Yesterday you got a primer on potatoes, the day before that was turkey, and what are both of those things really, then a vehicle for creamy, rich, indulgent gravy? If you’re not on the gravy train (sorry I had to), then feel free to go take a look at this sweet treat – perfect for black friday breakfast, or these little beauties (also appropriate). But if you’re with me, stay with me – even though we’re about to get into rocky territory.
Am I vegan? No. There was some experimentation in my early 20’s, but for the better part of the decade I can safely say that barring some medical reason, I will continue to eat the meats, and the cheese, and the butter, and well, you get it. But while I do not practice a vegan lifestyle, I do enjoy a lot of vegan and vegan adjacent stuff. These buddha bowls for instance, are a great way to eat a hearty but healthy meal during the work week. And I almost never just drink dairy milk (I prefer cashew).
Now that we’ve glanced at my plant-based street cred, I’ll finish by saying that at the holidays we throw all the rules out the window, right? Bring on all the sugar, all the butter, all the starches, because what really matters it that we’re celebrating and enjoying ourselves. And to be honest, this gravy puts a damn smile on my face.
It’s creamy, rich, full of flavor, and yeah, it’s also vegan! I know that some people will think I’m showering it with accolades to make you think it’s good despite the presence of animal based products. But those people are wrong. It’s good because of what’s in it, not what it’s missing. Sweet shallots, earthy mushrooms, fragrant herbs, and rich, fatty cashews come together to make something bowl licking tasty. And if the word ‘gravy’ really makes your head spin, then just think of this as a creamy mushroom sauce and everything will all be ok. I promise.
Now go make this and validate my feelings!
Creamy Vegan Mushroom Gravy
This creamy, rich, incredibly flavorful gravy is omigod VEGAN AND GLUTEN FREE! Why make it that way? Well obviously because now everyone can enjoy what is in my opinion pretty much the best part of Thanksgiving, but more importantly because it might actually be better than the regular stuff!
- Prep Time: 3 Hours (mostly inactive)
- Cook Time: 30 Minutes
- Total Time: 3 hours 30 minutes
- Yield: 3 Cups
- Category: sauces
1 c raw cashews
½ ounce dried mushrooms
3 C veggie broth
2 T canola oil
1 shallot, minced
1 tsp chopped thyme
1 tsp chopped rosemary
1 T tamari (or soy sauce – if you don’t care about gluten)
1 T cornstarch
1 tsp kosher salt
½ tsp ground black pepper
Place cashews in a small bowl and cover with water until all the nuts are totally submerged. Let sit at room temperature for 3 hours.
Microwave veggie stock until hot (this took me about 90 seconds at high power). Add dried mushrooms and stir to fully submerge mushrooms in the broth. Set aside for at least 30 minutes. I usually just prepare the mushrooms at the same time as a cashews though and come back to both at the 3 hour mark.
Drain the cashews and rinse. Then blend the cashews along with ½ c of fresh water in a high speed blender until smooth. I find that the smoothie cup with attached blade gives me the best results. Set aside.
Heat the oil up over medium-low heat and add the shallot. Cook until shallots are softened – about 3 minutes.
While shallots cook, fish the mushrooms out of the broth and chop finely. Reserve the broth.
Add the mushrooms, thyme, and rosemary to the shallots and sauté for another 2-3 minutes.
Add most of the reserved broth (making sure to avoid any sediment at the bottom of the bowl) and the cashew cream. Whisk to combine and bring to a simmer.
In a small both whisk together the cornstarch with ladle full of the simmering liquid. Add this mixture back into the pot and bring to a gentle boil, whisking constantly. Boil the gravy for one minute, then turn off the heat. Add the soy sauce, and season to taste with salt and pepper (I used about a teaspoon of kosher salt and half that of black pepper).
You can make this in advance and stash it in the fridge for 3-4 days or freeze it for up to 3 months. When you reheat it add a little more veggie broth or water to thin it out if necessary.
Keywords: vegan gravy, healthy holiday recipe, gluten free gravy