A Very Veg Thanksgiving: Baked French Onion Soup and Mushroom Gravy

Here’s Part 2 of delicious side dishes from my cooking adventure, French Onion Soup and Mushroom Gravy taught at Whole Foods Market Cooking School in Lincoln Park.  Thanks to Google+ Local Chicago for hosting this culinary experience!

When you see the food pics below, you’ll know why the whole class was clamoring to get a close view of the finished product.


French Onion Soup

  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 4 large sweet onions, thinly sliced with the grain
  • 1tsp salt
  • 1 tsp dried thyme or 1 tbsp fresh thyme
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine, recommend cabernet sauvignon
  • 2 tbsp aged balsamic vinegar
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 cups filtered water
  • 1 small baguette
  • 1/2 pound Swiss, Gruyere, or Emmenthaler cheese, shredded

Emmenthaler Swiss Cheese


  • Preheat oven to 200 degrees
  • Dry heat a large soup pot or dutch oven for 2 minutes.  Add to hot pot the sliced onions.  Sprinkle salt and drizzle olive oil over onions.  With a large spoon or tongs, constantly turn the onions so they do not stick to the bottom.  Continue stirring and flipping for 5-10 minutes.  The onions will start to shrink and caramelized beautifully.  Add the thyme and stir once more.  Place a lid on the pot and continue this 30 minutes, stirring every so often.  This is where the base of the flavor comes from.  The longer you caramelize, the deeper the flavor.
  • Slice baguette to fit your bowls, either on a diagonal or in circles.  Place on a baking sheet and bake for 20-30 minutes, until bread is completely dried out.
  • Add red wine and balsamic vinegar.  This will help deglaze the pan and pick up more flavor.  Let cook another 10 minutes with no lid.  This will concentrate the liquid a bit to help deepen the flavor.  Add bay leaves and water and bring to a boil.  Turn heat to simmer, place lid on pot and allow to cook another 15-30 minutes.


  • Ladle into bowls, place bread over soup and sprinkle on cheese.  Place under broiler for 1 1/2 – 2 minutes.  Be aware of the time as the broiler can burn food very quickly.  Enjoy!

Vegan Thanksgiving Cooking Class


Mushroom Gravy

Whole Foods Market recipe adapted from Post Punk Kitchen

  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour or almond flour for gluten free
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 shallots, diced
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 2tsp thyme
  • salt and peper to taste
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast


  • In a large bowl, mix 2 cups vegetable broth with flour.  Whisk until there are no lumps.  Add remaining 2 cups of vegetable broth and set aside.
  • Heat a large sauce pan.  Add oil and shallots.  Saute about 5 minutes until shallots are limp.
  • Add garlic, mushrooms, paprika, thyme, salt and pepper.  Stir until well combined.  Saute about 5 minutes or until mushrooms are cooked.

Vegan Thanksgiving Cooking Class1

  • Add wine and bring to a boil for 3 minutes, letting the liquid reduce.  Stir often.
  • Add broth mixture and nutritional yeast to the pot.  Let cook 10-15 minutes until gravy thickens.

Vegan Thanksgiving Cooking Class2

So this is my first experience with mushroom gravy as a born vegetarian!  Use on whatever dish you want….cover your greens, your mashed potatoes or slather it on the Whole Foods “meat” loaf recipe from part 1.

Craving more variety for your veggie-giving?  Check out the following veg/vegan recipes as a Thanksgiving side dish or fall treat and have a healthy happy holiday tomorrow!

Super Moist Pumpkin Bread by Post Punk Kitchen 

Sweet Potato Soup with Ginger and Vanilla by Post Punk Kitchen

Candied Yams by Earth Balance Made Just Right

Buttery Apple Cider Carrots by Earth Balance Made Just Right

Vegan Pumpkin Pie by Whole Foods Market


Meatless Mexican Mushroom Monday

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Enchilada Stuffed Mushrooms

Modified recipe from here.

Say our title 3 times fast…Meatless Mexican Mushroom Monday!

We love mushrooms (smooches)!  They are versatile and sturdy, plus they provide protein making them a happening substitute on meatless Mondays.  This recipe can be a fancy yet simple appetizer for parties as well.  We prepared this for a ladies lunch get-together in only 30 minutes which left way more time to get purty.

  • 15 baby bella mushrooms
  • 2 oz light cream cheese, softened
  • 4 oz block of sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  •  1/3 cup grated parmigianno regianno cheese
  • 1/4 tsp taco seasoning
  • 1 green onion, sliced
  • garlic salt
  • 1/3 tsp cayenne
  • sea salt, black pepper, and chili flakes, sprinkle to taste
  • 1/2 pouch of Ricky Bayless Frontera Red Chile Enchilada Sauce 


  • Preheat oven 375 degrees.  Lightly spray Olive Oil cooking spray in baking pan.
  • Remove stem from mushrooms.  Wash and clean the dirt off mushroom cap.
  • Mix softened cream cheese, grated sharp cheddar, parmigianno regianno cheese, taco seasoning, garlic salt, cayenne, salt, black pepper, and chili flakes.

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  • Stuff the mixture into the mushrooms and arrange in baking pan.  Pour Frontera Enchilada Sauce.  Sprinkle shredded sharp cheddar.

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  • Bake for 20 minutes until brown and bubbly!

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Final result: Some of the guests weren’t hot for Mexican food but could not stop eating them!  These were the best stuffed mushrooms we’ve ever had as well with melt in your mouth cheese and the perfect kick of spiciness. Get crazy and add black beans, avocado and side of Late July Mild Green Mojo chips from Whole Foods to compliment them.

We are anxious to experience the Rick Bayless empire, especially XOCO, to indulge in his woodland mushroom Torta to expand our mushroom meal menagerie.