Tonya Ferenbach is outnumbered, three to one, by boys in her household. Without running a short- order kitchen, it makes sense that if the primary chef is making healthy food, the rest of the family is all eating the same. The trick would be to make mindful plant-based food choices taste more “normal”. Tonya has had to overcome many of the same challenges most parents endure, when it comes to convincing children to eat their vegetables. Her dilemma would only be amplified, were it not for her saucy solution, because she prepares meals that are primarily composed of… vegetables.
“Sauces By Tonya” was a business borne out of necessity. Stating that she has eaten a mostly plant- based diet for eight years. The care she became accustomed to taking with her own nutrition became more acute, and second nature, with practice. Layering a dish with a base of arugula, then cruciferous kale or brussel sprouts, utilizing proteins from tofu or tempeh, adding carbohydrates from sweet potatoes, and topping with avocado and dressing has become a habit. The labor associated with creating the most mindful sauces to make these meals delicious, without drenching the plate with sugar or saturated fats, was something Tonya embraced. Close friends, and her husband, encouraged her to prepare servings ahead. Making sauces that were whole food fat based, derived from tahini (ground sesame seeds) or peanut butter. Her cornerstone products are Tahini Lemon and Thai Peanut flavored. Sauces By Tonya can be found at The Good Market, at Virginia Beer Co. or directly from her social media: @real.food.coach on Instagram or realfoodcoach on Facebook. Those that enjoy these can look forward to a vegan queso to be added to the lineup, in the future as well. In addition to being a Coach with OrangeTheory Fitness, Tonya will be expanding her entrepreneurial scope to include personal food coaching.
How to build a simple, healthy whole-food bowl for lunch or dinner:
1. Start with greens (spinach, mixed greens, arugula)
2. Optional: Add a whole grain if desired or leave it a salad bowl (farro, quinoa, brown rice)
3. Add raw or roasted veggies—anything you like! (Snow peas, snap peas, tomatoes, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms, sweet potatoes, onions, garlic)
4. I recommend adding a plant protein (lentils, chickpeas, black beans, tofu or tempeh). But you could also add an animal protein (eggs, chicken, beef or fish)
5. Add my Tahini Lemon or Thai Peanut Sauce to pull it all together and make it delicious.
This whole-food bowl is not only simple, it is packed with fiber, protein, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to keep you healthy and fueled for your full life.