Wild Mushroom Gravy
adapted from simpleveganblog.com
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp vegan butter
¼ flour (I like whole wheat flour but white is ok too)
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp onion power
¼ tsp dried rosemary
¼ tsp dried thyme
¼ tsp ground black pepper
2 tbsp tamari or soy sauce
2 cups vegetable stock (Better than Bouillon is my favorite)
1 cup unsweetened soy or hemp milk (do not use nut milk; the flavor won’t be as good)
3-4 cups of de-stemmed and finely chopped mixed mushrooms (i like to use shiitake and crimini)
Optional: white truffle oil
1. Heat a saucepan over medium + heat and add the butter. When melted, toss in the mushrooms and saute until cooked. I like a lot of flavor in my mushrooms, so at this point I toss in a little minced garlic and a splash of white wine and cook for 1 minute.) Take mushrooms out of the pan and set aside to cool.
2. Add the olive oil to a saucepan and when hot, whisk in the flour and cook over medium heat for 1-2 minutes or until it starts to become golden brown. Do not let it burn, and whisk it frequently.
3. Add the tamari or soy sauce and whisk one more time.
4. Slowly whisk in the vegetable stock and the soy milk until no clumps remain.
5. Cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes or until the gravy starts to thicken.
6. Remove from heat and add the cooked diced mushrooms and stir to combine.
7. I really like adding just a small touch of white truffle oil at this point. It just deepens the richness and adds a lot of wonderful flavor. White truffle can be very strong, so add in increments. A few twists of fresh black pepper are nice as well.
8. Serve immediately, or you can refrigerate. When rewarming the gravy, simply heat over medium heat while whisking.
Vegan Herb Mushroom “Stuffing” (we’re not stuffing turkeys; just ourselves 🙂
Ingredients you have in your package:
Herb garlic powder mix
Pecans. Cut these into smaller pieces to add to the stuffing.
Additional Ingredients you will need:
3 tablespoons Olive oil or vegan butter
3 – 3 ½ cups of Broth (I like Better than Bouillon)
Salt and pepper to taste
Celery, washed and diced, about 2 cups.
1-2 cups of Carrots, washed and diced
1 cup of chopped parsley
20 fresh sage leaves, whole. I like to mix these in as it adds a lot of color
2-3 Beyond sausage, crumbled, sauteed, and mixed in. I like the sweet Italian flavor for this. Don’t overcook as they will cook in the stuffing as well.
1. Rehydrate the dried mushrooms overnight or for a couple of hours in a bowl of warm water, covered. You can leave them out, or put them in the fridge when the water is cooled. I like dehydrated mushrooms because the flavor is really intense and yummy, and the porcini mushrooms in the dried mix are delicious!
2. Before making the stuffing, remove mushrooms from the liquid and chop them into smaller pieces (not dice, just chop). Often there may be some small grains of mushroom dust or grit at the bottom of the liquid; take care not to grab that. You can use the mushroom liquid and add it to your broth if you like.
3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (176 C) and line a 9×13 pan (or comparable sized dish vegetable oil or spray with nonstick spray.
4. Also prepare flax egg by mixing 1 tablespoon of the flaxseed meal with 2 ½ tablespoons of water and set aside.
5. Prepare your broth and set aside; adding half the herb and garlic powder to your broth. Taste for flavor, and add more herb mix if you’d like.
6. Sauté the onion and celery (and carrots if using them) in the olive oil or vegan butter and season with a bit of salt and pepper. Cook until fragrant and translucent – about 5 minutes. Set aside.
7. Put at least ¾ of the unseasoned croutons in a large bowl.
To the bowl of bread, pour most of the broth then add the remaining ingredients (cooked veggies, flax egg, pecans, and parsley if desired. If adding sausage, add cooked sausage now as well) and mix with a wooden spoon. The key is to make sure it is about the consistency of a meatloaf: Moist but not soggy. It should hold its shape if formed into a shape but liquid shouldn’t squeeze out of it. Too dry and it will be really dry after cooking. Too wet and it will be soggy and never get any crisp texture. If too dry, add more broth and mix again. If it’s gotten too wet, add more bread. Note: every batch is unique due to the bread and moisture, so you may have to adjust amounts a little bit. The most important thing is that the stuffing has the right consistency.
8.Transfer stuffing to the prepared pan and cover with foil. Bake for 45 minutes. Then remove the top layer of foil so the top can brown. Increase heat to 400 degrees F (204 C) and bake for another 10-15 minutes or until the top is well browned and crisp. I also like to drizzle a little extra melted vegan butter on top right after taking the foil off.
9.Remove from the oven and let cool slightly before serving. Leftovers reheat well in the microwave or oven, though best when fresh.
The original Green Goddess Sandwich recipe by Alanna Taylor-Tobin was featured in The Bonjour Gourmet. We made it vegan with the following modifications:
• In the dressing, we did not use anchovies
• We used Follow your heart Vegan mayo
• We used miyokos chive or favorite flavor cream cheese instead of mozarella.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total: 15 minutes
Servings: 4 to 6 sandwiches.
