Thanksgiving isn’t just for carnivores. A delicious feast can still be enjoyed even without the giant bird. Even though the hubs and I partake in the ritual, we have a few vegetarian and vegan friends who thoughtfully shy away from many traditional Thanksgiving foods due to the meat and dairy factor. I always love having these friends over because I like the challenge of preparing foods that will provide them with the full meal experience and that everyone else will also enjoy.
This is why I don’t put butter or milk in my mashed potatoes…
Yep, I know some of you might think I’m totally nuts right now and that you can’t have true creamy flavorful mashed potatoes without the dairy but you’re just wrong. Instead, I drizzle a little high quality extra virgin olive oil and vegetable stock in the spuds and mash away. The stock adds tons of flavor and the olive oil makes them nice and silky.
But I add one more safeguard for any complainers out there who just can’t fathom the idea of mashed potatoes without that buttery tang. The. Best. Ever. Mushroom. Gravy. Period. This gravy is so popular I can’t seem to make enough of it. It’s always gone. Not only does everyone put it on their taters, but it kind of becomes an all-purpose sauce that they use on the rest of their meal, too. I’ve seen people pour it on their turkey, dip their veggies and bread in it and just eat it straight by itself. There are never any leftovers.
The key to this gravy is dried porcini mushrooms. Porcini mushrooms have the classic smell and flavor profile you associate with mushrooms in a concentrated form. I specifically go for the dried version for two reasons: 1) they are easier to find than fresh, and 2) the liquid used to reconstitute them adds an additional layer of mushroominess. (Is that a word? It is now.)
This is the gravy that ties the whole meal together and brings everyone to the same table in harmonious splendor singing kumbaya and braiding each other’s hair true to the Thanksgiving spirit. Ok, so maybe this gravy can’t perform miracles but it will always be a star.
Best Ever Vegan Mushroom Gravy
Servings: 8 • Size: 2 Tablespoons • Weight Watcher Points+: 2
Calories: 57 • Fat: 3g • Carbs: 5g • Fiber: 1g • Protein: 2g
Sugars: 0g • Sodium: 211mg • Cholesterol: 0mg
- ½ ounce dried porcini mushrooms
- 1 ½ cups boiling water
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 6 ounces crimini mushrooms
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh sage
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
- ¼ cup all purpose flour
- 1-2 cups vegetable stock
- ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
Place the dried mushrooms in a small bowl and cover with the boiling water. Let steep 10 minutes. Drain the mushrooms, reserving the liquid.
Heat the oil over medium heat in a large deep skillet. Chop the reconstituted porcini mushrooms and crimini mushrooms and add them to the oil along with the sage and thyme. Cook, stirring frequently, 5-6 minutes or until mushrooms become soft.
Sprinkle the flour over the mushrooms and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, 2-3 minutes.
Add enough vegetable stock to the reserved porcini liquid to make 2 ¼ cups. Add this to the mushrooms. Constantly scraping the bottom with the wooden spoon while stirring, cook until the gravy thickens, about 8 minutes. If too thick, add more vegetable stock, a Tablespoonful at a time.