Monday, December 8, 2008

Vegan-not restaurant friendly (miso gravy-YUM!)

The biggest issue with eating a vegan diet is eating out at restaurants. Working in the industry, I appreciate what it takes for a chef to create a meal and then recreate it every night. To change a dish in the middle of a busy Saturday night can really throw off the server and the kitchen. For anyone who is not vegan, the same rules still apply and although the server and kitchen may be more than happy to accommodate you, it is still nice to recognize what that entails. For anyone who does have dietary restrictions as severe as no animal products or even a wheat allergy, it is nice to call the restaurant ahead of time to see what may be done for you. This also allows them to prepare if they need special ingredients prepped.

I didn't call ahead the other night when I went out with friends. We went to a place in Boston that is known for the homemade pasta dishes. A key ingredient in pasta is egg, I did the best I could ordering but still broke the diet. I mean no disrespect to people that really commit to being vegan and in turn, are unable to eat places that the rest of us go all the time. It takes real commitment and conviction and for good reason. But this night was once again a special night with friends (the same friends as a matter of fact) and I made the exception.

The next morning I was back on track, fortunately bloody mary's are vegan (hehe). We went for brunch and my food choices were slim but I knew what I could have to drink.

Miso Gravy (Soooo good, great on sweet potatoes and greens)

1 Tbl Olive Oil
1 Tbl Dried thyme
1 small onion diced
3 Tbl flour
2 Tbl Miso (I used mellow white, whatever you prefer)
1 cup of soy milk (or any kind of milk)
splash of tamari or sot sauce
S + P to taste

Saute onion in OO until translucent
Add Thyme and continue to saute
Sprinkle flour over onions and thyme until they are all coated
Put miso in 1/4 cup of soy milk and blend until miso is dissolved
Add miso and soy milk mixture and mix evenly
slowly stir in remaining soy milk until it starts to thicken
Give it a taste if it still needs a little kick add a splash of soy sauce, otherwise just add salt and pepper to taste. (Depending on what kind of miso you use it could need more salt flavor less)

Chopper enjoying his greens, sweet potatoes, and seitan smothered in miso gravy. mm mmmm

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