Makes: 1 Sandwich Prep time: 30 minutes Total Time: 45 minutes
Sundried tomato pesto:
Makes approx 2 cups (enough for 8-10 sandwiches)
Recipe by: Alexa Weilbel
Here are some fun facts about the goat breed called “Saanen”! They are my favorite breed of goat!
🤓 The Saanen breed’s scientific name is “Capra aegagrus hircus”. They are also referred to by these other names in other languages: Saanenziege, Chèvre de Gessenay, and Capra di Saanen.
🌍 The breed originated Switzerland. This breed of goat lives better in cooler weather. They are the largest dairy breed of goats. They are descended from goats that adapted to high elevation swiss mountains. In Switzerland Saanen goats travel in herds of up to 100. Today, there are about 900,000 Saanens worldwide.
⭐️ Personality Traits: Known to “prance”, they have an elegant carriage, and have calm mellow demeanor. Saanens are very gentle natured, sweet goats. Just like dogs, different breeds of goats can have different general personalities.
🐐 Size: Females average 130lbs,while males average 180lbs.
💪 Health: They are highly resistant to disease, they adapt well to really harsh climates, and have tough hooves. Give them shade as they are susceptible to sunburn because of their light skin. Their lifespan is about 9-15 years.
👨👩👦 Family life: Nannies and kids can recognize each other’s voices from the moment of birth. Saanen goats are excellent mothers who are very protective of their kids.
Goatlandia has been fortunate to have raised and rescued several wonderful Saanens through the years.
Featured: Liam; L-R below: Rainey, Nigel, Priscilla, and Bryce with Deb
Deb says, “I love this recipe because it’s super easy to make and everyone loves it. I like to top it with berries that have been lightly sautéed in butter, cointreau or lemon juice, and sugar. And then vegan whipped cream of course 🙂 And you can add on top a few flakes of Maldon salt; this really makes the chocolate flavor pop!”
Chocolate Molten Lava Cake
Makes 12 individual lava cakes
Preheat oven to 350. Grease up small, individual ramekins on bottom inside and sides with a neutral oil and set on sheet tray.
2 cups Whole Wheat Flour
¾ cup cacao powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 ½ cup sugar
2 cups cold water
8 T olive oil
2 T lemon juice or vinegar
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
to be added later:
1/2 cup chocolate chunks
Sifting dry ingredients:
1. Take a large bowl and place a sieve on it. Add your dry ingredients: whole wheat flour, salt, baking soda and cacao powder. Sift into bowl and set aside.
2. Prepare wet ingredients. Take sugar and cold water and stir with whisk until sugar is dissolved. Add oil and stir well. Add vanilla and lemon juice and stir again very well.
3. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients bowl and mix well with a wired whisk. Do not overmix!
4. Pour batter in greased ramekins and place chocolate squares in so they get immersed in the batter. Fill ramekins about 3/4 of the way full as they will rise when baked.
5. Place sheet tray in oven and bake for 15-20 minutes keeping oven door closed the entire time! Check on cakes and make sure they are cooked fully on the outside with a gooey center. Pull out of oven once completed and served immediately!
I wanted to share a topic with you that I ruminate on ALL…. THE…. TIME. In fact, I often lose sleep over this, because I love the animals I’m honored to share my life with and I want them to always be comfortable.
Winter and Cold. Brrrrr!!!!
For the first several years that I was rescuing animals, I would often lay awake at night during winter wondering if everyone was ok. I was worried because it was cold outside for me, and I was nervous that my animal family members weren’t comfortable. One night (this was back in the early days) I even went out with a sleeping bag and slept in the barn with my three first goats. I woke up in the middle of the night cold, with goat poop on me, and I swear the goats had a very funny look on their face that said “mom, we got this. go back to bed.” Needless to say that was a one time experience.
Anyway, I’m guessing some of you share my concern and want to make sure your animals are happy healthy and cozy during the winter. Here in California, we are fortunate not to have the deal with ice storms, blizzards, and feet of snow. But it’s still cold, so let’s talk about how to put our minds at ease, and help our family members that need it stay cozy.
The fact is, animals have much thicker skin than we do, and they have fur and feathers. They are insulated in a way that we humans aren’t. Our pigs graze in the rain when it’s 42, our ducks run into 36 degree ponds in the morning when I let them out, and our goats sleep under the stars by choice when it’s freezing! They have their own coats that they wear every day! And we need to allow them to grow and use their coats. Much like with horses, putting sweaters or coats on them actually prevents them from growing their undercoats (cashmere, down, etc.) that will protect them in winter. This cashmere, in the case of goats, helps keep them warm when temperatures drop. I asked one of our vets about temperatures and goats, and he said that most ruminants are very comfortable around 49 degrees F, and start to get heat stress around 70! So what is an enjoyable summer for us can actually stress out our animal friends. They love it cold! That being said, there are always going to be those animals that need a little extra help in the winter; a mother giving birth in 10 degree weather, someone who is sick or recovering from surgery, a newborn kid lamb or chick, or an older guy or gal that needs help regulating their body temperature. And you can always consult your vet, or call us, if you need help with making that call.
