Italian Sausage

I just posted this on my Instagram (Reesha_ is my username) and people seem to be going nuts over it- as I still am too. And I’m salivating as we speak about how I still have some left over for spaghetti tonight. I am not a huge faux meat fan, but I would dabble here and there. What I hated most about those kind of products were the preservatives, soy protein isolates (GMO’s!!), “natural flavors” (usually means MSG), oils, etc… Just things I really don’t find plant based or healthy. And those type of things can get pricey. So I finally decided to try and make my own after looking at lots of different recipes for the past few months.

To get the food blog rolling I must talk about my favorite Vegan chefs- Isa Chandra Moskowitz & Terry Romero. They have been cooking cruelty free for years and I use their recipes the most out of every cook book, blog, and google search I’ve come across. In fact sometimes I’ll find a recipe that looks great and then I’ll notice they completely ripped off these two fine ladies without giving them credit. Jerks! Their website is http://www.theppk.com (The Post Punk Kitchen) and I own 95% of their cookbooks. They have really helped me ease into a plant based eating lifestyle, which I started nearly 2 years ago. If you follow my blog you will hear all about them, but this particular recipe I got off their website and then modified to my liking.

I did a fusion of their normal sausage and their smoky maple sausage, so here it goes:

1/2 cup of organic navy beans (or pinto, I use Eden brand because they don’t use BPA in their cans)
3/4 cup of vegetable broth
2 TB organic Tamari sauce
1 1/2 tsp. liquid smoke
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/4 cups of vital wheat gluten (I use Bob’s Red Mill brand)
2 TB nutritional yeast (or nooch as some vegans call it)
2 TB chickpea flour (again, I use Bob’s Red Mill brand)

Then I looked up traditional italian seasonings that would go in normal sausage:
1 tsp. fennel seeds
1 tsp. oregeno
1/2 tsp. thyme, parsley, basil, & red pepper flakes
salt and pepper to your liking (few dashes of each is all I used)

Before you get to mixing your ingredients you need to put a large pan filled with water onto high heat to get it boiling (to really set the sausages you steam them in tin foil). Once that is going you mash up the beans with a fork until no whole beans are left and then simply add the rest of the ingredients in the order listed above, still using a fork to mix it all up. Once that is done you separate into 4 balls, shape them into sausage-like shapes and wrap them in tin foil (like tootsie rolls, as the ladies at PPK say). Then once the water is boiling I put the sausages into my strainer, put the lid on, and set the timer for 40 minutes. I checked every 10 minutes to make sure the water hadn’t boiled down, and had to add more water twice throughout the 40 minute time frame.

Once finished the possibilities are endless! Sauté, grill, add to pasta sauce, put on pizzas (as I did with mine), etc. etc. etc. I couldn’t believe how easy it was! After I had all the ingredients on the counter it took less than 5 minutes to make and assemble. And Italian sausage is only the beginning- there’s the smoky maple one from theppk.com for breakfast amazingness, apple and sage, mexican, pretty much anything you can dream up. I am so excited about this and am kicking myself for not trying it earlier.

Here is the link to their original recipes:
http://www.theppk.com/2012/01/vegan_sausage/
http://www.theppk.com/2011/05/smoky-maple-sausages/

So a huge reason I have been putting off doing a blog is time (what with the child and all) and pictures. Luckily my man has a really nice camera so I will start using that in the future, but for now I have been lazy and just take pictures with my outdated iPhone 4 (not even the S!). So hopefully I’ll take decent pictures soon that will make the food I make look better and me look more credible too, duh.

Chris Farley: Mmmm... sausage....

Chris Farley: Mmmm… sausage….

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