Healthy Chinese Take-Out Sauce (Vegan, Grain-Free)

Recently, I’ve found myself fascinated by the amount of trust we put into others on a daily basis, particularly when it comes to food.


Really, how many of us have ever watched an actual experiment conducted to show the calorie count of a banana? Or monitored whether eggs or salt are detrimental to our cholesterol and blood pressure, respectively? Or followed butter through the colon to determine if it’s safe to eat in large quantities?

I’d bet an appendage that not many of you would say you’ve had a first-hand account.

Are we all a bunch of parrots? I myself am totally guilty of going around and annoyingly spouting my opinion on what’s ‘good for you’, but what was I even basing my opinion on? An article that someone else had written? What I read in a book? An experiment that wasn’t perhaps controlled in the ways that I or my quarry might consider ideal? Yes, yes, and yes.


People we don’t even know and have never met are telling us the nutritional facts of the food we eat, whether these apples are organic or that beef is grass-fed, how olive oil affects the cardiovascular system, and so on, and we take their word for it.

While I’m not saying that there aren’t upstanding companies and people in this world and I know that trusting others is a necessity, how something makes us feel is our own true barometer.

I always feel like total pigeon droppings if I eat any form of MSG. For me, this particularly includes the ubiquitous ‘natural flavors’ and ‘spices’ so common these days in packaged products (really, it’s in everything), protein powders of any sort, and Chinese food.

While Mexican is my favorite genre of food, Chinese comes in a close second.


My two biggest problems with the Asian fare are the often added MSG and the typical high sugar content.

For a while now, I’ve been wanting to create a healthy and easy Chinese dish. I often make a beef and broccoli recipe that my family adores, so I decided to take the sauce from that meal and create a post around it. This way, you can mix in whatever you like, be it chicken, your favorite vegetables, rice, quinoa…the possibilities for this sauce are really limitless.

Healthy Chinese Take-Out Sauce (Vegan, Grain-Free)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 4 servings
  • ¼ c. 100% organic apple juice
  • ¼ c. soy sauce (use coconut aminos if paleo)
  • 1 T. water
  • 2 T. raw honey or brown rice syrup
  • 2 t. freshly grated ginger
  • 1 garlic clove, grated
  • pinch red pepper flakes
  • 2 t. arrowroot
  1. In a small saucepan, whisk all of the ingredients together.
  2. Heat the pan, stirring everything constantly, until the sauce thickens (about five minutes).
  3. Use or freeze as desired.
Nutrition facts are based on using honey. Weight Watchers points (new system): 2
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ¼ of recipe Calories: 53 Fat: 0.1 g Saturated fat: 0 g Unsaturated fat: 0.1 g Trans fat: 0 g Carbohydrates: 12.8 g Sugar: 10.6 g Sodium: 900 mg Fiber: 0 g Protein: 1.2 g Cholesterol: 0 mg

Inspired by this book

The apple juice lends sweetness, thus allowing the reduction of actual sweetener used here.


The fastest meal I have made with this is warming the already prepared sauce with a bag of organic, frozen (defrosted) vegetables, all over a bed of quinoa (the fastest gluten-free side I know of). Delicious!

*For those of you waiting on the smoothie bowl recipe, I will be posting it soon. It is accompanied by a video, so that’s the delay in getting it up. Thank you for your patience!*

Do you find yourself listening to others more than your own self? What is your favorite genre of food?


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Comments: 10

  1. Christine@ Apple of My Eye April 14, 2014 at 6:33 am Reply

    Interesting thoughts about placing so much trust in others when it comes to information and facts about nutrients/health- I’ve never thought of it like that! I guess it just comes out to a difficult situation since we’re forced to accept other people’s research since we obviously can’t go study these things for tears ourselves ;).

    Can I just say how delicious this looks? Coming from a meat-lover, I can honestly say that I don’t think I’d miss the texture of flavor of meat with all those juicy veggies! The sauce sounds wonderful (honey+soy sauce=love) and I bet the rice does a great job of soaking up the extra bits. Mhmmmm! :)

  2. Sharon April 14, 2014 at 6:50 am Reply

    I’m with you on the Mexican fare! I love that it’s so easy to recreate at home with fresh flavours. The man of the house, however is a huge fan of the Chinese takeout. I love this recipe and I think he will too! ;)
    And, I trust *you*. Thanks for sharing!
    Sharon recently posted..Homemade Tater Tots with Caramelized Onion – Gluten FreeMy Profile

    • Lauren April 14, 2014 at 9:01 am Reply

      Thanks girl! :-)

  3. […] See on – My Vegan recipesSee on […]

  4. Katie (The Muffin Myth) April 15, 2014 at 2:06 am Reply

    I think critical thinking is an important skill these days, especially when it comes to nutrition. I have seen some of those things you mention, but that’s because I’m in my 9th year of university nutrition studies, and if you’re not able or willing to commit that kind of time to figuring out if something is good for you, you need to decide for yourself who or what you can trust. Listening to our bodies always gives us good feedback if we actually take the time to listen, and I am so with you on the MSG situation. I like to make my sauces from scratch as well whenever I can, and this one is bookmarked for a dinner coming soon!
    Katie (The Muffin Myth) recently posted..what’s good around the web!My Profile

  5. amber April 17, 2014 at 11:05 am Reply

    Hi Lauren,

    I totally agree.

    I’m currently writing a post about saturated animal fats and the Paleo diet.

    And like you, Mexican #1 favorite…Thai/Chinese, right up there!

    Great post!
    amber recently posted..Homemade Alcohol-Free Hand & Surface SanitizerMy Profile

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  9. Chinese restaurant Takeout May 8, 2014 at 2:50 pm Reply

    Indeed very healthy and juicy looking recepie!

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