Sauced From Home

16 Jul 2015
POSTED BY Y Magazine
Forget store-bought sauces – for deliciously healthy alternatives, try making them yourself

Getting your family together around a delicious, home-cooked meal is easier when your kitchen is stocked with better-for-you ingredients. For home cooks looking to delight taste buds and satisfy appetites – start with the sauce.

“Knowing how to prepare basic, simple sauces is an important culinary skill,” says registered dietitian Sarah-Jane Bedwell, author of Schedule Me Skinny. “While you probably can find store-bought versions, homemade sauces will taste better, cost less and be better for you, especially when made with high-quality ingredients like fresh herbs and canola oil.”

Whether your family prefers a rich white sauce or a fresh pesto, knowing how to create basic sauces allows you to whip up a dinner you’ll feel good about serving.

Creamy mac and cheese is the ultimate in kid and adult-friendly comfort dishes, featuring a classic bechamel “white sauce” – one of five traditional French “mother sauces” that have spread to other cuisines. The use of heart-smart canola oil instead of butter to make the roux, however, significantly reduces the sauce’s saturated fat content.

Classic pesto is another healthy recipe that will become a staple in your kitchen repertoire. With origins that trace back to Genoa, Italy, it’s perfect served alongside cooked wholewheat noodles, stuffed vegetables, soups, stews, salads or sandwiches. Canola oil provides a mild taste that lets the flavours of basil and garlic shine in this delicious uncooked sauce. Plus it stays free-flowing in the refrigerator due to the oil’s low saturated fat content.

Introduce basic sauces to your family meal routine and reap the palate-pleasing results. For these and other great recipes, visit

Recipe: Classic Pesto



  • 1 cup sweet basil leaves, washed and dried completely
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts
  • 5 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 3/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper


  1. In a food processor combine basil, Parmesan, pine nuts, garlic and 2 tablespoons canola oil; blend. As blending continues, slowly add remaining oil so sauce emulsifies. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Label with date and keep refrigerated. Use within 1-2 days.


Recipe: Creamy Mac and Cheese



  • 2 cups elbow macaroni
  • 5 tbsp canola oil
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp dry mustard
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs


  1. In pot of boiling water, lightly salt water and add macaroni; cook until tender. Drain and set aside.
  2. In a saucepan, heat 3 tbsp canola oil over medium heat. Stir in enough flour to make roux. Add milk to roux slowly, stirring constantly. Stir in cheeses, garlic powder, paprika and dry mustard. Cook over low heat until cheese is melted and sauce has thickened. Pour sauce over macaroni, mix and add to large casserole dish.
  3. In skillet, add 2 tbsp canola oil over medium heat. Add bread crumbs and brown. Spread over macaroni and cheese. Bake at 175ºC for 30 minutes. Serve.

Share this

Public Reviews and Comments