The Daily Beet

17 Nov Guest post : Plant-Strong Thanksgiving plate. (PLUS a gravy recipe!)

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We want to thank Lindsay Nixon for her guest post today! We love her book Happy Herbivore and we are excited for her next book Everyday Happy Herbivore!

Plant-Strong Thanksgiving Plate

Even before I was plant-strong, it was the vegetable dishes — not the bird — that got me excited about Thanksgiving dinner every year. I couldn’t wait to eat my mom’s baked sweet potato and pecan casserole or my aunt’s savory green beans. Then there was my Dad’s homemade cranberry sauce and let’s not forget mashed potatoes and gravy, my absolute favorite!
Having a plant-strong Thanksgiving has never been a challenge for me since it gave me the excuse to make all my favorite vegetable dishes in abundance, and then some more. In recent years I’ve added pumpkin or butternut squash soup to the line up as well as soft polenta and slow roasted vegetables tossed lightly with balsamic vinegar. 

My guests are always surprised with the array of options, all the glorious color on their plates, and most importantly, how amazing they feel after our meal. No one needs to take a nap or unbutton their pants — they are full, happy and energized.

Since mashed potatoes and gravy are “it” for me, I’m sharing my recipe for Sage Gravy, which comes from my upcoming cookbook (released 12/6) Everyday Happy Herbivore.
To make mashed potatoes, I gently boil my potatoes (with the skins still on) then whip them with beaters and a little unsweetened almond milk. I add splashes as needed to get the right consistency. I also sometimes add granulated onion and garlic powders to taste but since I tend to smother my mashed potatoes with gravy, I leave them plain so the gravy can really shine.
Now for the gravy!
Sage Gravy | makes 1 1/2 cups 

Good over greens, mashed potatoes, faux chicken—anything really. This is my latest go-to gravy.

1/2 cup vegetable broth
1/2 cup nondairy milk
1 tbsp rubbed sage (not powdered)
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
2 tbsp white whole wheat flour
1/4 tsp garlic powder (granulated)
1/4 tsp onion powder (granulated)
1/4 tsp liquid smoke
dash paprika
1 lemon wedge (juice of)
pinch salt
black or white pepper

Whisk all ingredients together in a medium pot, taking care to rub the sage between your fingers to break it down into smaller bits, especially if your brand is a little rustic with bigger leaves and stick pieces (pull out those sticks if you can). Squeeze the juice out of your lemon wedge completely, and discard the rind. Bring gravy to near boil over high heat but just before it boils, immediately turn off the heat and remove the pot to a non-hot burner, stirring it. Taste, adding black or white pepper and salt as desired.

Chef’s Note: Brown rice flour may be substituted for a gluten-free option.

Per Serving (1/4 cup): 29 Calories, 0.3g Fat, 4.7g Carbohydrates, 1.2g Fiber, 1.2g Sugar, 2.6g Protein

Need some more tips on Thanksgiving meals? Lindsay has a great post here.
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Engine 2 Team
Engine 2 Team

The Engine 2 Team is dedicated to helping you become plant-strong! Each of us are on the plant-strong journey right along side of you!

  • Lani Muelrath
    Posted at 07:35h, 17 November


    Well, this is perfect timing! I’ve been remiss in the good-gravy department myself and created a recipe that I just put up on my blog yesterday using dried mushrooms for flavor punch. Your recipe today is my next try-out. It looks so simple!

    What does ‘rubbed sage’ mean? I keep seeing it and haven’t a clue! Is that just fresh sage that is crumpled?

    plant-strong fitness

    • Katie S.
      Posted at 12:35h, 17 November

      Lani, it is a season just like cumin, garlic etc. You will find it where the other seasonings are like Mccormick.In recipes calling for “rubbed” sage, take the whole dried leaf and crush or rub it to make a finely textured powder. Most dried sage sold in the spice section of the grocery store is rubbed this way. (found that tip on the taste of home website)

  • Happy Herbivore
    Posted at 13:23h, 17 November

    rubbed sage — its like basil–flakey and herby… NOT powdered

  • Holly R. Gruvet
    Posted at 16:24h, 17 November

    So is rubbed sage the whole leaf that I crumble or is it available at market labeled as rubbed sage? Am very much looking forward to making this recipe! First holiday with my whole family eating vegan! (I was getting lonely!)

  • Matera8385
    Posted at 19:59h, 17 November

    It is labeled as rubbed sage.

    • Lani Muelrath
      Posted at 09:59h, 18 November

      Thanks everyone. It’s curious that sage is labelled as ‘rubbed’ then – what about basil, isn’t that ‘rubbed’ too? Oregano? All as opposed to ground?

      Will check at market to solve the mystery of sage-with-a- massage!

  • Mary
    Posted at 01:19h, 18 November

    Thanks Lindsay!

    Totally unrelated, I was at an event last weekend in Ohio that your Dad was at! I was really bummed though, the event itself was just a big sales pitch for this garbage supplement, kind of a bummer that your Dad was associated with it, but I guess it’s good those people are getting some education, but the constant harassing to buy this garbage was annoying. I’m still glad I got to see your Dad though! Keep up the good work! And remember you can’t get your food in pills!

  • Stephanie
    Posted at 12:00h, 18 November

    I have an amazing creamy mushroom gravy that’s plant-strong and gluten-free on my blog… it’s so yummy! http://reciperenovator.com/special-diets/vegan/creamy-vegan-mushroom-gravy/

    • Engine 2 Team
      Posted at 21:17h, 23 November

      Thanks Stephanie – just a reminder E2 does not use any oil 🙂 but we’re sure your recipe tastes just as great with out the oil!

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