Lately I’ve been feeling like I need a big old dose of sunshine. Living where we do, that ain’t going to happen for many (oh man, so many) months now, so I’ve got a 3-part plan in place. 1) Get back on the vitamin D, 2) work on a winter getaway, and 3) fill my belly with sunny foods.
Folks, meet orange-carrot-ginger-miso sunshine sauce.
Sunshine sauce, say hello to the nice people.
This is the stuff that dreams are made of. Orange-carrot-ginger-miso-ey dreams, that is. The sauce is dead simple. All you do is chuck the ingredients in your blender or food processor, blitz till smooth, and you’ve got a sauce so good you could drink it.
(I kid you not, I was pouring leftover sauce into a jar that was a little too small, and so I did what any of you would do: I took a gulp.)
This sauce would be good on literally anything. Hot, cold, room temperature, it'll work. I was in the mood for something light so I went back to basics with a nice bowl of steamed veg and shelled edamame. Soba noodles, brown, rice, or quinoa would all make a nice base if you’re looking for something more substantial, but I kept things on the light side this time with straight up veg.
The edamame adds a nice dose of high-quality plant-based protein, and combining the citrusey sauce with iron-rich foods like broccoli and soybeans means that our bodies more easily absorb the iron. Winner, winner, simple dinner!
I’ll also point out that steaming vegetables takes all but five minutes, so this does double duty as a quick and easy meal. If you’ve got the sauce already made (also, you can totally make it while the veg is steaming) you can have a nourishing, delicious, and easy meal on the table in under 10 minutes. Got batch cooked brown rice stashed away in the freezer for busy / hungrier days? Bo-nus.
If you’re wondering if this works well as a make-ahead meal, the answer is yes. If you’re going that route, choose sturdier vegetables that stand up well, steamed, for a few days in the fridge. My top picks are broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, and zucchini, but keep the zucchini at the top of the steamer basket and let the tougher veg take the main hit of steam.
Edamame is a great source of both protein and fiber. They’re also a good source of molybdenum, manganese, iron, phosphorus, vitamin B2, heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, and potassium. Edamame is the best whole, unprocessed form of soy you can find, which makes it a great choice. Opt for organic whenever possible as GMO soy is extremely common.
Three years ago: Vegetarian Cobb Salad
orange carrot miso ginger sunshine sauce with steamed edamame and veg
- 2 medium carrots washed and coarsely chopped
- 2 tablespoon cold-pressed sesame or canola oil
- ¼ cup rice wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoon white miso paste
- 1 inch piece fresh ginger peeled and roughly chopped
- ½ cup orange juice
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 small head cauliflower broken down into bite-sized florets
- 1 head broccoli broken down into bite-sized florets
- 1 medium zucchini cut into bite-sized chunks
- 1 250 g package frozen shelled edamame
- Start by putting a large pot (one that accommodates a steamer basket) of water over high heat.
- While you're waiting for the water to boil, wash and chop the veggies. Layer them into a steamer basket with sturdier veg (like cauliflower) on the bottom, and more delicate veg (like zucchini) on the top. Toss the frozen edamame in with the vegetables.
- When the water has reached a rolling boil, place the steamer basket over top, cover with the lid, and steam for about 5 minutes, until vegetables are just tender.
- While the vegetables are steaming, make the sauce.
- Place the carrots, sesame oil, rice wine vinegar, miso paste, ginger, orange juice, salt, and pepper into the jar of a blender. Pulse a few times to combine, then run the blender for a minute or two until the sauce is smooth. This is thicker than a salad dressing, but if it's too thick you can add a few tablespoons of water, one at a time, to thin it out.
- When the vegetables are done steaming, if you're going to eat immediately, divide the vegetables amongst four bowls. Top with sunshine sauce, and serve.
- If you're packing this for lunches or meal prep, rinse the vegetables under cold water to stop the cooking. Drain well, and distribute amongst four containers. Pack the sauce along side in little jars, and dress the vegetables when you're ready to eat.