This is not your traditional thin gravy. This gravy is robust and flavorful. I make variations of this for all my gravy needs. I decided to add mushrooms this time for their flavor, nutrition, and because we had some in the house.
Gravy was always weird territory even when I was vegetarian. It seems that a lot of people are unsure of how to create an animal-free gravy. Even most of those dehydrated mushroom gravy seasoning packets use animal fats for flavoring. Well, now you can bypass all that and make your own.
If you do want a thinner gravy, you can certainly make this without mushrooms, celery, or lentils and you can finely dice your onion. Another idea would be to sauté your mushroom and onion, add a bit of your broth and blend it with an immersion blender or in a food processor. Then proceed with the recipe. You’d get the flavor, but not the bulk. You may need more broth to thin it out. I’ve never done this, but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work.
Remember to cook your lentils in advance. If you have rice cooker, you can totally cook your lentils in there, I did. Put 1/2 cup lentils, 1 cup water, and a teaspoon of oil in the bowl of your rice cooker and cook. Otherwise, just follow the directions on the lentil package (you only need 1 cup cooked lentils). Optional: add a teaspoon of chili powder and turmeric to lentils.
I’m going to be out of town for Thanksgiving, so I was making our Thanksgiving foods early. I was making a few things at once which means I wasn’t cooking as mindfully as usual. Right, well without thinking, I added 1/4 cup of nutritional yeast, but the recipe only calls for 2 tablespoons. My gravy turned out fantastic, so I put both the original measurement and my “mistake” measurement in the ingredient list. You can choose how much you want to add.
Also, I was unable to get my hands on fresh garlic (one of the pitfalls of rural life), so I had to use garlic powder. Yes, my gravy was delicious, but I would have preferred to use fresh garlic. I definitely did not measure the amount of garlic powder I used; I just threw it in.
- 1/4 cup sunflower or coconut oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 3-5 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup chopped celery
- 2 cups chopped mushrooms
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 2-4 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 2 tablespoons vegan Worcestershire sauce
- 2½ cups vegetable broth
- 1 cup cooked lentils
- 1/2 teaspoon dried sage
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4-1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
Gather together all of your ingredients. Chop veggies and mince garlic. Measure out flour and nutritional yeast and set aside.
In a medium saucepan, heat oil over medium heat.
Sauté onion, garlic for about 3 minutes. Add celery, cook 2 more minutes.
Add mushrooms and continue to sauté for another 5 minutes. Stir frequently.
Stir in flour, nutritional yeast, and Worcestershire sauce to form a smooth paste.
Gradually whisk in the broth. Stir in the spices and cooked lentils.
Simmer, stirring constantly for 3-5 minutes or until gravy has thickened.
Remove from heat and serve.
Yield: about 3 cups
If you’re curious, here’s my menu:
- Corn Muffins variation with whole corn kernels
- Sautéed kale and onion
- Mushroom-lentil gravy
- Mashed squash and potatoes
- Maple Raisin Gingerbread