Having never tasted a creamy white gravy before, dairy-free or not, I really wasn’t sure what to expect from this Vegetarian Express Gravy Mix. Nonetheless, I welcomed the vegan alternative since I have always hated pan-dripping gravies.
I mixed it up as directed, using unsweetened hemp milk (their directions recommend soymilk, but hemp milk has an excellent fat profile for cooking also) and a bit of oil. At first I was a bit nervous, as the gravy seemed far too viscous. I was concerned that I would be whisking on the stove for a good half hour … but it seems my impatience was simply getting the best of my thoughts, as it beautifully thickened in a matter of minutes. In fact, after just three minutes of cooking, it seemed to go into overdrive, taking on body rather rapidly, so I added some water (as directed) to keep it pourable.
I would love to taste this gravy atop a baked potato, but without any on hand I opted to use it as a rich sauce over steamed vegetables, roasted Portobello mushrooms (there are some Portobellos hiding under those veggies in the picture below), and quinoa. The gravy really was a cross between a neutral creamy white sauce and a packet gravy (which I have always loved!). The instructions gave the option to add some oil or margarine, and as mentioned I chose to add some oil. Next time I would use margarine, as the flavor seemed to be missing that touch of buttery flavor. The texture was excellent, perfectly smooth, rich, and true to name, creamy.
This gravy really is an excellent backdrop, but I found myself longing for a bit more of that bold gravy flavor as I gazed at the leftovers on day 2 (the mix makes a full 2 cups!). It had gelled overnight, so I placed half of the remaining gravy in a saucepan and continued to add water as it heated (whisking away), until it was once again a nice, flowing consistency. I then added a couple capfuls of soy sauce (maybe 1-2 teaspoons), and some freshly ground pepper. That did it. Just that little bit of extra sodium and boldness rounded out the flavor perfectly.
I loved the convenience of this mix, and was pleasantly surprised by its relatively affordable price. I sampled the foil packet, which as mentioned makes 2 cups, enough for three 2-person meals (at least in my hungry little household). However, they also sell a larger bulk canister to make only as much as you need. It makes 8 cups of gravy. As for versatility, The Vegetarian Express offers recipes for using this mix (beyond the obvious) on their website – including Cream of Broccoli Soup and Scalloped Potatoes.
Where to Purchase: You can purchase these products directly from The Vegetarian Express website. Thus far, I have sampled their gravy mix, coconut waffles, and lemony dill seasoning … and we are easily three for three! I really don’t think you can go wrong with any of their handcrafted vegan mixes and seasonings.
Ingredients: Unbleached wheat flour, dehydrated potato, cane juice, sea salt, dehydrated garlic and onion, herbs, dehydrated lemon peel, herb extract.