Spa Biscuits and Gravy

Biscuits and Gravy on a spa menu?  Yes, Canyon Ranch adapted this hearty breakfast favorite for its guests.   It relies on lower fat chicken sausage and its light white sauce, lower in fat than a traditional bechamel (white sauce gravy) served over whole-wheat biscuits.  What it loses in fat it more than makes up for in the savory herbs and flavors. Best of all, each serving has a satisfying portion of a half-cup of gravy.

The Canyon Ranch version is a tad longer than your average comfort fare and relies on making a bechamel, but we found another “skinny” version on Cooking for Keeps (that’s Nicole’s photo here) which (rather brilliantly) adds sage to the biscuits.  Try either version, and you’ll see you can keep this comfort food fare on the table. Just not daily. —  March 2014

Canyon Ranch Biscuits and Gravy
Courtesy of:
Recipes: Breakfast
Serves: 12
  • 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1-1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup low-fat cream cheese
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • Optional: 1/4 cup shredded low-fat sharp cheddar cheese
Canyon Ranch Bechamel
  • 1/3 cup diced onions
  • 2 teaspoons canola oil
  • Pinch ground cloves
  • Pinch freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 4 cups 2% milk
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
Sausage Gravy
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1 lb low fat and nitrate free chicken sausage
  • 2 teaspoons dry sage
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 cups Béchamel sauce
  • 1/2cup chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce or 1/2 teaspoon of paprika
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons white distilled vinegar
  • Chopped Sage and Parsley
Make the Biscuits
  1. Preheat oven to 400F. Spray a large baking sheet with canola oil.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, sift together dry ingredients.
  3. Cut butter and cream cheese into dry ingredients with a pastry cutter. Stir in buttermilk until just combined.
  4. Transfer onto a lightly-floured surface and knead gently just until dough forms. Roll out dough to ½-inch thick. Using a 2½-inch round cutter, form 12 biscuits and arrange about 1 inch apart on prepared baking sheet.
  5. Lightly spray tops of biscuits with canola oil spray and bake for 10 minutes, or until cooked through and tops are golden brown.
Make the Bechamel
  1. In a large saucepan, sauté onion in oil until translucent.
  2. Add cloves, black pepper and bay leaves.
  3. Continue to sauté over low heat for 1 more minute.
  4. In a large bowl, mix cornstarch and milk with a wire whisk.
  5. Add to sautéed onion mixture and bring to a simmer, whisking continuously. Increase heat to medium and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, or until mixture slightly thickened but still pourable. Stir in salt and remove bay leaves.
  6. Set aside for the gravy.
Make the Gravy
  1. In a large saucepot, sauté onions and garlic in oil until onions are translucent.
  2. Add chicken sausage, sage, bay leaves and pepper. Break up sausage into smaller pieces with your utensil while sautéing. Cook until sausage is just about cooked through.
  3. Add bechamel sauce and chicken stock and bring to a simmer for 20 to 25 minutes. Stir in Worcestershire, vinegar and hot sauce.
  4. Serve ½ cup gravy over each biscuit. Top with minced sage and parsley.
Optional: Add shredded cheese to the biscuit dough (not included in this calorie count). For each serving, break open 1 biscuit into 2 pieces and top it with 1/2 cup of gravy.
By the Numbers
Serving size: 1 | Cal: 250 | Fat (g): 11 | Carbs (g): 26 | Sodium (mg): 721 | Fiber (g): 2 | Protein (g): 12 | Chol (mg): 40


Photo (c) Nicole of Cooking for Keeps

October 21, 2013 |

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