Sep 21, 2015

Opa’s Vegan S.O.S. | Vegan MoFo

S.O.S. is difficult to photograph. It’s not a pretty food by any means. However, it is comforting in the most nostalgic sense of the word. It’s a dish that my late Opa used to make, and the memories it conjures are very distinct. It takes me back to being a little girl waking up at my Oma and Opa’s house after a long evening road trip from our (then) home 4 hours west of Austin. I’d sleep in as late as I could, but eventually the loud chatter of my huge family would wake me. The bright Texas sun shining through the windows, and the smell of coffee, toast, and S.O.S. calmed my sluggishness and invited me to greet the family and day.

The smell of black pepper and onion emanating from the rich and meaty gravy was so inviting that eating the dish slowly just wasn’t doable. The pace at which I ate my haphazardly torn toast topped with hot S.O.S. usually resulted in a burned tongue and roughed up mouth roof. However, the deliciousness of the meal would always override the discomfort of reckless eating.

My Opa’s S.O.S. wasn’t vegan, but obviously mine is. The best aspect of this recipe is that it tastes exactly as I remember my Opa’s tasting. The depth of flavor and richness is still there. This just further proves that being vegan doesn’t mean giving up the recipes and flavors that you love. It means finding ways to have those favorites without causing harm.

This is another MoFo post done a little late. The prompt to Veganize an old family recipe was yesterday, but that’s ok! Things have been busy here with the book which, btw, is coming at you this week. YOU HEARD ME. Stay tuned.

Opa’s Vegan S.O.S. – Makes 4 servings
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 12-13 ounces vegan ground, like Gardein Beefless Ground or Beyond Meat Beefy Crumble
  • 1 medium sized onion, small diced
  • 1 3/4 cup vegetarian broth (vegetable, no-beef, or no-chicken will all work)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk
  • 1 teaspoon Bragg Liquid Aminos
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 8 slices of toast
1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook it, stirring frequently, until it’s just starting to brown, about 10 minutes.

2. When the onions are ready, add the vegan ground, and stir the mixture to incorporate. Cook the ground and onions until the ground begins to brown, about 5-10 minutes.

3. While the ground cooks, combine the vegetarian broth, milk, and liquid aminos in an appropriately sized liquid measuring cup.

4. When the ground starts to brown, stir in the flour to incorporate. 

5. Stirring constantly, slowly pour in the liquid mixture. It’s going to thicken quickly so you may need to stir a little fast. Once all of the liquid is added, keep stirring the mixture until it’s thick and gravy like.

6. Season the S.O.S. with salt and pepper to taste. Serve it immediately with toast.

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