Sunday, September 20, 2009

Biscuits and Vegetarian 'Sausage' Gravy

My vegetarian sausage gravy is, of course, easily made vegan with soy milk and vegan ground sausage. It was the biscuits, paradoxically, that proved a problem when I tackled this recipe, because the original version called for a 16.3 ounce can of refrigerated biscuit dough. The most common brand is Pillsbury, of course, but their biscuit dough and every other brand I could find were chalk full of things like buttermilk, eggs, and um... beef tallow. Eeew.

I finally admitted to myself that I wouldn't be able to find convenient pre-made vegan biscuits, but my next option was to scare up a quick easy biscuit recipe online and work a little vegan magic on it. So here is a recipe for simple biscuits:

Lightly spoon 1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour into measuring cups, leveling with a knife. Combine the flour with 1 teaspoon baking powder and 1/2 tsp. salt.

Cut in 3 tablespoons of vegan butter (such as Earth Balance), cut into small pieces - you can use a pastry blender, two knives, or the back of a fork - until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

In a bowl, whisk together 1/3 cup plain soy milk (such as Silk) and 1/3 cup plain soy yogurt (such as Whole Soy); add to the flour mixture and stir just until moist.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and lightly knead about 3 times. Pat into 1/2-inch thickness, and cut into 8 biscuits using a 2-inch biscuit cutter. I had to get a little creative here, because the cookie cutter I have at home is only about 1-and-a-half inches across, so I sort of doubled up my biscuits in two smaller circles each., and had to regather the scraps of my dough and re-pat it out a couple of times.

Place the 8 rounds on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Lightly brush the tops with 2 additional teaspoons of soy milk. Bake at 400 degrees for 18 minutes.

Now onto the gravy!

Heat a tablespoon of vegetable or canola oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1/2 of a 14-ounce package of Lightlife's Gimme Lean meatless ground sausage, and cook for 3 minutes (I broke it apart with a wooden spoon as it cooked). Remove from heat and let cool slightly, then break further down into about 1/2-inch big pieces. Return to the pan.

Lightly spoon 1/4 cup all-purpose flour into a measuring cup and level with a knife. Combine the flour with 3 cups soy milk and whisk until smooth. Add the soy milk mixture to the pan, along with 1/4 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. black pepper; bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then cover, reduce heat and simmer for 3 minutes.

My gravy still wasn't quite thick after those 3 minutes, so I uncovered and cooked about 2 minutes more, stirring frequently, and then it seemed thick enough.

Slice your biscuits in half, and place 2 halves on each of 8 plates. Spoon 1/3 cup gravy over each plate.

These are best served immediately, so the gravy doesn't make the biscuits soggy. Each serving is 270 calories. They make a great breakfast, or side dish.

meatless fat-free sausage $3.69
plain soy milk $2.49
plain soy yogurt $1.39

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The Vegan Pantry

  • Vegan yogurt - Whole Soy
  • Vegan milk - Silk
  • Vegan Feta - Sunergia
  • Vegan Cheese - Galaxy Foods
  • Vegan Eggs - Ener-G
  • Vegan Butter - Earth Balance