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Vegan Sage Dressing and Brown Gravy

A vegetarian/vegan since 1960 at age 14, I have always enjoyed cooking primarily with vegetables and creating non-traditional recipes.

Vegan Sage Dressing

Vegan Sage Dressing

Vegan Sage Dressing

Of course, vegans/vegetarians have no use for the traditional application of dressing (or stuffing), as in dressing or stuffing a turkey. But that unique sage-based dressing flavor need not be left off the veggie table at Thanksgiving.

And you don’t have to wait for November and the Thanksgiving holiday. You can enjoy that flavorful sage dressing for Easter, Memorial Day, or even the Fourth of July. Of course, any old day of the week can become a flavorful holiday with the delicious, comforting flavors of sage dressing and brown gravy.

If you are accustomed to cooking with traditional, non-vegan/non-vegetarian foods, the veggie version of dressing is simple: leave out all animal flesh, eggs, or dairy milk for the vegan and the animal flesh for the lacto-ovo vegetarian. Add moisture with olive oil, vegetable broth, and soy sauce. The traditional flavor of sage dressing remains because of the sage, onion, and celery. Easy to make and delicious every time!

Buon Appetito!

Ingredients

Dry ingredients:

  • 4 regular garlic gloves, or 1 elephant clove, minced
  • 1 cup onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup celery, finely chopped
  • 3 cups sprouted grain bread, cubed (I use Ezekiel)
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 2 tsp sage
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tsp coarse ground black pepper

Wet ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons low-salt soy sauce

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 375˚F.
  2. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients and set aside.
  3. In a second medium-sized mixing bowl, combine all of the wet ingredients and set aside.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, combine the dry and wet ingredients and stir to mix.
  5. Pour the mixture into a baking dish, cover with an inverted cookie sheet, and bake in 375˚oven for 30 minutes.
  6. Remove cookie sheet and toast under broiler for 2-3 minutes until a nice brown topping is formed.
Sage Dressing Bars

Sage Dressing Bars

Vegan Sage Dressing Bars

Flavorful and zesty, these bars are easy to make and fun!

Sometimes our family does a non-traditional Thanksgiving/Christmas meal with pizza or enchiladas. But even while enjoying the non-traditional, we also like to keep a bit of the traditional.

That's how I came up with the idea of "sage dressing appetizers," which resulted in "dressing bars." Keeps that Thanksgiving sage-based flavor everyone loves!

Buon Appetito!

Ingredients

  • 4 medium-sized slices of bread, cubed
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 2 large celery ribs, diced
  • 1/2 white onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp vegan butter (I use Earth Balance)
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tsp coarse ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp ground sage

Instructions

  1. Heat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Place the cubed bread and milk in a large mixing bowl. Allow to stand for about 15 minutes.
  3. Place coconut oil and butter in a medium skillet. Heat until very hot, then sauté celery and onion in oil until soft.
  4. Allow celery and onion to cool.
  5. Mix bread and milk until the mixture becomes pliable. Add sautéed celery and onion, salt, pepper, and sage, and mix well.
  6. Place mixture in multi-slotted, mini-loaf pan, filling each pan to top.
  7. Bake in 400° oven for 30-40 minutes, until each loaf looks solid and inserted knife comes out clean.
Mini-Loaf Pan for Sage Dressing Bars

Mini-Loaf Pan for Sage Dressing Bars

Vegan Brown Gravy

Vegan Brown Gravy

Vegan Brown Gravy

No doubt dinner gravy on sage dressing was discovered while smearing some of that yummy gravy over mashed potatoes. Those Thanksgiving diners might have noticed how yummy the dressing sitting next to the potatoes tasted after the gravy accidentally spilled over into the dressing.

Regardless of how it happened, gravy on dressing has become a must (at least at my house). Besides everyone has noticed that dressing can become a little dry as it sits waiting for all its accompanying dishes to make their way onto the table.

