Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Two Saucy Sisters (or What is Thankgiving without Cranberry sauce and Gravy)

I have a unique family to feed during the holidays - my 4 are all vegetarian, most others are quite omnivorous, and one brother follows the Caveman diet. So, presented with all that, everything is vegetarian but the turkey. Caveman brother won't eat sugar but loves cranberries. So in past years the need arose to come up with a meatless gravy and a sugarless cranberry sauce so I am posting both of these.

For the Cranberry sauce you will need:

12 oz. package of fresh cranberries
1/2 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
3/4 cup good honey
1/2 cup H2O
2 cinnamon sticks
A grate or two of nutmeg

Put the water and cranberries in a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Boil for about 5 minutes then add the orange juice, honey, cinnamon sticks. Simmer at a low bubble for about 15-20 minutes until things start to thicken up (it will thicken more as it cools). Turn off the heat and grate on a bit of nutmeg.

For the gravy we do a rich mushroom gravy and so far no one has missed the gibblets!! You will need:

1-2 pkgs. Baby bella mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
2 lg. cloves of garlic (minced or mashed)
1 sweet onion minced
1-2 Tbsp flour
Olive oil
Vegetable Broth (I like using Better than Bullion brand Vegetable Base)
1 tsp dried oregano
1 Tbsp rubbed sage
1 Tbsp dried parsley
1 tsp celery salt
Salt and pepper to taste

Toast the flour in a dry skillet until lightly browned - remove from heat and set aside.

Heat 2 Tbsp of olive oil in a sauce pan and add the onion and garlic. Saute until transparent. Add 2 cups of water and the 2 Tbsp of Vegetable Base (or add 2 cups vegetable broth, any type). Using an immersion blender, pure until smooth - set aside.

In a skillet, heat 3-4 Tbsp olive oil and add the mushrooms and spices, and saute until the mushrooms are "done". Sprinkle on 2 Tbsp of the toasted flour and mix well.

Scoop the mushroom mixture into the sauce pan with the broth and onion mixture and bring to a simmer over med heat. Simmer for about 3-4 minutes stirring constantly until the mixture thickens a bit. If too thick, thin with water or a bit more broth.

Family arrived, things got busy and we had a great time - and I forgot to take photos of these in their holiday serving dishes and of them going into various mouths!! I can report however that both were enjoyed fully by all the members of the family regardless of their diets. There aren't even any leftovers to photograph!!!

Hope you all had a great and filling Thanksgiving!


  1. They both look fantastic! Although I am not a vegetarian, I love, love, love a good substitution for meat (and sugar)! Well done on both fronts :)

  2. We use better than boullion as well. I like the looks of your stove, probably because it is gas, but it looks fancy.

  3. Mmmm... mushroom gravy.... and the cranberry sauce looks tasty, too!

  4. Stove is a GE gas stove - not fancy but very functional!! My dream is to have one of the really professional ones but I think I need to win the lottery first!