I have been longing for a change of season lately, but I am also a very patient person. Winter definitely allows one to hibernate without too much thought about it, which can be just as freeing as the way the summer months make our bodies want to be outside… But as time keeps ticking on, I long for warmer, longer days and the color that all the other seasons bring all around me. There is an upside though… as I patiently wait for winter to do it’s thing I am busy in the kitchen creating a warm, colorful atmosphere inside. I have been trying my hand at many different soups, stews, pot pies, biscuits and gravy and many other comforting and warm winter-y dishes.
Most recently I tried my hand at a new vegan gravy which highlighted some extra tasty tempeh sausage crumbles that were heavenly on their own (not to mention in the gravy). The fennel seed danced with the other herbs and brought together a most pleasant taste in my mouth. I decided to make my favorite sweet potato biscuits to go along with it (and I have to say they paired together quite nicely). This meal is great for dinner or for breakfast… and I highly recommend trying it out as we all patiently wait for Spring to greet us (hopefully sooner than later)…. Enjoy!
TEMPEH SAUSAGE CRUMBLES
1 package of tempeh(8-ounces)
1 tablespoon fennel seed
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried marjoram or oregano (I used both)
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon dried sage
2-4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 med onion, chopped
2 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
1 tablespoon olive oil
juice of 1/2 lemon
1. In a small pan, crumble the tempeh and add just enough water to almost cover it. Over med-high heat, simmer the tempeh until most of the water is absorbed (about 12-15 minutes).
2. Drain the remaining water and add the rest of the ingredients and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 10 minutes.
SWEET POTATO BISCUITS
Makes 6 big biscuits (I usually double it)
1 cup cooked sweet potato
1 cup flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 tablespoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt (sea or regular)
4 tablespoon oil
1. Slice the sweet potato into very thin slices (with the skins on) and put on the stove top to boil. Once cooked (it shouldn’t take too long to cook) drain out the water – I reserve the liquid for later in the week for – soups, veggie broth etc.. (it’s super tasty!), and mash up the potatoes with a fork.
2. Add the other ingredients and mix well. Set the oven at 375 and form the dough into 6 – 12 biscuits (depending on if you doubled the recipe or not). Cook for 15-25 minutes.
WHITE BEAN & TEMPEH SAUSAGE GRAVY
Makes enough to cover 12-14 biscuits
Tempeh Sausage Crumbles
2 cups cooked white beans (or one 15 ounce can, drained and rinsed)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup vegetable broth or water
1/2 teaspoon salt
a few dashes fresh black pepper
10 to 12 leaves fresh sage, chopped
1. Puree the white beans with the olive oil and vegetable broth in a blender or food processor until relatively smooth. If you want a smooth gravy you can add some or all of the tempeh crumbles to the mix. If you’re like me and happen to like your gravy with some texture, skip blending the tempeh and move on to the next step..
2. Add the blended beans to the sausage crumbles on the stove top along with the salt and pepper. Heat through for a few minutes. If you want to make the gravy thinner add just a little more vegetable broth. Mix in the sage and cook for another 2 minutes.