Vegan Southern-Style Biscuits & Gravy

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About a month and a half ago I shared with y’all my recipe for Vegan Southern-Style Biscuits and my-oh-my did they become beloved in a hurry. Now of course they’re delicious all by themselves but there is one particular way that I enjoy eating them and that’s under generous amounts of glorious gravy -can I get an Amen?! In making my gravy I like to use a little something special to boost the flavor. What is that little something special you ask? Magic!

(Hilarious side note speaking of magic: I once had a dream that me and David Blaine were set to be married but he wanted to bail on me so we went to the Dr. Phil show to have him help us with our premarital problems. Dr. Phil got David to admit the reason why he didn’t want to marry me and that was because he felt that I wasn’t “magic enough.” #OhTheCrazyShitIDreamAbout #MrsDavidBlaine #OrNot)

Okay… now back to the real magic. Magic in the form of Bragg Organic Sprinkle, that is! This stuff has literally everything in it, 24 herbs and spices in total, and it’s really good. It takes what could have been just a basic gravy and transforms it into anything but basic. Now even though the Sprinkle makes this gravy pretty flavorful for a white gravy, it’s not overpowering so you’ll still be able to taste those big beautiful biscuits underneath.

As for said biscuits, you’ll need to click on over to that using the link above. There you’ll find pictures of the process, and of course the recipe, so that you can whip up the 1st part of this 2 part dish. The 2nd part, the gravy, is right here…

To get started on the gravy, put 1 stick (yes, you read that right) of vegan butter into a large saucepan, or large cast-iron skillet should you want to get really southern with it, and let it melt down over medium heat. Once melted, add some flour (exact measurements are in the recipe below) and then whisk the mixture until bubbling and kind of foamy looking. (If you’ve seen some of my recipes thus far then you’re more than familiar with this process!)

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The next step is to add the almond milk and bring the mixture to a boil. Boil for just about a minute or so and then reduce the heat to simmer.

You should be whisking or stirring the mixture the whole way through this process, just so you know. A gravy should never be left unsupervised or it’s likely to act out or burn. It’s naughty like that.

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As the mixture begins to thicken, add in the seasonings being sure to crush the Sprinkle good in the palm of your hand, or in a mortar and pestle, before adding it.

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Cook the mixture a little longer and that’s pretty much it -you’ve got gravy! Plop it over some biscuits and enjoy!

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Vegan Southern-Style Biscuits & Gravy

  • Servings: 7 biscuits & about 4 cups of gravy (that's a little over a half of a cup of gravy for each biscuit)
  • Time: 30 minutes
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Credit: Compassion is the Secret Ingredient, http://www.citsiblog.com

Ingredients

Directions

  1. In a large saucepan or cast-iron skillet over medium heat, melt vegan butter. Once melted, add flour and whisk mixture until bubbling and kind of foamy in appearance, about 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add in almond milk and bring mixture to a boil. Once boiling, boil for about a minute whisking or stirring frequently. Reduce heat to simmer and add crushed Bragg Organic Sprinkle, black pepper, and salt. Continue to cook mixture, stirring occasionally, on low-med. heat for another 10-15 minutes.
  3. When gravy is done, serve over biscuits. Gravy will keep in an airtight container in fridge for up to 4 days, biscuits will keep in an airtight container on counter for up to 3 days.

Vegan Tomato Tart

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I love my best friend, Angel. She’s the bestest best friend a girl could ask for! We’ve known each other for (I think) nearly 15 years and if there is one thing that I have learned about her in those 15 years it’s that she loves food. Any food.

Now this is both a good thing and a bad thing though. It’s a good thing because it means that she will eat whatever I make for her (and her hubby and baby boy). I always get to test out new recipes and she gets free, yummy vegan food -most of the time. That’s where this can be a bad thing. I’m not a professional chef or culinary wiz by no means so there are times when, despite my best efforts, something just doesn’t turn out as I had hoped it would. But there’s my soul sister, eating it anyways. I’ll critic my work with every bite but she doesn’t say a peep. When I mention how I can make it better next time she often lovingly says that it was great this time. (Did I mention that I love her??)

