Need a good vegetarian gravy recipe?

Hold on to your brunch biscuit, people.

Recently, I posted this photo of me and a giant breakfast bowl swimming in gravy.img_0040

And I got several comments about the lack of decent vegetarian gravy recipes. This my food friends is the real deal veg gravy. Trust me because I pretty much ate all that AND had the gravy on mashed potatoes the night before. It was a gravy drenched weekend.

So, where did I eat the BEST vegan biscuits and gravy?

My favorite of all veggie restaurants, The Chicago Diner. If you’re ever in Chicago– just go. Seriously. I’ve gushed about this place before and you’ve gotta eat there. Everything on the menu is a vegan/vegetarian dream come true.

Yeah, but it’s brunch time, HERE– I need a veggie gravy recipe now.

Luckily, I’ve bought all their cookbooks and below is the recipe for ultimate gravy goodness. Eat hearty and enjoy every last lick of that plate.

img_0038

The Chicago Diner’s White Sage Gravy from The New Chicago Diner Cookbook

Yield: 4 Cups

Vegetarian Gravy Ingredients:

1 cup vegan margarine like Earth Balance

2 cups minced onion

1 cup rice flour

2 tablespoons vegetable bouillon dissolved in 1/4 cup soy milk

8 cups water or vegetable stock

2 tablespoons onion powder

2 tablespoons fresh chapped sage or 1 teaspoon dried sage

1 tablespoon dried marjoram

1 tablespoon nutritional yeast flakes

1 tablespoon white pepper

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

How to cook gravy:

  1. In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt the margarine. Add the onion and saute until it is  caramelized.
  2. Slowly sift the flour into the saucepan, whisking constantly until it is completely blended. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly, until a golden brown roux forms.
  3. Slowly add the vegetable stock and water to the saucepan, still whisking constantly.
  4. Add all of the remaining ingredients to the saucepan. Raise the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to low and simmer the gravy for 8 minutes, until the desired thickness is reached. Remove from the heat and transfer to a gravy boat.

Cooks’ Note: You can easily thicken up a too-thin gravy by slowly adding 1 tablespoon of flour or nutritional yeast flakes, but be sure to whisk vigorously and constantly while adding it to avoid lumps.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I (heart) the Chicago Diner- More travel food!

I know I’ve sung the praises of The Chicago Diner before, but every time we go I am reminded about how amazing the food is and how special it is to eat at an established vegetarian/vegan restaurant. I just don’t take that for granted because it’s harder to find than you think.

One of the other things I love about eating there is the inspiration I get for my own cooking. For instance, this time I had the Cornish “beef” hash with an egg sunny side up on top.

20130428-085100.jpg

I’ve got to figure out how they make that seitan- it slices perfectly and seems to absorb marinating juices really well. I think they use it in their signature Reuben dish too. The egg on top of this dish was a brilliant touch.

John had the black bean burger.

20130505-162414.jpg

Josh had a spicy breaded “chick” sandwich which despite the good waitresses fair warning was not too hot for ol’Josh.

20130505-162553.jpg

If I am truly honest with myself I would admit that it isn’t just the amazing, hearty meals that bring us back every time we visit Chicago…it’s that mind-blowing chocolate chip cookie peanut butter vegan shake. I think I’ll let the evidence speak for itself…

20130505-162858.jpg

20130505-162912.jpg

Sunday Night Dinner: Steph’s Blue Plate Special- order up!

20110501-101034.jpg

This week we are all cooking the same category of meal for Sunday Night Dinner- The Blue Plate Special.
Our blue plate special was a veggie take on Meatloaf – The Chicago Diner’s Lentil loaf with mashed potatoes, mom’s sweet and sour carrots and corn!
Good friend and honorary Farris family member Jessica joined us!

20110501-101106.jpg

20110501-101126.jpg

As a kid I ate mom’s sweet and sour carrots like candy. I loved them and now I know why, there’s a cup of sugar involved with this veg side dish. Uh, yum!
At dinner we talked about vacations to come, life, surprise visits from neighbors, and hearty lentil loaf. For dessert we had strawberry jello and some of us even had whipped cream!

20110501-101148.jpg

20110501-101204.jpg

Oh yes, blue plate specials are a good thing. I realize now that we should have sat on our diner booth bench in the kitchen! Dang. We’ll just have to do it again.