This gravy is delicious over Mashed Potatoes and Lentil & Rice Loaf. It’s rich and flavorful even without the overly processed ingredients found in many plant-based gravies, mainly salt, soy sauce, nondairy butter, and cornstarch.
6 medium white or cremini mushrooms, chopped (about 2 ½ cups)
½ large yellow or white onion, chopped (about 1 ½ cups)
1 small carrot, thinly sliced (about ½ cup)
1 large rib celery, sliced (about ½ cup)
2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic (2 to 3 medium cloves)
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
Ground black pepper
Place the water and cashews into a blender, and set aside for at least 15 minutes (so the cashews can soften).
Place 1 tablespoon of water into a medium saucepan on medium-high heat. When the water starts to sputter, add the mushrooms, onions, carrots, and celery, and cook while stirring for 2 to 3 minutes.
Add the garlic and poultry seasoning to the pan, and continue stirring for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the vegetables have softened, adding water as needed.
Transfer the cooked vegetables to the blender containing the water and cashews, and blend until very smooth, adding water as needed.
Pour the blended gravy back into the same saucepan (or a clean one) on medium-low heat, and simmer briefly just to heat through. Season to taste with black pepper.
Cashews: If you do not have cashews on hand, you can try a little tahini (sesame seed paste) or walnuts; but cashews are my favorite choice because they are soft and yield a smooth final gravy. If you don't eat nuts or seeds, try some white beans in place of the cashews; the gravy won't be as rich, but it will provide a smooth gravy look and texture. If you want to use flour, use rice flour (I would whisk it in after blending and returning to the saucepan), as it doesn't clump like wheat flour.
Poultry seasoning: I have a fondness for poultry seasoning, especially around the holidays; but if you don't have any, you can use a combination of dried onion, sage, rosemary, marjoram, parsley, and/or thyme.
Mushrooms: Any edible mushrooms may be used in this recipe, or a mix.