One such occasion where we didn’t agree on how a recipe turned out was when I made my very first tomato tart. It looked amazing but it was troublesome to eat and missing something. I rattled off the changes I wanted to make to the recipe and what did my best friend do? She asked me for the recipe. As it was. Well me being the perfectionist that I am, I straight up refused to give it to her. Instead I said that when I had finished tweaking it I would then, and only then, share it with her -and all of you. Fast forward a few months later, to today, and I am proud to say that my tomato tart recipe has been perfected and is finally ready to share.

This one’s for you, Angel! #LoveYou

This easy to make tart is a thing of beauty and I’ve definitely improved on its eatability and flavor. The sweet little cherry tomatoes which have been cooked down in a balsamic vinegar reduction are everything -they are bursting with flavor. Below them there is a creamy, garlic-flavored tofu cream and below that is light and crispy puff pastry. Top it all of with some fresh basil and this recipe is perfect for a light lunch or dinner, or as an appetizer at your next get-together.

The first thing that we need to do is prepare some egg substitute for use a little later. I used Ener-G egg substitute and I prepared it in accordance with the instructions on the box for 1 egg. Set this mixture aside until it’s needed.

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Next, the creamy tofu filling needs to be made by first draining and pressing some firm tofu. Put the tofu in a blender and add in almond milk, lemon juice, a whole bunch of garlic, a little onion powder, salt, and some sugar. Blend until perfectly smooth then set aside for a moment until we need it.

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Okay, now for the puff pastry portion -say that 10 times fast! For this recipe you will need 1 sheet of puff pastry that you’ve thawed according to the instructions on the packaging. Using a knife or pizza cutter, cut a 1/2 inch wide strip off of the left side and the right side of the pastry sheet. Now cut 1/2 inch wide strips from both the top and the bottom of the pastry sheet.

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Grab your egg substitute and, using your finger or a small pastry brush, paint on a 1/2 inch wide strip of egg substitute onto the bottom edge of the final pastry square. Once you’ve got a strip of egg substitute on the edge, place the bottom strip of puff pastry that you cut off over top of the egg substitute to create the bottom side of what will be a frame of puff pastry. Repeat the egg substitute and puff pastry strip application on the opposite side of the pastry square.

With the top and bottom of the frame done now we must put on the sides. Before you “glue down” the left and right sides of our puff pastry strips with egg substitute, trim the length of the strips down to fit between the top and bottom puff pastry strips without overlap. Once all of the puff pastry frames edges have been attached with egg substitute, carefully transfer the whole thing to a parchment-lined sheet pan.

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Pour the creamy tofu goodness that we made earlier in the center of your puff pastry frame then carefully spread it out into an even layer. Try not to get it onto the frame itself but if some does accidentally spill over just push it back towards the the center of the pastry square.

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Get that into your preheated oven and bake it off until the puff pastry is golden brown and the tofu cream has set. While that’s baking, we will need to make the tomato mixture that will top off the tart after it comes out of the oven and we will also need to cut up some fresh basil.

For the tomato mixture, halve a generous cup of cherry (aka cherub) tomatoes. Put them into a pan with a little balsamic vinegar and cook them over low-med. heat for about 10 minutes or until the tomatoes have become soft and darker in color, and the balsamic vinegar has reduced to a thicker consistency.

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Once the puff pastry and tofu cream are done in the oven, it’s time to add the tomato mixture to our tart to transform it into the hella good tomato tart it was destined to be.

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As you can see, I just use a spoon to get the tomato mixture onto the tart. After all of the tomatoes are on there I then use the back of the spoon to gently press the tomatoes down a little which helps them fill out the tart a little better.

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Add the fresh basil and enjoy!

