Despite the time invested in this pile of delicious breakfast, this post is going to be exceedingly brief. I spent Sunday evening in glorious doom and gloom entertainment, first watching the final performance of Next to Normal Downtown [capsule review: Could also have been titled Depression! The Musical], then after post-show drinks, rushed home to watch the 11:00 pm re-run of the latest episode of The Killing on AMC.
I spent Sunday evening enjoying the most downbeat offerings stage and TV could possibly provide, which starkly contrasted with my midday minor vegan feast and the pure joy I felt throwing it together.
The meal was this: Roasted Cajun potatoes, scrambled tofu, navy bean gravy, and tempeh bacon. All delicious items when eaten apart, but as America knows, best when it can be collected in a big sloppy pile. The potatoes are easy enough – sliced and roasted with Cajun seasoning – and the tofu was just your typical scrambled tofu – turmeric, a little bit of vegan margarine, a little bit of liquid smoke, some salt and cayenne pepper – so the real stars here are the tempeh bacon and the amazing navy bean gravy, a vegan gravy so good, it could easily run for the same affections currently claimed by beef and chicken gravy devotees. And it’s incredibly easy to make.
Navy Bean Gravy
- 1 15 oz. can navy beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1 half onion, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, chopped
- 2 tsp dried rosemary
- Black pepper (I tend to think more is better than less, but the actual quantity is a matter of taste)
- 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
- 1/3 cup flour
- 3 tbsp soy sauce
- 1/4 cup water
- Saute the onions and garlic. Add the rosemary and black pepper and cook until the onions are translucent and garlic is fragrant. Combine the broth and flour and stir vigorously with a fork until there are few lumps of flour left.
- In a blender or food processor, combine the stock mixture, beans, soy sauce. Blend until smooth, then add the onions and garlic. Puree again until mostly smooth.
- Pour the pureed mixture into the stove pot and simmer until bubbling, stirring frequently. Add water to desired consistency.
- 8 oz. package of tempeh, sliced widthwise into 1/4 inch strips.
- 3 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp liquid smoke
- 1 tbsp maple syrup (I used honey)
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp grapeseed oil
- 1/2 cup vegetable broth
- 1 tsp garlic salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- Combine all ingredients (except for the tempeh) into a large bowl. Mix until well combined, then add the tempeh strips. Marinate for 1 hour (can be done overnight as well).
- When tempeh has marinated long enough, heat some oil in a large frying pan. Fry the slices for six minutes on each side, or until both are browned sufficiently.
(Adapted from recipes in Vegan Brunch by Isa Chandra Moskowitz)