I did it. I made the vegan sausages! This Sunday's brunch did not disappoint (see last week's post on damn pancakes).
I was up and at them quite early this morning, finished up some reading, tidied for a while and then attended to the project I had set for myself: my first faux-meat. After all of these vegan years I have never made a sausage, a burger, or a hot dog. The closest I have ever come is referring to my square slices of tofu as 'steaks'. But now, I have been initiated into the ever growing vegan group (vegan dad, post punk kitchen, vegan in vancouver) of those with enough energy on Sunday morning to tackle a session of sausage making.
To be honest, these were so easy, that I could have drank much more wine at last night's very important dinner and managed just fine this morning. Do it! Do it! Do it! Even all of you wacky non-vegans out there - you will love them, you will dig them, you will worship them (ok, maybe I have been reading too much of the medieval female mystic stuff this morning...you won't worship them, you will like them).
-1 1/4 cup of gluten flour/vital wheat gluten
-1/4 cup of nutritional yeast flakes
-1/2 cup of white beans, mashed with a fork
-2 dashes of soy sauce
-1 teaspoon of olive oil
-2 dashes of maple syrup
-1 cup of water (cold)
herbs: use your own discretion with the quantity - but it was the spices that really made it!
-crushed dry fennel
-fresh basil (red and green), fresh rosemary, fresh thyme
How to: (I used vegan dad's guidance for this part and watched a pretty kickin' video on ppk.)
While I was measuring out my ingredients, and cutting/grinding my spices, I started my water. I added everything together in a large mixing bowl, and was amazed by how quickly it began to form into such a firm substance. I pulled golf ball sized chunks out of the bowl and rolled them between my hands until I had little cigar-ish sausages. I laid each one on the end of a piece of aluminum foil (next time I will use cheese cloth - not impressed with the amount of waste) and rolled the suckers up, twisting the ends up nice and tight.
I stacked my Chinese (all the way from Spadina Street in Toronto to Brussels) bamboo steamers onto my pasta pot full of boiling water and added 8 sausages to the steamer - side by side. I added a second level and filled it with a 'burger' and a larger sausage - to steam and set aside for later use.
I waited 25 minutes, checked them, decided to turn them and let them have another 25 minutes (this departs a bit from vegan dad). I let them sit in their bamboo tower while I headed down to the market - I was planning a feast and I needed a little more.
When I returned with bags full of goodies I cooked up tofu scramble (eggs for K), warmed up the sausage in a bit of maple syrup, soya sauce and olive oil, and had K make some sauteed mushrooms while I cleaned up the kitchen. The syrup, sauce and oil browned the sausages into disguise and no one could have picked my vegan sausages out of an almost all-meat line up. I served brunch with some nice dark bread and a big pot of Lady Grey Tea. K was totally impressed and is demanding vegan sausages for every meal from this day forth.
To be honest, having never worked with wheat gluten, I am really impressed. Dead easy. Dead yummy and, most importantly, fun!
And hey, if you are looking at those super sexy containers in my top photo, you can find them at Habitat in a range of styles and colours. They are super cute with birds and ferns; they have a great seal so your goodies will stay fresh.