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Vegan Tomato Tart

  • Servings: 3-4 as a light lunch or dinner, 4-9 as an appetizer
  • Time: 60 minutes
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Credit: Compassion is the Secret Ingredient, http://www.citsiblog.com

Ingredients

  • Egg substitute for 1 egg (I used Ener-G -it’s my favorite!)
  • Flour for cutting board or pastry board
  • 1 sheet of vegan puff pastry, thawed according to directions on packaging (Pepperidge Farm puff pastry is vegan!)
  • 7 ounces of firm tofu, drained and pressed
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 4 cloves of garlic, peeled but left whole
  • 3/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 generous cup of cherry (aka cherub) tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • Fresh basil, finely chopped or cut into little ribbons (chiffonade)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare a sheet pan by lining it with parchment paper. In a small dish, prepare egg substitute for 1 egg according to package instructions. Set aside.
  2. Put the drained and pressed tofu into a blender and add in the almond milk, lemon juice, whole garlic cloves, onion powder, salt, and sugar. Blend until perfectly smooth then set aside.
  3. On a lightly floured surface, lay out the puff pastry sheet. Using a knife or pizza cutter, cut a 1/2 inch wide strip off of the left side and the right side of the puff pastry sheet. Now cut 1/2 inch wide strips from both the top and the bottom of the puff pastry sheet.
  4. Using your finger or a small pastry brush, paint on a 1/2 inch wide strip of egg substitute onto the bottom edge of the final puff pastry square. Place the bottom strip of puff pastry that you cut off over top of the egg substitute to create the bottom side of what will be a frame of puff pastry. Repeat the egg substitute and puff pastry strip application on the opposite side of the puff pastry square. With the top and bottom of the frame done now put on the sides but before you “glue down” the left and right strips of puff pastry with egg substitute, trim the length of the strips down to fit between the top and bottom puff pastry strips without overlap. Once all of the puff pastry frames edges have been attached with egg substitute, carefully transfer the whole thing to a parchment-lined sheet pan.
  5. Pour the tofu mixture in the center of the puff pastry frame then carefully spread it out into an even layer. Try not to get it onto the frame itself but if some does accidentally spill over just push it back towards the the center of the puff pastry square. Bake for 35 minutes.
  6. While the puff pastry and tofu cream are baking, make the tomato mixture that will top off the tart after it comes out of the oven. Cut each tomato in half. Put halved tomatoes into a shallow pan with the balsamic vinegar. Cook uncovered over low-med. heat, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes or until the tomatoes have become soft and darker in color, and the balsamic vinegar has reduced to a thicker consistency. Set aside until tart is out of the oven.
  7. After 35 minutes is up, remove tart from oven and top with the tomato mixture. Use the back of a spoon to gently press over top of the tomato mixture to help it fill out the tart a little better. Finish with fresh basil and enjoy! Will keep in an airtight container in fridge for 1-2 days but is better when served and eaten immediately.

Vegan “Buttermilk” Pancakes

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Why do I love going to sleep at the end of a long day? Of course it’s so rejuvenating but it’s more than that, it’s a fast pass to breakfast and I love me some breakfast! I’m that person who, if given the chance, would eat breakfast foods all day, every day. And while I am partial to bigger breakfasts (it is the most important meal of the day after all) sometimes I desire something simpler, something a little less heavy but still just as filling. Something like pancakes.

Pancakes can obviously be jazzed up with fruit, cinnamon, chocolate chips, vegan bacon or sausage, or pretty much anything else you want, but below all of the extras you need to start with a good base recipe. Some people choose a whole wheat pancake recipe as their base, others choose a plain, classic pancake as their base, and then there are the people like me who prefer buttermilk pancakes as their base. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with a whole wheat or plain base recipe, I simply prefer a base recipe that has a little extra oomph of flavor. And the extra oomph of flavor that buttermilk pancakes bring to the table happens to work very well with fruit or any of the other things I listed previously should you wish to jazz up your pancakes -naked pancakes are a-okay, too.

Now allow me to state the very obvious… buttermilk is not vegan. With this said however, if you’ve been following along with the recipes I post each week then you have probably seen me using/calling for buttermilk substitute. This super easy to make mixture is simply a combination of unsweetened almond milk and a little vinegar. When added to pancakes or any other recipe it mimics the flavor of buttermilk really nicely and in my recipe it just so happens to be the star of the show. #SomebodyGetThisAwesomeShitAnOscar

To get started with my recipe we are going to prepare the liquids we will need including the buttermilk substitute, melted vegan butter, and Ener-G egg substitute. Set these bad boys aside until we’re ready for them.

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Now, in a medium bowl, combine the dry ingredients of flour, baking powder, and salt together and whisk until smooth.