This brown gravy, which I also called "dinner" gravy to distinguish it from the gravy we pour over biscuits for "breakfast," offers a delicious enhancement to the dressing and, of course, it doesn't hurt a thing to pour some over those mashed potatoes or veggie turkey substitutes as well.

The recipe easily converts to a simple vegetarian version by replacing the vegan butter with regular dairy butter.

Ingredients

  • ½ cup vegan butter plus 2 tbsp, divided
  • ¼ cup whole wheat flour plus 2 tbsp unbleached flour
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tsp coarse ground black pepper
  • 3¾ cups water plus ¼ cup soy sauce
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast

Instructions

  1. Melt ½ cup vegan butter in a medium saucier over medium heat.
  2. Whisk in flour, salt, and pepper to a paste.
  3. Whisk in water/soy sauce mixture until well blended.
  4. Cook and stir until the mixture begins to bubble.
  5. Reduce heat, continue cooking, and stirring for 4 minutes.
  6. Add nutritional yeast, continue to stir for 2 minutes.
  7. Remove from heat, stir in remaining 2 tbsp butter.
Old-Fashioned Corn Bread with yellow corn meal - white corn meal also tastes yummy

Old-Fashioned Corn Bread with yellow corn meal - white corn meal also tastes yummy

The Corn Bread Alternative

While the sage dressing and dressing bars recipes call for sprouted grain and regular bread respectively, you can substitute corn bread in both recipes. Just use the following recipe for corn bread, and substitute it for the bread in the dressing recipes, then follow the rest of the instructions as given:

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp oil (I use light olive oil)
  • 2 tbsp butter (Earth Balance for vegan version)
  • 2 cups yellow cornmeal (white cornmeal works as well)
  • 1/2 cup unbleached flour
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 large eggs (omit or use egg substitute for vegan version)
  • 1 1/2 cup buttermilk (use almond milk with tsp of lemon juice for vegan version)

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 400°F.
  2. Place oil and butter in a 10-inch cast-iron skillet and place skillet in the hot oven.
  3. Mix together cornmeal, salt, baking soda, baking powder, egg and buttermilk (or vegan substitutes).
  4. When skillet is hot, pour oil into cornmeal mixture, stir until well combined and pour the mixture into skillet; return skillet to oven.
  5. Bake for 40 minutes.

Of course, you also have the option of mixing breads, in any proportion you desire. All versions of this dish are hearty and satisfying. The special sage flavor enlivens any version you choose to make, whether vegan or vegetarian, or with regular bread or corn bread. You may decide that sage is truly the wisest spice on your rack!

My Use of Terms

I consider myself a vegetarian—the lacto-ovo variety—because I do occasionally include eggs and dairy in my diet. I have experimented with a strict vegan diet, and my daily diet remains about 90% vegan still. Based on my own dietary experience, I employ the following terms:

A vegan diet includes the following: vegetables, fruits, nuts, and grains, raw sugar not processed through animal bones, maple syrup. No eggs, no dairy, no honey. Meat analogs such as Big Franks may be included in a vegan diet. Of course no animal flesh, including fish.

A vegetarian diet includes vegetables, fruits, nuts, grains, raw sugar not processed through animal bones, maple syrup, eggs, dairy, and honey. Meat analogs such as MorningStar Farms Veggie Bacon Strips may be included in the vegetarian diet. No animal flesh, including fish and chicken.

Sometimes I use the term "veggie" to refer to my recipes or some part of a recipe, if observing the difference between vegan and vegetarian is not necessary.

© 2021 Linda Sue Grimes

Comments

Linda Sue Grimes (author) from U.S.A. on March 28, 2021:

Thank you, kiwi berry! I think you're right. I like to make my meals as healthy as possible, but I also want my dishes to taste great. It is a challenge to convert traditional meals into vegan versions, but it is possible and rewarding, and I have come to enjoy the task. I've always liked watching the cooking shows on TV, but I always have to convert the meat recipes that sound good. I do look forward to the time that FoodNetwork and the Cooking Channel offer actual, regular vegan/vegetarian shows; surely that time is coming.

kiwi berry on March 26, 2021:

Nice and healthy

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