Friday, November 14, 2008

Everyone responds to the rising food prices in one way or another. I make a bunch of fake meat.

Do you love sausage, but know it's horrible for you, so you avoid it? Do you love vegetarians sausages as well, but they are so friggin' expensive they have become a luxury food item?  Solution - make your own vegetarian sausage. This has become an awesome concept for me, because I don't like mushrooms and a lot of vegetarian pretend meat products are diced up mushrooms (yeck), or they are shoved full of sundried tomatoes (double yeck).  

I found this recipe from VeganDad and as with all fake meat recipes, it is very tweakable.  His recipe called for 1/2 cup pinto peans, and I used an old bag of navy beans that Logan gave me 3 years ago when he moved out of the 14th street house. 

For this recipe, I used my cuisinart, but VeganDad and other folks just say to mash with a fork.

For 10, 3 ounce sausages:
  • 1 1/2 cups beans (I used navy)
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons Braggs or Soy sauce
  • 2 2/3 cups vital wheat gluten
  • 3/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 2 cups cold water (important that it is super cold) 
  • LOTS of hot pepper flakes - I used 2 tablespoons
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
PROCEDURE: Get steamer going. I used a two tiered food steamer with lots of surface area, but a pot steamer will work as long as you keep rotating the sausages and don't let them crowd each other too much.

Put the beans, garlic cloves, olive oil, and Braggs in the food processor and chop the hell out of it till everything is all chopped up. You don't want any whole beans in there. 

Next, add the wheat gluten, yeast and water, and pulse about thirty times until the mixture is homogenous, but not being overly kneaded.  

Put all your spices in, and pulse a dozen more times, just to make sure everything is distributed. Some people say not to overly mix this, but I turned my processor on and walked away to get more spices, and it turned out awesome.  

**I used a food scale to weigh my whole dough hunk, then lopped off sections which were the weight of the total divided by ten.  Um. You can just grab some off the hunk, and try to make about ten.

Take some dough and lay it onto a strip of foil, then roll the dough into it, and twist the ends tight. It is not important to shape them perfectly, they will just fill the foil tube on their own. Layer in the steamer and cook for 40 minutes. 

When they are done, carefully pull them out of the steamer and lay them across the counter to cool. When safe to touch, unroll them from their foil, but let them sit there cooling more. They may seem gooey and weird, but when they dry out, their consistency is perfect. 

Enjoy grilled, sauteed, sliced up for soups, or in a bun. Yum! *** I'm packaging mine up in freezer ziplocks to store. Way better than buying the Tofurkey ones at the market, and this way you can style them out with your own flavor preferences. 

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