Sunday, September 27, 2009

It's veggie sausage o'clock.

Yep, it's that time folks. Can you smell it? It's good for breakfast, lunch, or dinner (shape it into larger links and throw it on the grill pan, or add it to pasta sauce or lasagna) depending on how you season it, unless you're like me and will eat a breakfast sandwich any chance you get. It's got minimal ingredients (unlike that tasty Morningstar stuff- but I can't even get through the ingredients list), and it wasn't made by some crazy machine, who knows where, and touched by who knows who. I have tweaked this recipe a ton, using many recipes I found on the web as starting points, because none of them came out exactly as I wanted them to. I wanted sausagey flavor, without the piggy creepy bits. Yeah, you know the ones. Not to mention I got a bit tired of paying $4-5 for 8 little pucks. So, here it is...the recipe of the veggie sausage gods. Actually, looking at the ingredients, unless there's some crazy rule about nutritional yeast or something not being vegan, these are vegan! Don't run in shame. Make them, love them, impress your friends. PLUS, it contains a secret ingredient, and we all know how much everyone loves those. Shhhh...

Ok...for starters here's the ingredients photo:

Yep that's it!! Ok, there's water and olive oil too...but they're camera shy. The secret ingredient is blurred out for it's protection, you'll see it later though, don't worry.

This makes a bunch, about 30 or so patties. I figure if I'm going through the trouble I may as well make a lot and freeze them. You can half the recipe if you want.

Now for the recipe: PRINTABLE VERSION
3C TVP (texturized vegetable protein)- I get this in the bulk section, it's WAY cheaper.

2C wheat gluten - I get it in the bulk section as well, for the same reason. I use Bob's Red Mill.
3/4C chickpea (garbanzo) flour - any decent international food store will have this. Bob's Red Mill also makes it though.
1/2C flake nutritional yeast - bulk sections of most natural markets should have this. Not totally essential...but it kind of is. If you've only got the powdered, use less. I also put it on popcorn, salad, and toast. It's good for you and not one of those things you buy for one recipe and never use again. Hello, mace anyone?
3TB olive oil
2Tsp liquid smoke - I prefer the brand in the picture, no coloring and no funny stuff.
2TB garlic powder
2TB onion flakes - if you've only got the powder just use a bit less.
21/2TB rubbed sage
11/2TB smoked sweet paprika - regular is ok too, but the smoked is SO good, and I use it all the time. The sweet or spicy version works here, you'll just have to adjust the amount of cayenne pepper, which you might want to do anyway depending on the spice level of yours.
1/4Tsp cayenne pepper - adjust to taste.
2TB Spike - or your favorite seasoning salt blend.
1Tsp ground black pepper
1Tsp thyme
1Tsp marjoram

2-3C boiling water - you start with 2C, but might need a little extra.
Ok, now for the secret ingredient....drum roll....can you handle it?

1TB marmite or vegemite - don't question me on this. Look at the ingredients listing of that Morningstar stuff, seriously, do it. What do you see? Yeast extract? Am I right? Ok then. So, just find this stuff and use it. It's all glowy in the photo because it's extra special, and the idea of using it appeared one day when the heavens parted. It helps deepen the flavor, and also helps darken the color so you don't feel like you're eating old rubbery chewing gum. I wouldn't go all Men at Work on you and say you should have a sandwich with it, but a VERY thin smear on toast is tasty every so often.

You'll also need:
-aluminum foil
-a canning lid w/ring any size can be used, depending on how big you want the patties
-a piece of plastic wrap, or I use a parchment cupcake wrapper (see photo)
-a steamer contraption. I use this:

Ok, here we go...

Put the kettle on. Measure everything but the flours and put them in a large bowl.

Here's some closeups of ingredients some of you might not know about.

Nutritional flake yeast:


Texturized vegetable protein. It's soy based. They make "bacon" bits out of this stuff. Yep, Bacos are not real bacon, sorry.
Now add your secret ingredient.

Then add 2C of hot water, and give it a good stir. Now, I'm going to show you a picture, and you aren't going to like it. But, I don't want you to be shocked when you see something that so closely resembles dog food. Yep, I said it. It looks like dog food, or maybe cat food. Either way, it doesn't look good. It doesn't smell like it though! Just power through despite this:

Put a plate over it, and get the water in your steamer going. Let this sit for 5-10 minutes so the TVP can get hydrated.

Now add your 2 types of flour and mix it up. It will look like this:

Keep stirring, and add a bit more water if it seems dry. You don't want it to be wet, just a bit damp, and you want it to hold together when you press it in your hand the way a pie crust dough does. It should look like this when it's ready:

It looks sorta like cooked ground beef right? Ok,  now for the instructional photo montage. I've tried many ways to get the bumpy patty shape I wanted, here's the best way I've found. You can make this as thick or thin as you want, but I'd stick with about 1/4-1/2 inch to make sure they both hold together and don't roam into burger territory. You can also use a smaller lid (I used the quart sized) if you like the small guys, but I like it to fill out an English muffin.

Start with a foil strip (I don't measure these, and just roughly tear the strips as I go. But feel free to measure out your strips based on your lid size ahead of time. You need enough to go around to make a packet with room above and below to seal it), place your lined lid on top, grab some of the mixture, squish it down firmly into the lid. Then flip the lid, and push the lid while removing the ring. TA DA! I reuse the same cupcake wrapper for the whole batch. As I said earlier you could use plastic wrap as well. Then fold the little buddy up in his foil blanket, sealing the edges up tight. It doesn't have to be perfect. I steam about 15 at a time in the  for 15-20 minutes, and let them cool before trying to unwrap them. I take the unwrapped "sausages" and put them spaced on a cookie sheet in the freezer for about 20 minutes. This prevents them from freezing together in a stack when you bag them. Put them in freezer bags, and eat them for weeks.

That's it, you did it, way to go!


  1. Nice first post lady! Lots of pictures = awesome. :)

  2. I REALLY want to try this now. Thanks for breaking it down -- it actually seems doable.

  3. Well said, too. Let's exchange recipes. Once in a great long while, I'll put one of mine in blog form, but I'll do something weird-and-very-bad like omit 'water' from the ingredient list, so maybe I'm not the best person as far as that goes.

    In any case, nice place you got here.

  4. I forgot to mention that the vegemite or marmite is the perfect addition to stocks, soups, or stews...even chili. It's like a vegetarian bouillon concentrate, so it doesn't take much...but it adds a deep, slow cooked flavor. Experiment with it.

  5. I'm too excited about this -- about the blog in general, really. Can't wait to give this recipe a try (and I'm not veggie) a try and can't wait for your next recipe. Also, when you launch your cooking school, I'm in your first class.

  6. Hey Steph, welcome to the wonderful world of food blogging. There's no turning back now. I can't wait to see what you can do with this thing.