Monday, December 13, 2010

Be Good to Yourself this Holiday Season: Mushroom Gravy

The holidays can be very hard on the health. While some gluttony is not only to be expected, but can also be good for the soul, it's also wise to blend your desire for decadence with the desire to be good to your body. That's why, for this Meatless Monday, I have elected to present Mushroom Gravy - a nice alternative to the traditional, more clog-inducing beef or poultry kind.

Now, Mushroom Gravy isn't always healthy (nor is it always vegetarian), but this recipe is not only easy and delicious, but can also be creatively adapted to many different diets and requirements.

Homemade Vegetarian Mushroom Gravy

Ingredients:
  • 3/4 cup white or button mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 small yellow or white onion, minced
  • 1/4 cup vegan margarine
  • 2 1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 tbsp poultry seasoning (or 1/2 tsp each of sage, thyme and marjoram)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preparation:

In a large skillet, melt the margarine (or low fat oil, or substitute), and add chopped onion and mushrooms. I use slightly aged mushrooms, the ones that aren't really useful for salads or anything any more - I find they make more juice and have a bit more flavour. Besides, this is a great way to use mushrooms that don't really have the looks for table use any more.

Pan fry for just a minute or two over high heat. Simmer on low until the mushrooms are soft and juicy. You can add a bit of water and sea salt to encourage the mushrooms to release their juices a bit more.

Set heat to medium and add vegetable broth and soy sauce. Slowly add flour, stirring well to combine and prevent lumps from forming. Bring to a simmer or a low boil, then reduce heat.

Add poultry seasoning, salt and pepper, stirring consistently. Allow to cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring regularly, until gravy thickens.

Optional: If gravy is too liquidy, or just to add extra protein, sprinkle some plain TVP into the gravy, as this will soak up the water (and flavour) and add a bit of substance.

Enjoy!

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