Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Vegetarian Test Kitchen - Biscuits & Gravy

Kerry and I can always agree on one thing - Breakfast.  One of our favorite breakfast items, hands down, is biscuits and gravy. When I came across this vegetarian biscuits and gravy recipe, I had to try it. Rather than using the juices from sausage to make the gravy, this recipe calls for lentils. Now, don't get me wrong, nothing can truly replace that delicious meat taste, but this recipe gets an "A" for effort. 

Vegetarian Biscuits and Gravy
  • 1 cup brown lentils, rinsed and drained
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ½ cup finely chopped onion
  • ½ cup diced red bell pepper
  • ¼ cup diced carrot (1 carrot)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (2 tsp.)
  • ¼ cup plus 1 Tbs. unbleached flour
  • 1½ tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp. ground yellow mustard seed
  • ¼ tsp. red pepper flakes
  • ⅛ tsp. rubbed (crumbled) sage
  • 2½ cups skim milk
  • ½ cup Ranch Dressing
  • 8 whole-grain biscuits or 4 English muffins

Now I've never cooked lentils before, but turns out it's super easy, just a little time consuming. You'll want to start by boiling 3 cups of water and 1 cup brown lentils. Once the water is boiling, reduce the heat to medium/low and let it simmer for 30 minutes or until the lentils are tender.

While your lentils are cooking, use this time to prep your vegetables and get all of the other ingredients ready.

Heat oil over medium-high heat in large skillet. Add onion and cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. 

Add bell pepper, carrot, and garlic, and cook 5 to 8 more minutes, or until vegetables are tender but not mushy. 

Stir in flour, black pepper, paprika, mustard, red pepper flakes, and sage; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. 

Gradually add milk, stirring after each addition. Cook 3 to 5 minutes, whisking constantly, until gravy comes to a gentle boil. 

Remove from heat, and stir in ranch dressing and drained lentils.

You can see once you add the lentils that the gravy actually looks a little like sausage gravy does with the specks of brown. If you want to surprise a meat-eater with this dish you could probably get away with it, until they taste it. I'm a big herb fan, so I liked those flavors in the gravy, but again, you miss that richness that comes with sausage gravy.

We used English Muffins rather than biscuits. You'll definitely want to toast the split English Muffins and then top with the gravy mixture.

This recipe made a TON of gravy. Since it's just me and Cooper, we'll be eating this for the next few days, and I'm not complaining! This recipe is just 461 calories per serving (2 biscuits/muffins), which makes it a great option for brinner, and who doesn't love brinner?!

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