A real thing that happened recently, while planning a Friendsgiving:
Friend: “We still need someone to make mashed potatoes and gravy…”
Me: “Ooh I could do it! I could make vegan mashed potatoes and gravy!”
*collective “uhhh” around the room and frowns of disgust*
So apparently I’ve been living around such a bubble of tree-hugging millennials that I forgot about how vegans are perceived by much of America. And having lived a mostly-vegan life for the last few months, and having realized how cool it can be – the speed and force of rejection annoyed me for quite a bit.
And still does, I suppose, considering I’m sitting in bed at 12:30am typing about it a month later.
Anyway, I set out to prove them wrong. I made the following gravy recipe – which was certified delicious by several meat-eaters of the group, by the way – and I was actually surprised at how great it tasted.
Don’t get me wrong – I’m a mashed potatoes and gravy fanatic, and I still think this is way better than the traditional. The secret sauce is the gravy (get it??), which gives complex layers of flavor. It’s not just the one-dimensional turkey-gravy kind of savory; the garlic, onion, vegetable broth, and dash of soy sauce all come together to make a perfect, unique type of savory that you won’t find with traditional mashed potatoes & gravy.
Vegan Mashed Potatoes & Gravy
- 3lb russet potatoes
- 10 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp oil
- salt and pepper
- 1 onion, chopped finely
- 1/2 cup oil
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- salt and pepper
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast (optional, will add more flavor to gravy)
- 1/4 cup almond milk (optional, will make gravy creamier)
1. Prepare the potatoes. Skin, cut, and boil for about 20 minutes until they’re super mushy. Then, mash them with a potato masher or a fork. (Hint: I like to let the water slowly boil off, so I can just mash the potatoes straight in the pot. If they end up too watery and mushy, I’ll let the pot sit for a bit longer so more water can evaporate off.)
2. Meanwhile, cook the garlic in oil until the oil is nice and fragrant. Add these to the mashed potatoes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
3. Prepare the gravy. Turn the stove to high and sauté the onion in oil until the onion is soft and tender, which takes around 3 minutes. Add flour to the sautéed onion to make a roux. Make sure you coat the onion evenly, with no chunks of flour sitting around. Add vegetable broth, soy sauce, nutritional yeast (optional), and almond milk (optional). Let it all simmer down to your desired level of thickness before seasoning with salt and pepper.
And that’s it! Once you’ve been through this amazing recipe a few times, you’ll be able to whip up this whole thing in half an hour or less.
So the next time your friends make fun of you for being a vegan, push back with this recipe.
Boom. Empowering vegans so they’ll make great-tasting food and therefore be socially accepted by their friends. Just another day at Kitchen Cici.