DIY Wednesday: Mushroom Gravy

IDIY Wednesday: Mushroom Gravy | Life Healthfully Lived have another holiday edition of DIY Wednesday for you today: gravy.  After the ganache last week, I thought we would go savory today.  I know it’s a little late for Thanksgiving, but there are still plenty of meals this season that will warrant gravy.  I wanted to show you how easy it is to make your own gravy because I was just as surprised when I learned.

When I was younger, gravy was bought in a jar.  My mom pretty much made the rest of our Thanksgiving feast from scratch, but the gravy and the jellied cranberries came from a jar and a can.  So in my tiny kid mind, that is how all gravy was made.  In a jar and then heated up on the stove.DIY Wednesday: Mushroom Gravy | Life Healthfully Lived

As I got older and started cooking for myself and reading cookbooks, I saw recipes for gravy.  What?! You can make this from scratch?!  Yes.  Yes, you can.  And it is really easy.

I’m making a mushroom gravy for those of us who don’t eat meat, but you can make gravy from pretty much any cooked meat you have following this recipe.  Whichever you choose, it’s really simple and so much healthier to make your own gravy.  It’s also cheaper which is a must during the holiday season!

Mushroom GravyDIY Wednesday: Mushroom Gravy | Life Healthfully Lived

  • 8 oz mushrooms (I used baby bellas), sliced
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, minced
  • Olive oil
  • 1/3 cup onion, minced finely
  • 1 to 2 tbsp coconut aminos, liquid aminos, or soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp potato starch or tapioca starch (I used potato)
  • 1 1/2 cup cool water
  • 1 tsp parsley
  • 3 tsp fresh rosemary leaves
  • salt and pepper.


  1. Heat a little olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the onions and mushrooms and saute for about 5 minutes until the onions are soft. Sprinkle in a little salt and pepper then add the garlic and saute for another minute.
  2. Add the coconut aminos or soy sauce, white wine vinegar, and the vegetable broth.  Cook until the liquid has reduced by about half and the mushrooms have gotten smaller.
  3. While the mushrooms are cooking make the starch slurry.  Combine the 1 and 1/2 cups water and 1 tablespoon of starch and mix together with a fork.  Make sure the mixture is smooth and all lumps are gone.
  4. Pour the slurry into the skillet and stir to mix everything together.  The slurry will start to thicken as it cooks.  Add the parsley and rosemary.  Taste and add salt and pepper to your taste.
  5. Once the gravy is thick enough, pour into a gravy boat or bowl and use immediately.

Gravy needs to be used right after it’s made, because unlike its store bought counterpart it doesn’t last forever.  It’s much better fresh and since it’s so easy to make you can whip it up right at the end of your cooking.DIY Wednesday: Mushroom Gravy | Life Healthfully Lived

What is your favorite holiday dish to make from scratch?

Butternut Mushroom Risotto

The first time that I made risotto did not go well.  I found a recipe online and did everything that it said.  What I was left with was watery and still slightly crunchy.  This was not the “creamy” risotto I had heard so much about.  I pushed the recipe to the bottom of my stack and went on my merry risotto-less way.

Flash forward a few years and I decided to try it again.  This time went much better and I ended up with a tasty and comforting dish.  The only problem was that it took quite some time to get the risotto ready.  Now I don’t mind recipes that take a lot of time, usually on the weekends I specifically choose meals that will take a few hours because I like cooking.  What I don’t like are recipes that take a long time and are kind of boring.  If you’ve ever made risotto you know that it takes a lot of stirring.  A LOT of stirring.  While I liked the taste and texture of risotto I did not like the process of making it.

Join me in the present and I have found a way to make risotto that isn’t totally boring.  The slow cooker.  How I didn’t think of this idea before I have no idea because I am in love with my slow cooker!  This recipe has all the deliciousness of risotto with about half of the stirring.  That is a wonderful thing!

Butternut Mushroom Risotto


  • 1 tbsp roasted garlic or 3 to 4 cloves minced
  • 2 leeks, dark green parts trimmed off and white parts sliced thin (save the stalks to make homemade broth!)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 8 oz package of mushrooms, sliced (you can use any variety like button or cremini)
  • 3/4 cup white wine or vegetable broth
  • 2 cups short grain brown rice
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 5 cups vegetable broths
  • 2 tsp marjoram
  • 1 tsp parsley
  • 1 cup pureed butternut squash


1.  In a large pan heat a little olive oil and saute the leeks, onions, garlic, and mushrooms.  You want the mushrooms to reduce in size and the leeks and onions to have a little brown around the edges.  Place all the vegetables into your slow cooker.

2.  Using the same pan, add in the 3/4 cup of white wine or broth and scrape up any brown bits on the bottom.

3.  Add the 2 cups of brown rice to the pan and cook over medium high heat until all the liquid is absorbed.  Constantly stir the rice.  This should take about 10 to 15 minutes.

4.  Add the rice, 5 cups of broth, marjoram, parsley, and salt to the slow cooker with the vegetables and stir to combine.  Cook on high for 2 to 3 hours.

5.  The risotto is done once all the liquid has been absorbed.  At the end of the cook time stir in the pureed butternut squash.  Cook for an additional 5 minutes.


I made this last weekend and it was awesome.  It’s a really comforting meal and with the ridiculously cold weather coming this weekend this is the perfect dish to warm up with.  It also takes minimal effort and yields a creamy rich risotto.  This is also a good recipe to make a big batch of so you have leftovers for lunch for the work week.

Have a great weekend and make sure that you stay warm!

Lentil Meatballs

There are probably a ton of different variations of burgers/meatballs/meatloaf/any meat-type meal out there that use lentils.  I have tried my hand at a few of these, but my burgers never quite came out just right.  The taste/texture was always just slightly off.  That is NOT the case with these meatballs.  I was leery at first because of my previous meat/lentil failures, but I gave it a shot.  I was not let down this time and my husband said that they tasted both delicious and like actual meatballs.  Success!! This meal can be prepped in the morning and then all you have to do when you get home from work is just pop them in the oven.  Wonderful!

Lentil Meatballs

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  • 1 cup cooked lentils
  • 1 package of white mushrooms, sliced (shredded carrots could also work)
  • 1/2 cup cooked quinoa (you can also use old-fashioned oats, dry)
  • 1 tbsp parsley
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/2-1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 tsp marjoram
  • 1 onion diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 tbsp liquid aminos or soy sauce, or tamari
  • 2 eggs

1.  Place mushrooms, quinoa, lentils and all spices into a food processor or blender and pulse until everything is combined but not too mushy.

2. In a big skillet heat some olive oil and saute the onion until it is soft, about 5 to 7 minutes.  Then add in the garlic and cook for about 2 minutes.  Add in your lentil mix and cook until it starts to brown.  You want to have a little bit of a crust on your mixture so make sure you cook it long enough

3.  Add in the vegetable broth and soy sauce and cook until the liquid has been absorbed.  Take your skillet off the heat and place into a large bowl and let it cool.  Once it’s cool enough to handle (aka not boiling lava hot) add the 2 eggs, whisked, to the bowl.  Mix everything together and form into balls.  Place on a baking tray and bake the meatballs at 425 for about 30 minutes.

You can serve these just like any other meatballs, over pasta, or rice, or even on their own.  Top with some tomato sauce and eat up!  Again, like pretty much every meal I make, these are good leftovers, so cook up extras!