People new to oil-free vegan diets often ask what they can put on baked potatoes. If you’re used to using margarine or butter, it can be intimidating to be told that you need to either (a) get used to potatoes plain or with new toppings such as salsa or (b) make a cheesy sauce or gravy from scratch. I’ve been eating a lot of potatoes lately while following my personal version of the McDougall Maximum Weight Loss Plan, and I can tell you from experience that (a) I don’t care for salsa on baked potatoes and (b) if I had to make a difficult sauce in order to eat them I never would.
Instead, I make a gravy that’s so ridiculously easy that I wasn’t going to write about it here. But then I posted the following photo of my breakfast on my Instagram account, and a couple of people wanted the recipe:
It’s practically not a recipe, just a proportion of ingredients: 9 stands for 9 parts liquid, 1 stands for 1 part brown rice flour, and the other 1 stands for 1 teaspoon of seasoning (or 1 tablespoon if you’re really into seasonings.) But 911 is also the code for emergencies, and when you need gravy but you don’t have any mushrooms or onions or other fresh vegetables, this recipe will save you and your baked potatoes. Of course, if you have fresh ingredients to add, so much the better, but this recipe is perfect for all of you mushroom haters out there. And it’s gluten-free, so it’s safe to serve to any gluten-sensitive guests at your holiday table.
- 2 1/4 cups vegetable broth or a combination of broth and non-dairy milk
- 1/4 cup brown rice flour
- 1 - 2 teaspoons poultry seasoning or your choice of seasonings (see notes)
- generous grating of black pepper
- soy sauce, tamari, or salt to taste
- Combine all ingredients in a medium-sized saucepan. Cook, stirring, over medium-high heat until gravy boils and thickens. Check seasonings and add more as needed. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring often, for about 5 minutes. If it's too thick, add additional broth or non-dairy milk to thin.
I like to use poultry seasoning because its combination of herbs tastes like Thanksgiving to me. But feel free to use whatever seasonings you like. Thyme, sage, rosemary, onion powder, and garlic powder in various combinations will give you a similar flavor, and you can increase the flavor by adding any of them along with the poultry seasoning.
Add nutritional yeast. I often add a tablespoon or two to increase the richness and the flavor of the gravy.
Make this fancy by sautéing onions, mushrooms, and garlic (or any combination of the three) before adding the other ingredients.
Add smoked salt for a "bacon gravy" flavor.
Use more non-dairy milk for a creamier gravy. (In these photos I used 2 cups broth to 1/4 cup cashew milk. You can use up to half non-dairy milk.)
For extra flavor, add a little vegetable bouillon in addition to the broth.
I hope you don’t have a gravy emergency this holiday season, but if you do, just remember 9-1-1.