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almond sweet potato biscuits + mushroom gravy


I went to a music festival in the south a few years ago and one of my main takeaways (actually) was how good the food was. I mean I had a really good time running around, dancing to whatever, not washing my hair, sharing an RV with 6 other people etc (actually!). But the food… it was surprising. I had packed a good amount of fruit and Larabars thinking the situation would be nutritionally inadequate. I’ve since learned that you should just bring a snack for the ride down and worry about food at the destination. Spontaneity! Making do! That’s travel. And it’s certainly a very healthy approach in its own right.

Anyway, so we were in Tennessee on this farm. It was crazy hot, dusty and muddy at the same time, people on all sides, music, drum circles, spontaneous yoga sessions, dancing, fountains, glow sticks, the whole thing. And there’s food trucks/stands everywhere just ready to serve up really awesome stuff–some of them locals, some travellers, some with the festival officially, just a potent mix of yums for real. Within 5 minutes of our little campsite, there was delicious, vegan french toast with bananas and maple syrup, fruit smoothies and fair trade espresso. On one bright morning, having just fetched my plate of morning awesomeness, I went in search of some pals. I caught up with one, also on a breakfast mission, and I um… got a bit grossed out.

He had a plate of biscuits with sausage gravy. Like white, meaty, greasy-ish gravy. In ridiculous, sweltering heat. Steaming hot, meaty, shortening-laden chunkiness on a biscuit. Seeing as I was in a high-and-mighty-on-health phase, I wasn’t feeling it (slash was totally appalled). My friend, however, was crazy about it. With a little space, I couldn’t help but think that the dish had a lot of potential as a concept though. Slightly sweet and rich biscuits with a hearty, herbed gravy on top, all piping hot with lots of fresh black pepper. I could (actually) be into that.

So here’s a plant-based version without gluten! These almond-based biscuits don’t rise terribly much so they’re ideal for smothering with hot gravy and herb-y mushrooms. They’re herbal, sweet and moist with a nice crust on the outside. Leftover biscuits? Cube them up, toss with a bit of oil and pepper and bake in the oven for 10 minutes and you have heavenly croutons for garnishing soups, mixing up with roasted root vegetables etc.


gluten free sweet potato biscuits with mushroom gravy
Adapted from Roost here and here
serves: 6 -8
special equipment: a blender is helpful but mashing with a fork/heavy stirring is an option
notes: If you’re buying stock, make sure you go for a no sodium variety. Ditto if you use canned beans. The miso adds so much (delicious) saltiness.

biscuits:
2.5 cups almond meal
1/2 tsp fine salt (I used Himalayan pink salt for fun)
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1-2 sprigs hearty herb (sage, rosemary, thyme), leaves removed and chopped
1/2 cup fully cooked sweet potato, mashed up
1/2 tsp ground chia or flax seeds
1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp neutral oil (I used grape seed)
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp maple syrup

gravy + mushrooms:
3/4 cup cooked white beans
1.5 cups vegetable stock
juice of 1 lemon
1.5 tsp miso
1 tbsp almond butter
2 tbsp grape seed oil
5 cups sliced cremini mushrooms
3 sprigs of thyme, leaves removed and chopped

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

Make the biscuits: combine the almond flour, salt, pepper, baking soda, baking powder and chopped herb in a large bowl. Combine the mashed sweet potato, ground chia seeds, oil, vinegar and maple syrup in the container of a blender. Puree the mixture completely and pour into the bowl with the dry ingredients. Mix everything together until a dough forms/everything clumps together without being too sticky.

Lay a piece of parchment paper down on the counter and dust it with a finer gluten free flour (rice or chickpea flour). Scrape the dough from the bowl onto the parchment and flatten out slightly. Lay another piece of parchment on top and roll out the dough to about 1 inch thickness. Cut 3-4 inch rounds out of the dough with a biscuit cutter or rocks glass dipped in flour. Lay the rounds on the baking sheet, spaced about 1/2 inch apart (they don’t spread). Bake for 15 minutes or until well browned on the bottom. Remove from the oven and cool slightly.

Start the gravy: combine the beans, vegetable stock, lemon juice, miso and almond butter in the blender pitcher. Turn the motor onto high until mixture is pureed. Set aside.

Saute the mushrooms: heat oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and minced thyme with a few twists of black pepper. Flip/stir until mushrooms are soft and quite brown (do not add salt). Pour the bean and stock mixture into the pan. Give everything a stir. It should seem to reduce right away. Once hot, remove from the heat.

Place a warm biscuit on a plate and ladle about a cup of the mushroom/gravy mixture on top. Garnish with a few minced thyme leaves or black pepper.

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janet @ the taste space19/02/2012 - 11:44 am

This looks super scrumptious! I love your idea of turning them into croutons as leftovers. :)

Zita19/02/2012 - 1:26 pm

This is a wonderful dish! I love the flavours. I’m going to give it a try!

