A hearty red sauce can add flavor, nutrients and even color to a variety of dishes. When thinking about red sauce, a tomato-based sauce is probably what comes to mind. You might be surprised when you realize that this Red Beauty Vegetable Sauce is nightshade-free which means that it doesn’t contain a single tomato! (Although we have included a variation below that does include nightshades, if you like them and tolerate them.)
Photos courtesy of Nancy at Mexican Made Meatless.
What are nightshades?
Nightshade vegetables are part of the Solanaceae plant family. They contain chemical components called alkaloids and lectins which can cause gut irritation and can cause gastrointestinal, and other issues, for some people. While many people can consume nightshade vegetables like white potatoes, tomatoes and bell peppers with no adverse effects, some people may experience inflammation, pain or other autoimmune issues. Removing nightshades (at least temporarily) is a common part of elimination diets and some people avoid them altogether.
Replacing nightshades with sweet potatoes, beets and carrots is a great way to add color and nutrients without sacrificing on flavor. Red Beauty Vegetable Sauce is tasty and versatile and will likely become a household favorite. Toss all of the ingredients into your Instant Pot, electric or stove top pressure cooker to make a quick, healthy meal any night if the week.
Create a vegetable sauce to fit your needs.
Red Beauty Vegetable Sauce is a veggie-packed blended sauce that is wonderful over pasta or grains. Spoon it over cooked broccoli, carrots, winter squash, or diced sweet potato. Red Beauty Vegetable Sauce can even be used as a sauce to make tomato-free (and nightshade-free) lasagna or a layered vegetable dish.
Season this vegetable sauce with your favorite herbs and spices, according to how you will be using it. Add basil, parsley, and oregano for a traditional Italian flavor. Add cumin, cilantro, and oregano for a Mexican flavor. Jazz it up with mustard, grated horseradish root, fresh herbs, nut or seed butter, or nutritional yeast.
Red Beauty Vegetable Sauce is so versatile, you can also turn it into soup! Simply stock, a splash of lemon juice, and chopped fresh herbs such as cilantro or parsley. Pasta, grains or even chunks of cooked vegetables will give the soup enough substance to serve it as a meal.
The best part of this sauce is that it is so easy to prepare. Simply toss all of the ingredients into your electric pressure cooker and let it do all of the work. Blend the sauce until smooth and use it in all of your favorite recipes.
Red Beauty Vegetable Sauce
10 minutes high pressure, natural release
Makes 4 cups
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and chopped to equal 1½ to 2 cups
1½ to 2 cups chopped onion
1 small cauliflower, cut into florets to equal 1 to 1½ cups
3 medium carrots, peeled and chopped to equal 2 cups
4 small turnips, quartered to equal 1 cup
6 cloves garlic, cut in half
2 medium beets, peeled and cut into chunks
1½ cups vegetable stock
1 to 2 tablespoons your favorite herb and/or spice blend (see pages 36 to 45)
1. Combine the sweet potato, onion, cauliflower, carrots, turnips, garlic, beets, and stock in the pressure cooker. Lock on the lid. Bring to high pressure; cook for 10 minutes. Let the pressure come down naturally. Remove the lid, carefully tilting it away from you.
2. Stir in the herb or spice blend. In batches, transfer to a blender or food processor and process until smooth. (You can also use a stick/immersion blender.) Store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or freeze for 2 months.
Red Beauty Sauce with Potatoes and Bell Peppers (not nightshade-free):
Use Yukon Gold potatoes instead of the sweet potatoes, and 3 cups chopped red bell pepper instead of the beets. Then add 1 tomato or ½ cup diced tomatoes when blending. Season with Italian seasoning or herbs de Provence.