Mmmmm . . . gravy

I have never been a big gravy fan. When the holidays came around, I often eschewed the gravy boat and topped my turkey with mashed potatoes instead. Most people made gravy that was just eh. My dad, though, was an exception. He could make the best gravy. His turkey gravy was good, but his pot roast gravy was spectacular. I wasn’t even a huge pot roast fan, but I got excited just for the gravy. I have no idea what he did to make it so tasty, but I know it had a kick to it. I suspect there was a heaping helping of crushed red pepper flakes in it, since they were ubiquitous in our household. (Note to self: Add a pinch of crushed red pepper to this dish next time and see what happens.)

Since switching to a plant-based diet, I have been less than impressed with vegan gravies. Some are fine enough, but just not worth the effort or calories in my mind. If I am going to douse my food in a thick, calorie-laden sauce, it had better be pretty darned good. And easy. Really easy.

Oh She Glow’s recipe for her Cozy Millet Bowl with Mushroom Gravy and Kale caught my eye for two reasons: I was very excited to finally find a use for the millet sitting in my pantry, and GRAVY. Let’s make that three reasons . . . it uses kale too. Oh – and mushrooms. Ok, so there were a lot of reasons I wanted to make this. Moving on . . .

I went to the pantry to get my container of millet only to discover that it was gone. What? No millet? I honestly have no idea what happened to it, but apparently I had already found a use for it. I hope it was good, but maybe it wasn’t since I don’t remember using it! Instead, I grabbed some pearled barley and went on my way. I skipped the toasting step, but used the same amount of barley (1/2 cup). Also, I only used about half of an onion. (I find that many recipes call for more onions than our family really enjoys.)

I was thrilled with the results. It was so rich and creamy and delicious, and I know that it is healthy – which is more than I can say for 99% of recipes with the word “gravy” in the title. Since kale is coming in our CSA boxes as of late, I recommend giving this a shot! (Forgive the poor quality of the photo. I have an absolutely ancient cell phone.)

Cozy Millet Bowl

Cozy Millet Bowl with Mushroom Gravy and Kale
From Oh She Glows

  • 1/2 cup uncooked millet (makes ~2 cups cooked)
  • 1/2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups chopped sweet onion (1 medium onion)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 cups sliced crimini mushrooms (300 grams)
  • 1.5 tbsp minced fresh rosemary   (Kristen’s note: I used a few pinches of dried)
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1.5 tbsp low-sodium tamari (soy sauce)
  • 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 & 1/4 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 cup fresh chopped kale, stems removed
  • Freshly ground black pepper & kosher salt, to taste

1. Toast millet (optional): In a pot or skillet with a lid, toast the millet over medium heat, stirring frequently, until it starts popping. Be careful you don’t burn it. The goal here is a light toast. Remove from heat. Cook millet: Bring a medium-sized pot of 1 cup water, a pinch of salt, and 1/2 cup uncooked millet to a low boil. Reduce heat to low and cover with tight-fitting lid (with no air holes). Simmer for 15-20 minutes or so. Remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes covered.  Remove lid and fluff with fork. Set aside.

2. Meanwhile, grab a large skillet and heat oil over medium heat. Add in chopped onions and garlic and sauté for about 5 minutes.

3. Add the sliced mushrooms and sauté for about 12 minutes longer, stirring as necessary. Now stir in the rosemary, nutritional yeast, and tamari. Cook for a few minutes.

4. In a small bowl, whisk together the broth and cornstarch until clumps are gone, and then stir into the mushroom mixture. Stir in kale. Cook for another 5-6 minutes or so, until slightly thickened. Portion millet into two bowls and serve the mushroom gravy on top.

Approx Nutritional Info (per serving, serves 2): 355 kcals, 4 grams fat, 63 grams carbs, 11 grams fibre, 6 grams sugar, 16 grams protein.

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