Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Home Grown tomatoes presents...Graaaavy

Mashed Potatoes with Thick Mushroom Gravy

Home Grown Tomatoes is a weekly Vegan/Vegetarian column by Giovanina Bucci

Well Wednesday cannot come soon enough, my friends...I'm scheduled for a trip to Denver to visit with my very dear cousin, her family and my best friend! What else does a woman need? Apparently there is going to be wine, snacks, a hot tub, and a darling 1 1/2 year old whom I haven't met yet...so all of that sounds really enticing too!

The last time I went to Denver, I got sun poisoning on the first day and laid in bed for the majority of my weeks' vacation. When I finally got up the courage to be mobile, I stupidly wore jeans for a day trip to Boulder and upon leaving got stung by a bee TWICE on my very tender back. I cried, my cousin cried - it was messy, but apparently memorable (or scarring, however you want to look at it!). I'm guessing this mid-winter trip will run a bit smoother and I am leaving good weather to the angels. (Work with me here, ladies...)

Being a vegan and visiting others I actually think creates fear for those who I am visiting. "What the hell do you eat?" "What should I get for snacks?" "Can we leave the cooking to you?" My first question is always, do you have a health food store nearby, big, small, chain... most importantly, is there somewhere I can buy vegetables? If so, I can make it work and YES I would love to cook - that's half the fun of cooking vegan, (hopefully) proving that it doesn't have to suck! Plus any sensible vegan travels well prepared for situations that aren't vegan-friendly, so don't worry... we won't starve! Speaking of food...ah mashed potatoes with mushroom gravy...hearty and comforting in every capacity.

Mushrooms and I have a love/hate relationship - I can't bear the thought of eating them raw in a salad, but marinated and stuffed, count me in!

Serving size: 4 portions (which you can gravy over anything, potatoes just happen to be adored in our house)

1 yellow onion (chopped)

1 package of baby portobellos (about 6oz - 8oz. chopped)

1/2 - 1 C. vegetable broth (low sodium if you can)

2 stalks of celery (chopped)

2 Tls. spelt flour

1 Tbs. apple cider vinegar

1 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. onion powder

black pepper to taste

1/2 tsp. cumin

rosemary and thyme to taste - these two herbs definitely appeal to particular taste buds, so use at your discretion! I did a dusting of both...in order to avoid overpowering.

Of course, by this point you will have made or will be simultaneously be making whatever it is that you're going to gravy. Begin gravy by sauteing onions and celery in Earth Balance, Bragg's and a dash of vegetable broth on medium heat.

Once onions are translucent, add mushrooms and cook until tender. Turn heat down to medium low and add in 1/2 C. of broth (to begin with) and the remaining seasonings (including vinegar). After a couple of minutes, turn heat to low and let all ingredients simmer, and allow time for flavors to blend.

As thickness becomes apparent, add small doses (about 2 Tbs. at a time) of broth to obtain the consistency that you prefer. I saturated some mashed potatoes and topped this dish with fresh parsley... warm, comforting bliss.

This recipe looks more delicious than usual write now because: a) I am chewing gum b) it's flippin' snowing outside! Let me know how it goes...Enjoy!

1 comment:

Courtney said...


can't wait to see your face tomorrow - i promise the only injuries this trip will be stomach pains from laughing too much

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