pantry staples

Savory Mushroom Gravy

Mushroom_Gravy

Thanksgiving is a challenging time of year for our family. It is tradition for us all to come together and enjoy the company of each other over a large meal- mostly consisting of stuffing filled turkey, giblet gravy, mashed potatoes loaded with butter and sour cream..and all the other fixins of the “traditional” dinner. This is where the challenge comes in. For us, traditional thanksgiving is not reflecting our morals. The holidays are a terrible time for animals, and we would much rather celebrate them than serve them for dinner. We know that it can be very hard for people who are, or are becoming, vegan to find a balance between doing what is right for them and doing what is expected.

We thought we could help make this a little bit easier with some rich, flavorful dishes that are sure to please even the pickiest carnivore. We think that there is no better way to bring people together than food, and serving familiar dishes in a cruelty free way can show the skeptics that you can still eat all your favorites without any animal products.

One of the biggest staples in a Thanksgiving meal is the gravy. It goes on EVERYTHING! Turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing..the whole plate is usually swimming in a savory bath, perfect for dunking your crescent rolls in. Growing up, we always had giblet gravy. Yes, that is chopped up organs from a turkey made into a gravy. We had no idea what we were eating, or what those little pieces floating around in it were. When we found out, suddenly our plates were a bit drier. Somehow that was disturbing to us, but we looked past the fact that these bits of turkey insides were being ladled over other pieces of turkey. Reflecting back, it seems silly to have an issue with one, but not the other. Eventually we made the connection, and these sweet, affectionate birds never graced our plates again.

But then we thought..WE STILL WANT GRAVY!! And we like it with little chewy bits in it. So we are going to have it! And then savory mushroom gravy was born! All the richness we wanted and all the right textures. It is silky smooth, shiny and the mushrooms add a perfect amount of chew. This gravy is delicious on everything. Consider making a double batch so that everything can be smothered in the mushroom goodness!

Savory Mushroom Gravy {recipe}

2.5 cups

 

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 c  mushrooms, finely diced

  • 2 TB olive oil

  • 2 TB vegan butter

  • 4 TB flour, spelt or all-purpose

  • 2 c water

  • 3 tsp Better than Bouillon Vegetable paste

  • 1 TB soy sauce

  • 1 tsp dry sherry

  • salt & pepper to taste

 

METHOD

  1. In a medium sauce pan, heat olive oil and butter over medium heat until melted.

  2. Saute mushrooms for 5-7 minutes until they begin to brown.

  3. Sprinkle flour in, stir and cook 1-2 minutes.

  4. Add in water slowly while whisking, to make sure there are no lumps.

  5. Continue stirring while adding the remaining bouillon, soy sauce & sherry.

  6. Bring to a simmer to thicken. Season with salt & pepper.

 

NOTE: If you don’t have Better than Bullion, you can substitute your favorite veggie broth.

 

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The BEST Tofu Bacon

bacon

It is time that we had a very important conversation. We need to discuss a topic that somehow comes up in almost every aspect of our lives. Something that is undeniably infiltrating our culture and changing the way people look at the world around us. It is a complete epidemic and needs to be addressed.

Bacon.

That’s right, bacon.  

It is featured in EVERYTHING- from burgers, to doughnuts, to ice cream. It is a classic breakfast side, it is a paleo favorite (not to mention that Atkins guy..) and it is an American obsession. It is one of the most common excuses used by meat eaters to not give up eating our animals friends.  

And we love it, too.

BUT WAIT!! No sweet, sentient beings were harmed in the making of our salty, smoky, chewy delight! Using frozen tofu allows for us to get a surprisingly complex texture, while still absorbing the delicious flavors that we impart. This is something that everyone needs to have in their arsenal of recipes. It is perfect for BLT’s, crumbled into potato salad or paired up with your favorite morning dish. We hope that you enjoy this as much as we do!

 

Tofu Bacon {recipe}

Servings: 5 | Servings Size: 3 pieces

 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 Block frozen tofu, thawed
  • 3/8 c (6TB) Soy Sauce
  • 3/4 tsp liquid smoke
  • 1.5 tsp olive oil
  • 1 TB Nutritional yeast (heaping)
  • Black Pepper
  • maple syrup (optional)

 

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 425º
  2. Press all liquid out of tofu.
  3. Slice 1/8" slices (the short way so you get smaller but more pieces) yields about 15 slices.
  4. Combine soy sauce, olive oil and liquid smoke in a bowl.
  5. Take slices of tofu and soak both sides in liquid. Place on elevated cooking rack (like a cookie cooling rack placed over a cookie sheet)
  6. Sprinkle tofu pieces with nutritional yeast, and cracked black pepper.
  7. Bake for 15 minutes, then flip tofu and bake an additional 10-15 minutes.
  8. Allow to cool 5-10 minutes before serving or using.

 

NOTE: Bacon will not be firm and crunchy when you remove it from oven, it needs to cool to get the correct texture.

 

VARIATION: Brush maple syrup over the tofu before sprinkling with nutritional yeast and pepper for a maple bacon flavor.

 

TIP: To defrost frozen tofu block quickly, remove from packaging, place on plate and microwave for 1 minute intervals, pressing the liquid out as it thaws. Should take 4-6 minutes to thaw nearly all the way through.

 

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