When I feel lost, which is the case much of the time, my go-to comfort activity is cooking.
I find the process of being around food grounding, exciting, and stimulating all at the same time. Food is a steady part of our lives each and every day, so spending time preparing food just makes sense to me.
And I love to be productive. So instead of just feeling existentially confused, there is also food for folks to eat. This neurotic love of cooking has been a great aid to me in life. It has been a way to make friends, be generous, and contribute wherever I go in the world.
I have cooked in large English kitchens on intentional communities, on small propane stoves in Thai villages, and for monks in monasteries, as well as in my own kitchen for family and friends.
Wherever I have gone, I have ended up in the kitchen cooking with whatever ingredients are in reach.
My kids say that when I cook, they can’t tell how many people I plan to serve. It can look like I have made food for 40 people when, in fact, just three have been invited.
Sometimes there is no one around; I just cook, and then voila, someone calls to say they are coming over around dinner time—I am ready. It is like I knew people would be hungry. People seem to always be hungry.
As we go into the holidays, I want to share with you one of my favorite vegan recipes: miso gravy.
I am crazy about miso.
Miso is a fermented paste, similar in texture to peanut butter, and is typically a cultured mixture of soybeans, a grain (like rice or barley), salt, and koji (a mold).
Fermented foods are a staple all over the world and are known to be a necessary component to gut health and simply overall health in general.
Miso gravy is tasty on so many dishes. Of course, I love it on roast potatoes but also poured over polenta, or a lentil loaf, or anything that tastes good with gravy.
And it is very quick to make. The only trick is you don’t want to boil the miso at high heat because that would kill the living probiotics that make it so healthy.
4 cups of water
2 vegan bouillon cubes
3 cloves garlic
1 tbsp soy sauce
1/3 cup miso
3 tbsp nutritional yeast
1/4 cups cold water
2 tbsp cornstarch
1. Boil four cups of water in a pot and add the two vegan bouillon cubes until they dissolve.
2. To this boiling mixture, add the garlic, soy sauce, and nutritional yeast and reduce heat to a very low simmer.
3. Once the temperature has lowered, add the miso and do not return to boiling, but stir well until the miso is completely dissolved.
4. Take a measuring cup or bowl and dissolve the cornstarch into the cold water.
5. Then add the water/cornstarch mixture slowly to the pot while constantly stirring until the gravy thickens.
Miso gravy keeps well in the fridge for a few days.
Just make sure when you warm it up to serve not to make it boil.