When cooking, I prefer to use fish or go meatless whenever possible. Sadly, it’s not as economical to use meatless sausage, but this is one of those recipes that tastes better than the real thing, so I don’t mind the main ingredient costing a little more. It’s worth noting that meat substitutes tend to be higher in sodium but much lower in fat than meat.
Traditionally, sausage gravy is served over biscuits, but you can use toast. Not having much enthusiasm for baking, I don't make biscuits from scratch. Instead, I buy the Pillsbury biscuits that pop out of the can. It’s so easy to just put them on a baking sheet and stick them in the oven for ten to fifteen minutes while I make the gravy. With biscuits, this gravy recipe will feed four people. Add eggs and fresh fruit to the plates, and you can easily feed six to eight.
This is very easy to make, and it gets easier each time. I no longer even need to follow a recipe. The trickiest part is getting the sausage all crumbled up before it starts to stick to the pan, and that’s why I prefer to use a cast iron skillet. I don't seem to have a problem with food sticking to the skillet and, when it does, it scrapes off the bottom of the pan much easier than a teflon pan. If the sausage is sticking to the pan, try adding more oil or turning down the heat until you get the sausage crumbled. Once you get the gravy going, you do not need to stir it constantly. Just make sure that you stir it frequently enough to keep it from sticking to the bottom of the pan. If you finish the gravy before your biscuits are ready to come out of the oven, just turn the heat down to low, and stir the gravy periodically. Also, do not add too much flour at one time. If you do, it has a tendency to clump and make your gravy lumpy. Just remember to keep adding milk, flour, and pepper in small amounts, and keep stirring to blend everything together. Don’t try to rush it, and your gravy will come out just fine.
1 can of biscuits
2 tablespoons canola oil
¼ cup all-purpose flour
4 meatless sausage patties (I use Morningstar Farms)
Milk (have at least 2 cups worth available)
Cayenne pepper, to taste
Ground black pepper, to taste
As I stated previously, I prefer to use a cast iron skillet for the gravy, but a Teflon frying pan works just fine.
Preheat the oven according to the directions on the can of biscuits. Pop open the can, and place the biscuits on a baking sheet. (I like to spray the baking sheet with Pam first, to keep the biscuits from sticking). When the oven has preheated, place the baking sheet in the oven for the duration of time listed on the biscuit packaging.
Meanwhile, heat the canola oil (you can use vegetable oil, olive oil, butter, or margarine) in the skillet on medium heat. Add sausage patties. Turn them over after about four minutes. After another four minutes, use a spatula to crumble them into pieces. Sprinkle a light layer of flour over the sausage, and stir. Add about ¼ cup of milk. Stir. Add ground pepper and cayenne. Add another light layer of flour. Stir.
Continue adding flour, followed by more milk (and more pepper, if you like), and keep stirring it all together. How much milk you add depends on what consistency you like your gravy. Some people like it really thick, others prefer it to be a little more like liquid. We like ours to be about a medium consistency - it has sort of a paste-like texture, and that requires using about 1 ½ to 2 cups of milk. I usually use 2% milk, but whole milk works just fine, if you like it creamier.
Once the biscuits have cooled for a moment or two, cut them in half, and spoon the gravy on top. Serve with eggs, if you want more protein. Add fresh fruit or a glass of 100% juice to make it a balanced breakfast.