy peppers with a bit of that water, some salt, garlic, lime juice, & cilantro if you like, maybe a little onion if you're feeling it. It's even better if you can stand to let it sit for a day or so.

If you want a recipe, this one looks pretty close to what I do (though again, I'd advise toasting your peppers before soaking them) but really this is a very forgiving, "toss in whatever sounds good right now" affair.
posted by DingoMutt at 12:44 PM on October 11, 2013

Collard greens pesto!

When I make it, I leave out the cheese, double the number of olives, and use half the garlic so the taste of the collards can really shine through. So, so good, and incredibly easy. Great on pasta or as a dip/spread.
posted by jesourie at 12:46 PM on October 11, 2013 [2 favorites]

Corn salsa?

4 ears of lightly cooked sweet corn, cut off the cob (or 1 bag of frozen, lightly steamed)
2 or 3 Jalapeños, roasted over a flame or in a broiler, diced
1 medium red onion, diced finely
1 can black beans (optional)
Lime juice from one lime
Minced cilantro and kosher salt to taste
posted by jferg at 12:48 PM on October 11, 2013

I've made a delicious basil cream sauce using an adaptation of this recipe. I left out the nutritional yeast, made a roux with flour and Earth Balance before adding the soy milk and cashew cream so that it was nice and thick, and then blended it with a handful of basil leaves.

Avocado-pesto pasta is also outstanding. Sooooo creamy.
posted by marshmallow peep at 12:53 PM on October 11, 2013 [2 favorites]

caramelized onions all over everything at all times. mix with simply organic french onion dip mix & vegan sour cream for saucy deliciousness.
posted by changeling at 1:27 PM on October 11, 2013

I make a peanut sauce that is good on pasta or rice.

Rough recipe:
Chop an onion & saute until golden.
Toss in some curry powder or paste & a little orange juice (if I have it around) or veggie broth
Add a good splash of soy sauce
Put in a big blob of peanut butter & stir around to help it melt
Once melty, add a can of coconut milk & heat until warm

I usually serve it with pan-fried tofu chunks & mixed veggies (a bag of frozen stir fry veggies or "California Blend" that I've heated up) on top of rice or noodles.
posted by belladonna at 1:31 PM on October 11, 2013

Red peppers (most any sweet or hot peppers) are in the same family as tomatoes (and tomatillos). Different genus, but you might want to make sure you're not allergic to those as well. (Also potatoes and eggplant--same genus as tomatoes.)

On the other hand if your allergy is really specific to tomatoes then you might be able to eat tomatillos (and ground cherries). They're in the same family but are a different genus than tomatoes.
posted by sevenless at 1:48 PM on October 11, 2013

I will second cashew cream! The basic process is easy (soak some raw cashews for a few hours! blend them up!) and can be used in recipes like this (I haven't made that particular one but things like it).

I am a fan of this dip (I added a bit of sesame oil -- which I absolutely recommend!).

Harissa is also good in many applications.

Zucchini hummus is kind of fun and can be dressed up in various ways.
posted by darksong at 2:03 PM on October 11, 2013

You can make "nomato" sauce from carrots and beets, here's a sample recipe and there are tons more online.
posted by janerica at 4:18 PM on October 11, 2013

yummyyammy is yam based and specifically a line of tomato free salsas. They show cooking ideas on the site and include serving it over pasta as one idea
posted by cacao at 4:35 PM on October 11, 2013

Tomatillos are definitely worth a try - eggplants are more closely related to tomatoes than tomatillos are. Of course, broccoli isn't a close cousin, so YMMV. I am allergic and/or experience a strong toxic reaction to tomatoes and have never had trouble with tomatillos!

One of my lazy day dinners while pregnant, working 60-hour weeks, and exhausted all the time was:

Whole grain corn chips
Daiya "pepper jack" fake cheese (daiya is AMAZING)
Tomatillo salsa
Crumbled vegan chorizo
Avocado slices

Broiled until daiya melts but the chips aren't burnt yet...voila, lazy vegan nachos. Healthiest thing ever? Not so much. But super filling and easy. You can add refried black beans, sliced jalapeños, diced bell peppers, etc.

"Cream" sauces made with raw cashews blended to hell in a vitamix or food processor can be very tasty - here's a good one:

Vegan Garlic-Alfredo Cashew Cream Sauce

1/2 cup raw cashews (not roasted)
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup boiling water
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk (the kind in a carton, not in a can)
1 clove garlic (or more to taste)
1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tb. nutritional yeast
salt to taste

Pulverize raw cashews in the food processor until very fine - just don't let them turn into cashew butter!

Add boiling water straight from the pasta cooking pot (the starch in the cooking water will enhance the sauce's consistency) and process until fairly smooth.

Add coconut milk and continue processing until as smooth as possible.

Add nutritional yeast, garlic, olive oil, and lemon juice. Process again until smooth, another couple minutes, during which the sauce will thicken. Taste and adjust as needed.
posted by kitarra at 7:16 PM on October 11, 2013

There's a great vegan blogger who has nightshade allergies, so all of her recipes are tomato-free: Vegetalion. Here is her entry on modifying recipes to exclude tomatoes: How to Replace Nightshades: Tomatoes.

There is a product line called Nomato that makes shelf-stable tomato-free salsa, pasta sauce, and ketchup. You can buy some of their products here, and as mentioned above, you can find a bunch of made-from-scratch sauce and salsa recipes using that term: basic nomato sauce, nomato ketchup, nomato BBQ sauce.

For pasta toppings, have you tried making vegan parmesan with nutritional yeast and nuts (usually cashews or almonds)? This is my favorite parm recipe and it is so awesome over pasta with garlic and a few dashes of olive oil. There's also Parmela.

If you haven't yet, start experimenting with making cream sauces for your pasta using nuts as a base -- soaked cashews are a good place to start. On that note, PPK's Bestest Pesto is delicious, as is Vegan Yum Yum's Hurry Up Alfredo, as well as Oh She Glows' 15 Minute Creamy Avocado Pasta.

Gremolata is another great naturally vegan pasta topping -- it's just garlic, fresh parsley, and lemon zest. Very good with grilled or roasted asparagus.

For tortilla chips, you can pick up some Food for Lovers queso, make some PPK cashew queso, or whip up some vegetable-packed vegan nacho cheese.
posted by divined by radio at 6:43 AM on October 12, 2013 [2 favorites]

Ooh, my favorite pasta dish may be perfect for you. I roast up a bunch of veggies (my go-tos for this dish are eggplant, bell peppers and garlic in its skin [a whole head if you're making a lot and love garlic], sometimes I also use asparagus and/or zucchini) and toss them with hot pasta, red pepper flakes and lots of olive oil. I personally usually top this with parmesan, but I used Earth Balance and salt once when making it for a vegan friend, and it came out delicious.
posted by lunasol at 5:36 PM on October 13, 2013

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