Holiday recap, part 1: Gravy mishaps

Posted in baking, cooking

Now that the holidays are truly over and we’re all getting back into our normal routines, I finally have some time to post about our delicious vegan holiday meal.

“Wait”, you might be thinking, “Vegan? Since when are you vegan?”

TofurkySee, this year we decided to have our own Christmas Day meal at home. Since we’d had tofurky in the past and enjoyed it, we figured we’d pick one up again this year, but instead of getting the full “holiday feast” we’d instead just get the “roast” and do our own side dishes. Reading the tofuky box, we were reminded that it is vegan, and Rich suggested that we could do an entire vegan meal, just for the challenge. I loved the idea, and so our vegan Christmas dinner was born.

Vegan-ising our meal was actually very simple. We’re already vegetarians, so anything with chicken stock or animal fat was automatically out. Mainly, we needed to modify the recipes we found to use oils instead of butter and soy milk instead of cows milk or cream. We made everything from scratch (except the tofurky!) so we’d be sure of the exact ingredients in the end product.

Err, except for one thing. I decided I was going to be a bit lazy with the gravy and buy a packet from our favourite grocery store, Fiesta Farms. I figured I’d just go in, read the ingredients on the gravy packet, choose one that was veggie-friendly and be on my way. After reading the ingredients on several different packets, I chose “McCormick International Wild Mushroom Roast Gravy”. It seemed fine – it had no chicken broth, no beef fat, nothing that made me turn up my nose. That is, until Christmas Eve when Rich pointed out it contained Modified Milk Ingredients. Ack!

Ok then, so my laziness actually generated more work, as we searched for an easy-to-make vegan gravy recipe that used ingredients we already had in the house. Since, you know, it was Christmas Eve, and all the stores had already closed for the holidays. Fortunately, Rich found a really delicious recipe, which I’ll copy below. The only slightly weird ingredient for the non-vegans is nutritional yeast, but it’s easy to find in most grocery stores, and we happened to already have some on hand.

Dinner is served!Delicious Vegan Gravy

This actually makes almost a liter of gravy. We halved the recipe, and I suggest you do too, unless you need that much!

* 1/2 cup vegetable oil
* 3-6 cloves of garlic, squashed and minced very well
* 1 shallot
* 1/2 cup all-purpose white flour
* 4 teaspoons nutritional yeast
* 4 tablespoons low- or reduced-sodium soy sauce
* 2 cups water
* 1/2 teaspoon thyme
* 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
* 1/2 teaspoon salt

Measure the vegetable oil into a small saucepan. Heat on medium, then add the garlic and shallot, and cook until the onion is a bit tender and translucent.

Add the flour, yeast, and soy sauce to make a paste. Add the water gradually, stirring constantly. Bring the gravy to a boil on medium to medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Add salt and pepper, to taste.

If the gravy is too thin for your taste, add one or two tablespoons of flour or small amounts of cornstarch to thicken. Use a wire whisk to eliminate lumps.

Serve piping hot.

Next up: vegetable recipes, including an awesome roasted squash. Yum!

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