An Ode to Marmite (and a pretty fantastic vegan onion gravy recipe to boot!)

Oh Marmite, I hardly knew ye

Then I went vegan and your loveliness threw me

You took me by surprise and now I'm in rapture

Your dulcet tones sing to me 'cause I think I've found my cheese cure

So deep is your colour, so strong is your taste

Not a drop of that b12 nectar do I want to waste

Who knew you'd been waiting there all this time

Until I discovered you and wrote this wee rhyme:)

Um, don't give up the day job? Moving swiftly on to the reason for this post - my knew found love for Marmite. You know, the 'you either love it or hate it' stuff? I never really got that because there was a period of my life (all of it until now) were I neither loved nor loathed it. I'd tasted it. It was fine, inoffensive, pleasant even but nothing that sent me into head staggers. So what's changed? Well, in a nutshell, my tastebuds. They are alive with the taste of food right now and I'm loving it.

I don't know what it is about going vegan but your senses become heightened - seriously, I kid you not! Everything tastes better now and my tongue and palate are super sensitive to strong flavours like.....marmite. It's all my Husbands fault really because he came home one day enthusing about the marmite and toast he'd experienced that day at work - he's was particularly excited that it contained the illustrious b12 vitamin:) Hmmm, marmite, I thought. So, the next time I went to Sainsbury's I popped a jar in the trolley and moseyed on home to have a slice of marmite toast myself - this is a little bit of a fib because my Hubbie actually made the toast. Anyway, hello! Seriously, I couldn't believe how delish it was - really and truly an eye popping moment.

Hubbie compared it to a strong mature cheddar and I can totally see where he's coming from. It's got a depth of flavour that is so unusual and moreish that I'm now hooked. I find myself gazing at that little pot of sticky, dark awesomeness and wondering what else I can use it in. For the first time since  renouncing meat we had vegan bangers and mash with onion gravy. It suddenly dawned on me that luscious goo might work well in this most wonderful but perhaps now slightly lacking sauces. I'm desperate to ensure my veganised dishes aren't just a poor replica to my previous meat masterpieces so I'm forever trying to push the boundaries in order to pack those meals with flavour and boy did it work this time! I mean really work!

There's no going back. Marmite has entered my life and I have a feeling we're going to have a long and very happy relationship x

vegan onion gravy with marmite

1 onion

1 organic vegetable stock cube

1 tsp marmite

1 tbsp sugar

1 tsp brown rice flour

1 tbsp oil

boiling water

salt and pepper

Thinly slice the onion lengthways. Heat the oil in a pan, add the onion, season and gently fry until it begins to soften.

Add the sugar, season again and allow the onions to caramelise for up to 10-15mins on a medium heat.

Boil a kettle. Add the stock cube to the pan and pour over enough water to cover the onions completely. Stir the sauce/gravy ensuring the stock cube has completely dissolved. Allow to simmer for a few minutes before adding the marmite. Stir until the marmite has completely dispersed into the gravy.

Put the brown rice flour into a small bowl and add some of the liquid from the gravy to make a paste. Add to the gravy along with a little more water (how much you add is up to you - how much you want and how thick/thin do you like it?) and mix thoroughly making sure there are no lumps and the sauce is beginning to thicken and take on a gravy like consistency.

Taste, season if necessary (you may not need to - I didn't) and serve with vegan sausages, mustard mash and peas - absolute heaven.

Whoever said British food doesn't rock needs to eat this and then their words;)