5 Ingredient Gravy and Beet Hands

Those of you have cooked beets before have experienced the condition known as dun dun dun… BEET HANDS! Well thanks to an unexpected visitor this condition provided me with a bit of anxiety.

Let me set the scene for you… It was 8 o’clock at night and I was just finishing up my dinner preparation. I have had a huge pumpkin in my apartment for about a month know so I figured it was time to toss it in the oven and see how much pumpkin meat I could harvest. I really did not have high hopes for this vegetable because of it’s size.  I ended up having to discard over half of the pumpkin because it had quite a bit of the white inedible portion but I figure the 4 cups that I did get out of it was worth it.

We will return to the pumpkin in a moment, but now onto the beet hands. Joining my plate with what would soon amount to be pumpkin mashed potatoes and gravy, was roasted cauliflower, brussel sprouts, and beet chips. Now, whenever I try to broil vegetables I set off my smoke detector so I decided rather than annoying my neighbors with the inevitable I would just remove my smoke detector until I turn off my oven.

Just as I was about to place my beet chips in the oven there was a knock on my door. To my surprise it was a police officer! So here I was, chair in front of the door from removing the detector, huge knife sitting on my kitchen counter from cutting the pumpkin, and blood-red hands from preparing my beets. Needless to say I was a little bit nervous to open the door! It turns out he was looking for a guy who supposedly said he lived at my apartment. He definitely seemed a little bit skeptical when I told him I lived alone considering I was standing there with my door only cracked half way open while hiding my hands.

It was an interesting night to say the least. Now on to my super easy recipe for gravy that goes great over any dish!

Five Ingredient Gravy

Serves 1

  • ¼ cup Unsweetened Almond Milk
  • 1 tsp. Tomato Paste
  • 1 tsp. Nutritional Yeast
  • ¼ tsp. Smart Balance
  • 1/8 tsp. Better than Vegetable Stock

Heat all of the ingredients in a small saucepan over medium-low heat stirring almost constantly until it thickens. It’s as easy as that!

*If you do not have nutritional yeast you can sub whole-wheat flour, it just won’t have that slightly cheesy taste.

**If you want to give your gravy a little kick, ¼ tsp. of Sriracha is a very yummy addition

I served my gravy over mashed roasted pumpkin which is a great alternative to potatoes! I also decided to fry up some of my left over Citrus Marinated Tofu from our cooking class on top.

What is your strangest cooking story??

Roasted Pumpkin Bisque

I can’t believe that Thanksgiving is next week! This past weekend we were brainstorming ideas for what to make for Thanksgiving this year and we were talking about it like it is weeks away when, in reality, it is next Thursday! It always seems to sneak up on us so it’s hard to prepare for when it seems to appear out of nowhere.

Last year we had Thanksgiving dinner at our brother’s house, which is not very far away, but this year we’re traveling a little bit farther so we have to think of food that will easily be transported for a couple of hours. We definitely cooked a lot last year and made ‘Apple Sage ‘Sausage’ Hazelnut Stuffing‘ (using hazelnuts instead of chestnuts and homemade bread), ‘Mushroom and Caramelized-Shallot Strudel’ (which we thought was delicious but would have liked better with some roasted red peppers or other vegetables), Green Bean Casserole (which tastes so good with fresh ingredients!), and Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecan Topping. For dessert, we had pumpkin pie cupcakes adapted from here and the pumpkin pie ‘frosting’ from here. In the recipes which called for butter or milk or sour cream we just used vegan versions, which goes to show that you can definitely veganize your favorite holiday dish. We even veganized a ‘Baileys‘ recipe using MimicCreme and vegan creamer as a replacement for the cream and sweetened condensed milk.

As you can see, our Thanksgiving wasn’t super healthy, but we did use healthier options when possible and compared to a Thanksgiving meal that uses animal ingredients (which can run between 2,000-3,000 calories in ONE meal!), it was much healthier and quite a bit more voluminous.

As far as what we’re going to make this year, we haven’t completely decided yet. What was frustrating about last year was that we made enough of everything for others to try, but a lot of it didn’t get eaten because there was so much other food. Because of this we are not sure what to do this year. We want to share delicious recipes with our family, but if it isn’t going to be eaten, should we make large amounts or just make enough for each other? I think we’ll probably try to find a happy medium, possibly prepare the main entree only for the two of us and share our side dishes. What do you think?

Either way, the following recipe is a contender and would be great served alongside a variety of dishes.  If you don’t want to go to the work of chopping, peeling and de-seeding a pumpkin yourself, many grocery stores have cubed butternut squash, which could easily stand in for the pumpkin.

Roasted Pumpkin Bisque

  • 1 Medium Pumpkin (8 cups cubed)
  • 1 ½ teaspoon + 1 teaspoon canola oil, divided
  • 1 teaspoon ground Thyme
  •  ½ teaspoon ground Sage
  •  ½ teaspoon dried Rosemary
  •  ¼ cup + 1 Tablespoon Nutritional Yeast, divided
  •  ½ – ¾ teaspoon Garlic Salt
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 teaspoons veggie broth powder + 5 cups water (or sub 5 cups veggie broth)

– Preheat oven to 415° F.

– Peel and cube pumpkin. Toss with 1 ½ teaspoons canola oil, spices, 1 Tablespoon Nutritional Yeast and ½ teaspoon Garlic Salt.

– Roast in the oven for about 40 minutes (until the edges have caramelized/turned brown), flipping halfway through.

– Heat the remaining oil over medium heat in a stockpot and add the onion and garlic; saute for 3-4 minutes. If using broth powder, add 5 teaspoons to the pot and saute for 1-2 more minutes.

– Once the onions are translucent, add the water or broth and heat to a simmer. Then add the remaining broth powder, nutritional yeast and roasted pumpkin.

– Using an emulsion blender, puree until desired texture is achieved.
~ Note: You can also use a regular blender for this by transferring the mixture to it, but you will want to wait until it has cooled or you may have an explosion on your hands!

– Season with additional garlic salt, or to taste.

– We had this with cornbread, which tasted delicious, but think that dumplings would taste incredible in it as well.

What are your plans for Thanksgiving? Do you have any suggestions for recipes that you’ve loved in the past?