Post Punk Kitchen has recently become one of my favorite recipe blogs. Everything Isa Chandra Moskowitz (co-author of Veganomicon) cooks up sounds delicious and I find myself saving almost everything she posts. One recipe especially piqued my interest: vegan sausage.
In general, I’m fairly anti-fake meat. I don’t mind the occasional tofu or tempeh, and I like making my own veggie/bean burgers, but I try to avoid premade veggie burgers, chick’n or animal-free sausages. But this recipe doesn’t contain anything particularly strange; the only ingredient I didn’t have in my pantry already was vital wheat gluten.
Assembly of these sausages was incredibly simple. Basically you mash a cup of beans, add the rest of the ingredients and stir to combine. Isa recommends combining the ingredients in using the order listed, but once I added the vital wheat gluten (ingredient # 5), the mixture became sticky, thick and hard to stir (kind of like meat!) I’m no expert, but it seems to me that you could blend all the spices together, stir them into the liquids and add the vital wheat gluten last in order to have a more even mixture. After the mixture is made, you divide it into 4 parts and wrap each part in a square of foil, “like a tootsie roll”.
The steaming made me a bit nervous. The most steaming I’d ever done is a handful of vegetables for a few minutes. I wasn’t sure my pot wouldn’t run out of water during the 40 minute steaming time. Also, apparently my steamer basket is sort of on its last legs. But there was plenty of water still in the pot when time was up.
This recipe is extremely simple variation on seitan (which I’ve only had once, about a year ago). I think it would be really neat to adjust the flavorings. Perhaps create breakfast sausage? The only downside was that the recipe used almost the entire 10 ounce box of vital wheat gluten which, at $4.39 was still much cheaper than pork sausage, but is slightly more cost prohibitive than a can of beans. I suspect I may be able to find vital wheat gluten for less than my local co-op sells it for; I’ll be keeping my eyes open.
I was pleasantly surprised to discover that, just as the recipe had promised, the steaming shaped the sausages into tubes that actually did look like sausage. The flavor was pretty close to a regular sausage, although the texture was different enough from meat to make it clear that it wasn’t. Still, they were pretty delicious and I’ll probably make them again in the future. And then we served the sausage with eggs…which I only realized was a contradiction as I cooked them. But that’s just the way things work around here.
Cynthia (It All Changes) says
Hehe! I love your wonderful vegan contradictions :-)
I’ve decided that “rules” are highly overrated. Sausages and eggs are meant to be together, vegan or not.
Delicious they were, but not meat. Still surprised this actually worked.
Kristin @ FoodFash says
Do you have an Asian market anywhere near your house? If so, I bet you can find some pretty cheap vital wheat gluten there.
I never thought of that. I’m not sure there is one, but I’ll look into it. Thanks for the tip!
We just got vital wheat gluten at Stop & Shop for 2.79–although it’s only a 6.5 oz. box so it probably works out to the same price, but we didn’t look around for other brands in the store either. And when I say “we”, I mean Ian, who went to get it and no doubt grabbed the first one he saw.
Thanks for the tip! They had boxes over 1 lb. at Guidos yesterday as well, but I think the price is still comparable. What are you planning to make with it?
Just bread–nothing thrilling :-). We made some fabulous whole wheat today though. The first loaf was gone while still warm. We’re using the method in this book: http://www.amazon.com/Healthy-Bread-Five-Minutes-Day/dp/0312545525/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1329081178&sr=8-1
Also, we have not been to Guidos–thoughts?
Guidos doesn’t have as much local product as I’d like, but they do have beautiful produce and tons of gourmet/specialty items. Their bulk section is much much bigger than Wild Oats. They have a small eat in area, smoothies and gelato. I’d recommend checking it out, they may have ingredients you’d like but can’t find elsewhere. Certainly closer than Whole Foods.