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Next, we are going to add the wet ingredients to the dry. Besides adding in the 3 liquids we made prepared just a minute ago we are also adding in a little sugar and a dash of vanilla. Then whisk to combine and, as with most pancake batters, you’re not going to want to over mix the batter but you are going to want to make sure all of the dry ingredients have been incorporated.

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To cook the pancakes you’re going to heat up a pan (preferably a non-stick pan) or griddle to low-med. heat. Before you pour the batter for each pancake you’re going to want to put a little oil in the pan. Add the batter to the pan for each pancake using a 1/3 cup measuring cup to ensure that each comes out the same size (about 5 inches across). Each pancake will be ready to flip when one or more of the following occurs: A) the bottom edges are browning, B) bubbles are popping near the center of the pancake, and/or C) the top edges are becoming matte and puffed.

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With the amount of batter this recipe makes you should be able to make 6 pancakes -enough for 2-3 people. Of course you can double the recipe, should you need more, and should you desire something added to your pancakes you can jazz them up as you see fit. The possibilities are truly endless when you have a good base pancake recipe like this one!

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Vegan 'Buttermilk' Pancakes

  • Servings: 6 pancakes (enough for 2-3 people)
  • Time: 35 minutes
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Credit: Compassion is the Secret Ingredient, http://www.citsiblog.com

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk + 3/4 tablespoon vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons vegan butter, melted
  • Ener-G egg substitute for 1 egg
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • Dash of vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Prepare the buttermilk substitute by combining the almond milk with the vinegar. Stir to combine. Prepare the vegan butter by melting it and then prepare the egg substitute as per the instructions on the box for 1 egg. Set all of these aside for a moment.
  2. In a med. bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt together and whisk until smooth. Add the buttermilk substitute, melted vegan butter, egg substitute, sugar, and vanilla to the dry ingredients and stir to combine. Be sure to not over work the batter but make sure you get the dry ingredients fully incorporated.
  3. Heat up a pan or griddle to low-med. heat. Before you pour the batter for each pancake you’re going to want to put a little oil in the pan. Add the batter to the pan for each pancake using a 1/3 cup measuring cup to ensure that each comes out the same size (about 5 inches across). Each pancake will be ready to flip after just a minute or two, or when one or more of the following occurs: A) the bottom edges are browning, B) bubbles are popping near the center of the pancake, and/or C) the top edges are becoming matte and puffed. Pancakes will keep fresh for 2 days in an airtight container in the fridge.

 

Vegan Southern-Style Biscuits

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In case you weren’t aware, honey, I’m from the south. Albeit the southwest but still, the south. I’ve always wished that I was from the actual south where me saying “y’all” all the time wouldn’t garner funny looks but that just wasn’t the case -I was born in Phoenix. Despite this, I’d like to think that I’ve still got a little southern blood in me because some lucky ducks who lived long before I ever came along did actually live in the south. #FamilyTreeForTheWin

With my love for nearly all things southern and my desire to have been born a southern belle, surely I had to perfect the art of biscuit making because ain’t no southerner a proud one unless they can make a biscuit worth a damn. At least, that’s my belief anyway. So I set out to make the best vegan southern-style biscuits ever and you know what? After numerous attempts, recipe tweaks, and botched batches I think I have indeed come up with the best recipe for southern-style biscuits.

My biscuits are so good they’ll make you wanna slap yo’ mama -but please don’t be slappin’ yo’ mama. They’ll make you wanna sit on a front porch. Don’t have a front porch? Borrow your neighbors. These biscuits will make you say, “Lord, have mercy,” as you reach for another. And why will they make you do all of this?? Because they’re that good. They’re lightly flavored which means that they are perfect all by themselves or paired with say, gravy, or a jam, or vegan fried “chicken.” They’re not dry and crumbly like some biscuits can be and best of all they’re pretty easy to make, too.

To get started, first we are going to prepare the 2 liquid ingredients so that when we are ready to use them they are ready to be used. To prepare the ice cold water you’ll simply add ice to water -I mean, did I even need to explain that? To prepare our “buttermilk” you’re going to combine unsweetened almond milk with a little bit of vinegar and then give it a stir.

