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Suddenly Sauces

Inspires home cooks with a foolproof method for elevating the comfort food factor in their meals, simply using basic pantry and fridge staples.

Lesson Objectives:
• Learn a simple procedure that enhances flavors and textures in any dish
• Transform ingredients that you have laying around into flavorful sauces
• Understand the difference between healthy and unhealthy sauces

Lesson Summary:
When it comes to mindful meals at home, this interactive cooking lesson explores dressing up those lean proteins with big flavor. With a focus on the flexibility of using common pantry and fridge items, we will teach you how to break free from recipes, taking your healthy food efforts from zero to hero.

VIDEO: Suddenly Sauces Tutorial

Repeating the Steps for Suddenly Sauces

“Consistency in cut size, equals consistency in cooking” is especially important with the Suddenly Sauces improv cooking technique.

#1) Aromatics include anything from the onion family. Garlic, onion, shallots, scallion and chives are examples. Carrots, celery and parsnips are examples of other flavorful aromatics that give aroma and deep flavor to sauces.

#2) Veggies should be softer vegetables. Fresh mushrooms, zucchini, summer squash, tomatoes, spinach, asparagus, bell peppers. Canned or PreCooked roasted red peppers, mushrooms, capers, olives, carrots, bell peppers, beans, butternut squash, diced tomatoes, corn, etc.

#3) Liquids can be anything from the condiment family, but rather than typical options like ketchup, BBQ sauce and honey, which are oftentimes loaded with saturated fat and sugar, think about these healthier options. Thick liquids make help create a sauce that adds flavor, moisture and texture while clinging to your food. Remember, we are trying to enhance flavor, not mask it. These include pizza/spaghetti sauce, salsa and light coconut milk. Thinner liquids like traditional broth/stock or bouillon can be a great vessel for more delicate, aromatic flavors that come from the veggies your previously added. For more pungent, yet light textured sauces, think about Worcestershire, steak sauce, soy sauce, fish sauce, tomato juice, just go easy because of the sodium levels! And for more traditional, put a dash of lemon juice in your pan sauce.

#4) Herbs can be fresh or dried. These provide more flavor and seasoning to your sauce without loading up on sodium. Some examples include oregano, dill, parsley, or cilantro.

Want to add more flavor to a pan sauce?

When making a pan sauce, you can increase the flavor by first searing your protein in the pan that you then use to make your sauce. Remember the searing technique below?

When deciding which protein to start with prior to this version of your Suddenly Sauce, here’s some lean protein ideas. Whether you cut your flank steak into thin slices or sear your whole chicken breast, once cooked, remove the lean proteins from the pan, leaving behind the crust and healthy fats (oil) and begin your Suddenly Sauce technique.

INFOGRAPHIC: The Step-by-Step “Suddenly Sauce”

VIDEO RECIPE: Zucchini Fettucine

RECIPE: “Suddenly Sauces” Homework

Now it’s your turn! Try using the “Suddenly Sauces” technique with this recipe below. “Practice makes permanent!”

The Finished Product

So what did you learn about this improvisational cooking pattern? Is it something that you already use in your kitchen or is it a new way of looking at making good food taste great?