Veggie Sausage Holy Grail
June 21, 2011 8:16 PM   Subscribe

Veggiefilter: I want to make really good vegetarian sausages.

My experiments thus-far, based on recipes found in amateur cooking blogs, have been underwhelming. I like the LightLife Italian Style "Smart Sausage" (also sold by Trader Joe's as Not Sausage or something similar). Also like Boca sausages and Gimmie Lean. But not attached to a particular style.

Do you have a really yummy veggie sausage recipe? My homemade sauerkraut awaits accompaniment!
posted by serazin to Food & Drink (15 answers total) 25 users marked this as a favorite
I was on the hunt for a Morning Star clone and this sounded the most promising. . haven't tried it yet though.
posted by patrad at 8:22 PM on June 21, 2011

I'm vegetarian and absolutely hooked on anything made by Quorn. They have sausages in their range. Sometimes it tastes so much like meat (as far as I can recall) it actually makes me feel guilty. Their "chicken nuggets" are insanely good.
posted by smithsmith at 8:33 PM on June 21, 2011

Upton's Naturals are really good. The Apple Sage is my favorite.
posted by Slinga at 8:35 PM on June 21, 2011

Seitan O' Greatness. Sooooo yummy.

After experimenting, I've found that more yeast makes the seitan more spongy & bread-like, while less yeast makes it a bit more like sausage, but then it gets a bit tough. I think varying the amount of liquid could change that, but I haven't figured out how. It's also really good with barbecue sauce instead of ketchup.

Whatever you do, this recipe is pretty much impossible to screw up -- it always tastes great, even when the texture is not exactly what you intend.
posted by lesli212 at 8:35 PM on June 21, 2011 [3 favorites]

I have two recipes that I've tried from the Vegan Brunch cookbook (awesome book) that I really like. There's three listed so I'll give you all three even though I've tried only two. The cooking directions are the same for all three so I'll list the cooking directions after I list the three different recipes. Here goes:

Cherry Sage Sausages
(haven't tried this one)

1/2 cup beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup vegetable broth
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon liquid smoke
2 garlic cloves, finely grated or minced
1 3/4 cups vital wheat gluten
1/4 cup nutrional yeast
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon dry rubbed sage (not powdered)
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
Fresh black pepper 1/2 cup finely chopped dried cherries

Chorizo Sausages

1/2 cup cooked pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup vegetable broth
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 teaspoons lemon zest
2 garlic cloves, finely grated or minced
1 1/4 cups vital wheat gluten
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon dry rubbed sage (not powdered)
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon cayenne (optional if you don't like heat)

Italian Feast Sausages

1/2 cup cooked navy beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup vegetable broth
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 garlic cloves, finely grated or minced
1 1/4 cups vital wheat gluten
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
2 teaspoons fennel seeds, crushed
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Several dashes fresh black pepper

Cooking instructions:

Before mixing your ingredients, get your steaming apparatus ready and bring water to a full boil. The rest of the recipe comes together very quickly.

Have ready four sheets of tinfoil. In a large bowl, mash the beans until no whole ones are left. Throw all the other ingredients together in the order listed and mix with a fork. Divide dough into four even parts. Place one part of dough into tinfoil and mold into about a 5 inch log. Wrap dough in tinfoil, like a Tootsie Roll. Don't worry too much about shaping it; it will snap into shape while it's steaming.

Place wrapped sausages in steamer and steam for 40 minutes. Unwrap and enjoy immediately or refrigerate until ready to use. You can slice and sautee them in olive oil for a few minutes, or grill whole and then slice.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 8:38 PM on June 21, 2011 [7 favorites]

Oh and can you share your homemade sauerkraut recipe?
posted by MaryDellamorte at 8:39 PM on June 21, 2011

I have also made the Seitan O' Greatness, and it is delicious.

I am now super-excited to try the recipe for "chorizo" sausages MaryDellamorte posted, because Soyrizo has been an excellent addition to my life. Seriously, if you have access to Soyrizo try it.
posted by grapesaresour at 9:44 PM on June 21, 2011

I have made something very much like the Seitan o' Greatness, but steamed rather than baked, and nice serving-sized sausages rather than one huge loaf. It's Julie Hasson's seitan sausage recipe and it is delicious. Here's a video.

That said, if you just want to buy the best damned veggie sausage in the world, then you're looking for the products of Seattleā€™s Field Roast Grain Meat Co., specifically their Smoked Apple-Sage sausage, which I have been known to eat cold, straight from the package. Looks like you can find 'em at Village Market (5885 Broadway Terrrace), Nature's Best Foods (1431 Jackson St.), or the Piedmont Grocery Co. (4038 Piedmont Ave.)
posted by mumkin at 1:16 AM on June 22, 2011

Field Roast is awesome. I like the Italian sausage, which is absolutely great on pizza. The chorizo is also good.
posted by mneekadon at 2:34 AM on June 22, 2011 [1 favorite]

The veggie sausages in Cookin with my Crawdaddy and the sequel are amazing, and there are lots of steamed seaitan recipes in the various Isa Chandra Moskowitz books - all excellent. Steamed seitan sausages are your friend.
posted by Wylla at 3:05 AM on June 22, 2011

Seconding MaryDellamorte's post above, strongly.
posted by something something at 5:06 AM on June 22, 2011

I've made those Italian sausages from Vegan Brunch and the flavor was perfect, but I thought the texture was a little on the soft side for me. So, I used the seasonings in my seitan recipe, which is a combination of the Seitan O'Greatness and Bryanna Grogan's seitan turkey recipe. The results were nice and chewy. I've had the sausage on English muffins, in pasta and on pizza.

Seitan Sausage

Dry ingredients
2-1/2 cups vital wheat gluten
1/2 cup chickpea flour
1/3 cup nutritional yeast flakes
3 tablespoons vegetarian chicken broth powder
2 tablespoons rubbed sage
1 tablespoon crushed fennel seeds
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon thyme
salt to taste (1/2 teaspoon)

Wet ingredients:
1-3/4 cups water
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced

Preheat oven to 325 F. In a large mixing bowl, blend the dry ingredients together. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients. Add the wet to the dry ingredients and mix well. Knead by hand for about 5 minutes to develop the gluten (or you can use a stand mixer equipped with dough hooks.)

Divide the dough into two pieces. Roll one piece into a log about 2-1/2 inches thick. Roll the log up in a piece of aluminum foil and twist the ends. Repeat with the other piece. Bake for 90 minutes and let cool some before unwrapping.

Makes 2 pounds, about 12 servings.
posted by zinfandel at 1:44 PM on June 22, 2011

Response by poster: Thanks so much folks! I'll try out a few of these recipes and report back.
posted by serazin at 8:19 PM on June 23, 2011

Response by poster: As for saurkraut, I've just finished my first batch and it is EASY and DELICIOUS! I basically used this recipe (with some tips from a friend who has been making kraut for a while). I did it in a half gallon canning jar - didn't want to buy a crock and my friend pointed out you can see what's going on better in glass. Basically you just mix shredded cabbage and salt, weight it down, and let it sit in it's juice for one to two weeks. Skim off any foam or scum every day and keep the veggies immersed (I had them weighted down with a clean bottle). You can also include other veggies and spices. It's great!
posted by serazin at 8:23 PM on June 23, 2011

Response by poster: So I made the Italian Feast. It is good. Very good. It works sliced up in pasta sauce or whole. Thank you - I will make it again. I'm not sure it's a holy grail level of good but perhaps that is not possible without some kind of weird technology of food processing. Will look for the cookbooks mentioned above to see what they offer.
posted by serazin at 7:54 PM on July 4, 2011

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