Sunday, April 14, 2013

That Sauce They Called "Crack"

The East Side of Cleveland was all abuzz last week over a sauce that I brought to a pot luck with friends. Everyone insisted that they get the recipe for use over all sorts of things (what, I'm not sure) and I promised a blog posting about it. I wouldn't even dare naming a sauce "crack" sauce because of the implication that it is one of the best sauces ever to be discovered, but that is what all of my friends were calling it, so I'm just going to go with it. Plus, I knew they were for real when they were all calling me, texting me and e-mailing me with requests for the recipe.

It's actually a recipe that I made when I first started blogging. When my friend Shawna invited us over for an Asian pot luck, I just pulled out my "Asian" file (read incredibly organized and anal three ring binder with tried and true Plant-strong Asian recipes). I saw this recipe and remembered that I had made it many times, most notably for my husband's whole family and they loved it.

One of the things that's really nice about this sauce is that it calls for raw almond butter and not peanut butter. It's a nice change and probably far healthier for you. Plus, you don't need to be afraid of putting anybody into anaphylactic shock. But don't quote me on that, I know that many people out there are allergic to nuts other than peanuts.

As for me, I just adore these raw spring rolls. I never fail to be excited about the fact that raw collard greens taste AMAZING. It's just such a surprise, and I love that.

Asian Almond "Crack" Sauce

1/3 cup pitted dates, placed in a bowl and covered with water
1/2 cup raw almond butter
3 Tbsp rice vinegar
1 1/2" piece of raw ginger, peeled (from the freezer if you keep it stored there) and cut into chunks
1 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce or Tamari
2 cloves garlic
1/2 cup water, or more

Raw Spring Rolls

1 English/seedless cucumber
1 bunch collard greens
2 large carrots
1 bunch cilantro
Approx. 2 portabello mushrooms or 10 baby bella (crimini) mushrooms
Low sodium soy sauce or tamari
1-2 avocados

For sauce: combine all ingredients (including date soaking liquid) in a blender or food processor. Taste and add more water to achieve desired thickness. Transfer to a bowl or storage container.

For the rolls: Slice mushrooms and place in a dish with a flat bottom (like a baking dish). Coat lightly with soy sauce and let marinate while you are preparing the other ingredients.

Julienne carrots and cucumbers. Wash collard greens. Cut out stems of collard greens to make uniform wrappers (2 wrappers per large collard leaf). Break off ends of cilantro stems and/or chop cilantro. Slice avocado thinly, lengthwise.

Lay collard wrapper on a clean surface. Arrange a few each of above ingredients (just 1 portabella mushroom slice or 3-4 babby bella slices) in the middle of each collard green leaf and roll. Place spring rolls, open side down, on a plate. Serve with dipping sauce.

Of course this would be a perfect sauce to serve over a brown rice bowl with veggies and tofu, and you could most certainly use it as a salad dressing. My friend Nancy was putting it over noodles and steamed vegetables. But what else could one do with it? Do you have any creative suggestions? 

Blogging tips