Sarah19/02/2012 - 1:50 pm

Amazing. Brilliant. Beautiful.

I want this right now.

Emma19/02/2012 - 3:06 pm

Yu-hum! Those pics are calling to me…great that you managed to veganize a dish so successfully too.
I’ve only had good experiences with festival food, despite being in the UK which is considerably less vegan-friendly on the whole than the US. Perhaps it depends on the music..I’m partial to the slightly alternative, hippie type festival :)

Sarah19/02/2012 - 10:45 pm

Laura! These are the majority of my favorite ingredients, all in one recipe. Gorgeous, too. Thanks!

Margarita20/02/2012 - 2:18 am

This is my kind of gravy!

Anna @ the shady pine20/02/2012 - 6:41 am

Those mushrooms look beautiful….will look forward to trying this dsh!

Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar20/02/2012 - 8:28 am

I could eat an entire pot of those mushrooms. Awesome.

Dana20/02/2012 - 3:36 pm

These look amazing! I’ve always wanted to try biscuits and gravy but they usually seem disgusting…not these, though!

Just found your blog and it is wonderful!

http://woodstockwardrobe.com/

Jennifer (Delicieux)21/02/2012 - 3:16 am

Oh my, this looks so inviting and comforting. We call biscuits something different here in Australia (we call cookies biscuits) but your sweet potato biscuits look so delicious. I’m bookmarking this to try. Thanks for sharing.

sarah23/02/2012 - 4:57 pm

I used to be terrified of biscuits and gravy, but now love them! These look great – your pictures are so pretty.

Maria @ Scandifoodie24/02/2012 - 1:24 pm

Such a lovely vegan dish! I’ll have to try this, it’ll be perfect for our autumn in a couple of months’ time!

Brittany25/02/2012 - 10:05 am

I will never. never. get tired of sweet potato. thank you for coming up with this new way for me to devour it. now wishing it was easier to get ahold of ground flax in Paris… *sigh*

Kasey28/02/2012 - 2:18 am

I’m so happy I stumbled across your blog for so many reasons! First, I know what you mean about food and music going hand in hand. My husband and I write a site devoted to just that! Second, this dish sounds downright awesome. I can never say no to a good biscuit.

shannon09/03/2012 - 7:24 pm

Your description of Bonnaroo is spot on.

Jeff25/04/2012 - 7:55 pm

I made this tonight. It used sage. It was amazing. Very unique flavors. It was so rich that I only ate half a biscuit, but that a good thing. Good job with this one.

[...] from tip right: Sweet Potato Biscuits with Mushroom Gravy / Flourless Fudge Brownies / Blueberry Cereal Bars / Toasted Marshmallow Coconut Milk Ice Cream / [...]

[...] given you a miso-ish gravy recipe before (with mushrooms, white beans and SWEET POTATO BISCUITS, guh I know), but this version is a million [...]

[...] The First Mess Sweet Potato Biscuits – an adaptation from Roost, looks great as one of those rare vegan paleo baked goods! Vegan [...]

caitie18/01/2013 - 10:41 pm

I don’t usually write reviews but I just made the biscuits for dinner and used spelt flour instead since i was out of almond meal…but the end result- they are to die for!! I recommend this recipe to everyone. Thanks for the recipe!

Whitney22/03/2013 - 12:36 am

Ohh bonnaroo <3

Risa10/04/2013 - 10:17 pm

Hello!

Beyond the fact that your blog feels and looks like beautiful real perfection (every recipe is a creative homegrown saint!), I am head over heels for the plate shown in this post… might you know where it came from/if there are others to be had?

I would be forever in your debt!

best.

Risa

Laura Wright11/04/2013 - 9:21 am

Hi Risa! Thank you for your generous and lovely comment. I picked up the plate at a Canadian chain store called HomeSense. They have a constantly rotating and changing stock of items because they get ends and discontinued bits from major stores. It doesn’t even have a brand name or anything on the bottom of the plate! So sorry I couldn’t help you more on that.
-L

Anna25/07/2013 - 9:59 am

mmm these look sooo delicious, and i love how you’ve made the mushroom sauce with beans!! i always think cooked vegetables are the best way to thicken a sauce. i think i might try these with pumpkin instead of sweet potato lots of cinnamon instead of herbs… something sweet for breakfast? love this recipe, thanks.

Olivia02/08/2013 - 12:17 pm

I know I’m late to comment, but I have to say this has become one of my favorite meals. So good.

Laura Wright05/08/2013 - 8:25 pm

That’s great, Olivia. Love hearing about peeps cooking from the archives. Actually the best feeling :) Thanks!
-L

[…] up from The First Mess: Sweet Potato Almond Biscuits and Gravy. That will make it to our dinner table later this week. Her mushroom gravy sounds divine, but […]

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