From Soil to City

A Vegetarian Thanksgiving: Part 2

part 2 of a 3-part series written by our Pencil Factory CSA site leader, Ella Miller.

You may have noticed that vegetarian Thanksgiving options have been trending lately on social media. Food52 just proposed 2015 as Year of the Vegducken (something that I am definitely making this year – here’s the recipe I’ll use), which looks so good that both veg and non-veg eaters are getting behind it! Next week we will talk more about main vegetarian dishes and I will share what has and has not worked for me over the years.

But first… let’s talk about gravy. Now that you have your vegetable stock (see Part 1 for the recipe!), you can make all kinds of amazing things! Soups, stuffing, grains and of course gravy! I have always been one of those “cover the whole plate in gravy” kind of Thanksgiving goers, and to be honest I had a hard time giving it up when I stopped eating meat.  This recipe will go great with your Local Roots CSA potatoes, brussels sprouts and whatever stuffing you decide to make.

My Mom’s gravy is always a little lumpy. She will vehemently deny this, but there was a year when her gravy was so lumpy no one wanted to eat it and you know what everyone used that year? My vegetarian gravy! With practice your veggie gravy may just steal the show and here is how to make it.

Vegetarian Gravy:

2 Tbsp. olive or vegetable oil (or you can use butter)
1 small onion, diced
2 Tbsp. flour
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth (recipe here)
½ tsp. dried or finely chopped fresh thyme
2 Tbsp. soy sauce or Tamari
1 Tbsp. nutritional yeast (can usually be found in the bulk section of a natural food store or co-op)

1. Heat the oil or butter over medium heat in a large skillet or sauce pan and sauté the onion until translucent but not brown. Add the flour and sauté to create a roux*. Sauté for about 5 more minutes or until flour is browned but not burnt (you will need to keep stirring).

2. Add the vegetable broth and bring to a bowl, whisking to combine flour mixture with broth. Reduce heat to a simmer and whisk frequently to make sure there are no clumps!

3. While whisking add nutritional yeast and soy sauce, tasting along the way to achieve the consistency and flavor you want. Add salt and pepper to taste.

This gravy can be stored in an airtight container for up to a week and just needs to be reheated for serving.