Gravy

As vegans, there are some things we simply concede to live without—making do with substitutes so tasty in their own right, that, over time, we often forget what they were pretending to be in the first place. But, when it comes to holiday dining, there’s no forgetting about the gravy—it can make or break the meal! Giving vegan gravy a try this year? Check out how to make it flawless.

It’s easy to see why meat-eaters are so confused by the concept of vegan gravy: traditional gravies are made with drippings from cooked meat. No meat = no gravy, right? Not so fast.

Gravy Tips

  • Meat drippings are used to provide flavoring and liquid in conventional gravy. Any vegan cook knows there are plenty of flavorful foods and no shortage of liquid add-ins, too.
  • Common vegan gravy bases can include mushrooms, veggie broth, fresh herbs and even beans.
  • Keep a good bottle of white wine on hand for gravy prep. It’s a great stand-in if you’re low on broth and adds a nice flavor.
  • Nutritional yeast is a fantastic “secret” gravy ingredient that gives it flavor and texture.

Gravy Tricks

  • Save your veggie scraps for the gravy base. Potato and squash peelings, carrot tops, celery bottoms, herb stems—toss ‘em all into a pot of simmering water while you prepare your feast. It’ll turn into a multi-purpose veggie stock with a number of uses, particularly gravy.
  • You can also use the water you cooked beans or lentils in. Made your own seitan? Use that stock water as well.
  • Add finely minced fresh herbs such as thyme, sage and marjoram to your homemade gravy simmer water for a richer flavor.
  • Like making any gravy, wait until just before serving to prepare yours.

Vegan mushroom gravy recipe

Makes about 2 cups

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups boiling veggie broth or water
¼ cup dry white wine
¼ cup tamari or soy sauce
2 Tablespoons olive oil
3 Tablespoons. nutritional yeast
1/2 cup fresh crimini, shiitake or oyster mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh herbs (thyme, sage, marjoram or rosemary – or a mixture)
2-4 Tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour or organic cornstarch
Mineral or sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

*optional – garlic and onions are loved by billions of people around the world, but not me, so I omit them, but if you must, add in ¼ cup minced onion and as much garlic as you like.

Method

In a large saucepan over medium heat, sauté the mushrooms in olive oil until they begin to brown. Add all liquids and herbs and let simmer for about five minutes. Slowly add in the flour or cornstarch if making gluten-free. Use a whisk to blend in the flour. Add more to adjust thickness. Keep warm until serving. It goes great over this vegan stuffed seitan roast!

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Image: Telephone Melts