Saturday, August 08, 2009

Baking Powder Biscuits and White Bean Tempeh Sausage Gravy

Have I ever mentioned I grew up on a farm? Or that my family hails from the South? Not quite Confederate Flag south, more like peach cobbler, dirt roads and biscuits and gravy south. And, it is upon the last of those loves that I focus.
My sweetheart loves biscuits and gravy and I recall having seconds (and thirds) of that particular dish myself. So, having learned to trust anything Isa suggests, I jumped at the chance to make this. And, as usual, she was right on the money. It was SUPER easy to make and absolutely delicious! The sausage was easy to make (I used ground tofu). I was concerned at first that the spices might be a bit much. My sweetheart has Crohn's disease and can't handle too many spices or fiber (from whole seeds). The recipe calls for fennel which is a classic problem food for him. But, knowing I would be 'diluting' the sausage mixture with pureed beans, I plowed ahead. And the gravy turned out wonderfully! Guests would NEVER guess the gravy base was made of pureed beans and it didn't bother him at all.
The sausage crumble recipe is very flexible and can be substituted anytime a recipe calls for sausage. However, as a precaution toward my sweetheart's digestive tract, anytime I make this sausage and don't use it for gravy (when the bean puree 'dilutes' the spices), I only use half the fennel. It doesn't seem to bother him and we both like it!
Anyhow, the gravy is perfect and the biscuits follow suit. I followed all the standard crust-making rules (keep everything cold, handle as little as possible, etc) and the biscuits turned out kick-ass! Soft and flaky and melt-in-your-mouth. I know vegan food is good and that, often it's difficult to tell the difference. But this is so dead-on, so reminiscent of the food of my youth, I can hardly believe it. I made it for brunch for my scared-of-anything-healthy-sounding family and they ate every last bite.

THAT'S southern comfort food.

Makes: About a dozen biscuits and gravy to cover it
Find it: On pages 26 & 27 of Vegan with a Vengeance
Taste: Better than the real deal

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