I’ve also visited many East Coast sanctuaries to whom I have supported and volunteered at over the years. They do not heat their barns except for the bird barns in severe storms. Their ruminants and pigs and horses do just fine, and it is far colder there than here in California. Whew! So good to know. Here are some great articles on how non-human animals are far more prepared to deal with cold than we are. These links are from a website called Thrifty Homesteader. While here at Goatlandia we don’t condone breeding, milking for human use, or eating animals, the creator of this website and blog has covered some topics quite eloquently. I hope you find them useful.
We’ve had numerous animals here with physical limitations or disabilities; blindness, an ill-recovered fracture resulting in a limp, and amputated limbs. At the current time, we have a dog born with only three legs named Nemo (below).
We also have a goat who injured his leg as a kid and had to have it amputated. This goat’s name is Finnegan (main photo). He’s a big beautiful Boer and he is not afraid to “grab life by the horns”. We call him Fast Finny because despite only having three and a half legs, he’s pretty darn fast!
Self esteem is defined as “confidence in one’s own worth or abilities; self-respect.” It’s basically how we feel about ourselves, and it includes any judgements or opinions we have of ourselves. Growing up in our modern world, the unrealistic images of perfection and high societal expectations can wreak havoc on our self esteem and prevent us from truly loving ourselves. Cases of anorexia, bullying, self-harm and low self esteem are sadly on the rise, especially in young people.
One thing I love about animals is that they don’t let self esteem issues affect their lives. They just figure out how to get life done, and they get about doing it. I love that! They don’t spend time worrying about how others see them, or feeling sorry for themselves because they are not “perfect”. They just get on living.
One of my favorite humans to listen to is Melissa Peer. She is a wonderful therapist that helps people clear the blocks to self love; allowing us to fully live the life we are intended. She has a mantra that I adore and it goes like this: “I Am Enough”. It means that we are all enough; we are all worthy of love, and we all have value, and that our past traumas shouldn’t haunt us moving forward. This mantra can help us humans learn to accept and love ourselves which is great! And, we can look to our spirit animal, the GOAT, to see that in action. Our animals with challenges don’t waste time worrying, they know they are enough.
I’ve learned a lot from my animal family, and especially from Finnegan. He doesn’t let his challenge slow him down, he just gets in there and runs like heck and gets things done. He loves his life, and he’s happy with what he has. And through our visitor program, our animal therapy, and our kids camp, he’s helping others find that joy too — including me.
This special edition of Ruminations is brought to you by Goatlandia’s Sanctuary Manager, Meagan Dallas. She is responsible for animal care, volunteer coordination, and other organizational aspects of the sanctuary. Meagan is an active advocate for animals of all species and is vegan.
Summer is approaching and the weather is heating up here!
We are so privileged to live in such a beautiful place. I spend a lot of my days in sweaty work clothes taking care of the rescue animals. I walk the pastures to refill water buckets, clean up after them, and give out medications. I also stop to make sure they get their chins scratched, backs rubbed, and ears pet. I think to myself ‘there is no where else I would rather be’. I wonder if the animals feel that way too. Like there is no where else they would rather be.
Our sanctuary is a place of refuge, where we value each individual and each life. We rescue animals from trauma situations, neglect, abuse, and some of the most horrific conditions one could be subjected to living in. I’ve been rescuing animals for a lot of years and I have learned a lot from them.
One of the most impactful lessons I have learned from rescue work is not about handling a large goat or administering a vaccination, but about the nature of love. For one, I learned that love is forgiving. So many of our animals arrive here and have only known fear and sadness. Oftentimes they have never felt kindness from a human being before. These rescue animals have taught me you can forgive and open your heart to love someone even after you have been wronged.
The rescue animals also taught me that love is brave.
So many of these animals have been abused and exploited by humans. Yet, they come back to us humans showing incredible levels of trust and vulnerability. How many of us would have that emotional courage? I aspire to do the same with people who have caused me harm or fear. To be brave enough to reconnect. To trust. To love.
The most important lesson I have learned from these rescue animals is that love is forever. The connections we form with other beings, human and nonhuman, those go to the core of who we are. My heart is completely filled with faces of animals I have known over the years. Some who I see every day at Goatlandia, some who have found incredible forever homes, and some who have since passed away. Those connections will endure forever because our love is true.
I don’t know enough about animal psychology to know if our animals can truly comprehend their luck in landing at this small farm animal sanctuary in California, but, I do know that they feel happy and loved here. I know that they have been rescued, and through that process, I have been rescued too.