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The next step is to get the dry ingredients whisked together.

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Once the dry ingredients have been thoroughly combined you’re going to add in the “buttermilk” mixture, vegan butter, a little coconut oil, and some sugar. Using either 2 knives or what I have, a pastry cutter, you’re going to bring the biscuit dough together. As you’re doing this you’re going to add in a few tablespoons of the ice cold water we prepared earlier to help with this process.

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When the dough has come together it should look a little like the picture below. If you have some flour that didn’t quite work in don’t worry about it -just get the dough as combined as possible without A) overworking it, and B) adding too much water.

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You should be able to grab the dough, pinch it or press it, and see it hold together nicely.

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Turn out your biscuit dough onto a very lightly floured surface and work it a little, gently pressing the dough flat then folding it over onto itself and repeating the process. In doing this we’re creating layers in our biscuits and we are working in just a little more of the loose flour. Be sure to only do this for about a minute and no more than that because we don’t want to melt the butter and warm the dough with our hands.

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Press the dough out into a circle a little over an inch thick (I go for about an inch and a third or an inch and a half) then, using a round 3″ cookie cutter, cut out your biscuits. Be sure to not twist your cookie cutter as you press down because this action might result in biscuits that don’t rise as much as they should. You’ll likely need to re-form the dough once or twice in order to cut out all of your biscuits and that’s okay.

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Place your biscuits (you should have 7 of them) on a parchment-lined sheet pan and bake ’em for 9 minutes.

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After they’ve baked for 9 minutes, take them out of the oven, flip each one over, and then brush them generously with some melted vegan butter. Now slide them back in the oven for a final 9 minutes.

At this point, you’re so close to having some south in your mouth that you’ll probably be drooling but try to contain yourself, darlin’, cause they’re almost done!

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When they’re done they’ll have tops that are the softest shade of golden brown. Enjoy ’em while they’re still warm or enjoy ’em a day or two later -either way you will enjoy ’em.

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Vegan Southern-Style Biscuits

  • Servings: about 7 biscuits
  • Time: 30 minutes
  • Print


Credit: Compassion is the Secret Ingredient, http://www.citsiblog.com

Ingredients

  • Ice water
  • 1/2 tablespoon vinegar
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 cups self-rising flour, plus a little extra for your board
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons vegan butter, slightly room temperature just to make it a little easier to work with, plus 2 additional separate tablespoons, melted, for brushing on the biscuits
  • 1 teaspoon refined coconut oil, solid
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees and prepare a sheet pan by lining it with parchment paper. Prepare the liquids needed by adding ice to water in one dish or cup, and by adding the vinegar to the almond milk to create a “buttermilk” substitute in another dish or cup. Stir the “buttermilk” mixture to combine then set aside both it and the ice water until needed.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, salt, and baking powder, and whisk to break apart any lumps that you may have. Add in the “buttermilk” mixture, slightly room temperature vegan butter, coconut oil, and sugar. Using 2 knives or a pastry cutter, start to blend the dough together. As you’re bringing the dough together, add in about 4 tablespoons of ice water. If you have some flour that doesn’t quite work in don’t worry about it -just get the dough as combined as possible without overworking it or adding too much water. You’ll know the dough is ready when you can grab the dough, pinch it or press it, and see it hold together nicely.
  3. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and work it a little, gently pressing the dough flat then folding it over onto itself and repeating the process to create layers in our biscuits and to work in just a little more of any loose flour you may have. Be sure to only do this for about a minute so that you don’t melt the butter and warm the dough with your hands.
  4. Press the dough out into a circle a little over an inch thick then, using a round 3″ cookie cutter, cut out your biscuits. Be sure to not twist your cookie cutter as you press down because this action might result in biscuits that don’t rise as much as they should. You’ll likely need to re-form the dough once or twice in order to cut out all of your biscuits and that’s okay. Place the biscuits onto your prepared sheet pan and bake them for 9 minutes.
  5. Remove the biscuits from the oven, flip each one over, then brush each generously with melted vegan butter. Put them back in the oven for an additional 9 minutes. When done, biscuits will keep on the counter in an airtight container for about 2-3 days.