It’s All Gravy!

There is nothing better than a savory gravy on mashed potatoes to bring the feeling of comfort. Being a big fan of mushrooms, especially ones grown here in the Pacific Northwest, it seems a natural ingredient to add flavor to a vegan version of this Thanksgiving staple.

With the wonderful options of gluten-free flour mixes on the market, making the rue base of the gravy is simple. My recipe below is a good starting place, but you can feel free to adjust as desired. Just remember, the fat and flour make the rue which then thickens the broth and everything else is simply for flavor.

Ingredients for Mushroom Gravy

  • 4 tablespoons olive or avocado oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 1 cup chopped mushrooms (I use a mix of shitake, portobello, and button)
  • 2 cloves of chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon gluten-free flour mix or cornstarch
  • 2 cups mushroom broth or vegetable broth
  • pink sea salt and fresh ground pepper
  • unsweetened oat, hemp or almond milk (optional)

Instructions for Mushroom Gravy

  1. Sauté onions in pan with one tablespoon of the oil until caramelized.
  2. In a separate pan, sauté chopped mushrooms in two tablespoons of oil, on medium heat until fully cooked through. Combine with onions and set aside.
  3. In a heated pan, add one tablespoon of oil. Whisk in flour or cornstarch until the mixture begins to thicken. Slowly mix in broth a half cup at a time, whisking as it thickens to keep the mixture smooth.
  4. Add half the onions and mushrooms into the gravy. With an immersion blender, regular blender, or food processor, blend until smooth and creamy. Combine all of the onions and mushrooms and reheat. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  5. If you want to make your gravy creamier, add the milk alternative to taste. Your finished gravy should be a balance of neither too thick or thin and just enough salt and pepper.

Now on to the mashed potatoes! My former favorite mashed potato recipe included a large dose of butter and cream. With the flavors of the mushroom gravy to top my dairy-free version, I feel nothing is lost with a basic recipe using alternative milk. I have found that hemp and almond milk have the most neutral taste for savory dishes and it is very important to make sure your milk has no added sweetener. My mashed potato tip is: do not over blend your potatoes or they will become starchy and sticky. I often leave my potatoes with a bit of texture to avoid over blending.

Ingredients for Mashed Potatoes

  • 6 yellow or gold potatoes
  • water for boiling
  • 1/2 cup of unsweetened hemp or almond milk
  • pink sea salt and fresh ground pepper

Instructions for Mashed Potatoes

  1. Cut potatoes into small cubes. (I like to leave the skin on my potatoes). Place in pan and cover with water.
  2. Add one teaspoon of salt into the water and heat to boil. Continue to cook potatoes until you can easily run your fork through the center of a cube. Remove from stove and drain water.
  3. With potatoes still in the pan, pour in half of the milk. Blend with an electric hand mixer carefully, and then add the rest of the milk.
  4. Continue to blend until milk is incorporated and potatoes are moist (make sure not to over blend). Add salt and pepper to taste.

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