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Thursday, January 20, 2011

New Recipe - Mushroom Gravy

Part of the challenge of the last 6 months for me has been adopting this food plan (vegan, whole food) while sharing my life with a non-vegan husband. Probably the worst part of this process has been gaining all of the wonderful, life-enhancing (and even life-SAVING) knowledge while sharing my life with a post-heart attack husband and trying to find a way to live with this knowledge and still respect my husband's right to his own choices. How does one live with a person with a disease and have the knowledge on how to fix it and not want to just cram it down their throat (along with a healthy daily dose of kale!)?

I found my personal peace in all of this about 12 weeks into the program though (for the first 8 weeks, my husband made no comments at all other than the occasional "I hope you don't end up anemic....I'll be really upset if you do"), when I realized I would be shooting myself in my vegan foot if I took an aggressive stance and would get farther by just gradually presenting the data here and there and in lieu of worrying, focus my attention on becoming a good vegan cook.

I am still very much in the infancy of this process, but am delighted to note that my husband has come a very long way with me. He's seen first-hand the many positive changes in my health and well-being, and I think that has been more powerful than anything I could have said to him.

Last night I decided to try to cook something for dinner specifically with him in mind (sounds very gracious of me doesn't it, but really I wanted to hog the last of the leftover lentil loaf for myself!). I've been enjoying the recipes in the back of Caldwell Esselstyn's Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease and I especially enjoy the fact that I don't have to convert the recipe removing any oil from it (more on oil and THE BIG LIE about "healthy oils" in a later post). My husband loves mushrooms (I do not) and I thought I would try the Mushroom Gravy recipe and serve it as a sauce over some whole-wheat fettucine noodles. I was amazed at how easy it was and how well it came out. I even had a bit on my left-over loaf and it was quite good. Best of all, my husband devoured it and went back for seconds saying "keep this one".....that's about as good as it gets around here. Mission accomplished.

Sue, trying it (even if there are mushrooms in it) in Ohio

Forgive the poor quality of the food pictures.....I am definitely going to have to work on my food photographic skills!

Mushroom Gravy: definitely a keeper! (from Esselstyn's Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease)

1 onion chopped
2-3 garlic cloves (minced)
10 oz mushrooms - sliced (I roughly chopped)
veg. broth, wine or water (I used water)
2 C water
2 T whole-wheat flour
1 T miso, tamari or Bragg's aminos (I used Bragg's)
2 T sherry (optional) I skipped
black pepper

Stir fry onion over medium heat adding water as needed. Allow to brown a little, scrape, add liquid and repeat, taking care to not burn (I let carmelize a bit and scraping this browning off the bottom of the pan really gives a nice brown color to the sauce). Add garlic and mushrooms and cook until soft. Add more liquid as needed.
Add one cup of water, stir.
Mix whole-wheat flour and aminos in one cut of water, stir and add to sauce and stir again. Add sherry if using.
Continue cooking til thickens; add pepper.

And how about a nice salad to go with? I've been trying the 3-2-1 salad dressing also from Caldwell Esselstyn's book: 3 parts balsamic vinegar, 2 parts dijon mustard, 1 part maple syrup.


  1. What a delicious and nutritious meal! And what's great about mushrooms is that you still get the complete nutritional value even when it's cooked. Amazing, right? =)

    1. Definitely, Mark. What's great for me, is I'm not a mushroom fan at all, but am able to eat them in this recipe for some reason. Lots of other good recipes in the back of Esselstyn's book too.