Southern-style and Gluten free

Check it out!

This whole meal is weird. In a good way! First, I made gluten free cornbread (using the Happy Herbivore recipe, but subbing in Bob’s Red Mill Mix for the regular flour and adding 1/4 tsp xanthan gum). But it couldn’t be just regular old gluten free cornbread–no!–I made it blue! With blue cornmeal! And it was awesome!

Then I had the challenge of creating vegan sausages gluten free. I’m sure I’ll work on perfecting this, since they came out a little bready, but it was still pretty terrific. I just used Orgran gluten free gluten substitute for all of the vital wheat gluten in the recipe (save two tablespoons–I added that much chickpea flour). So, yeah, the texture was much more like bread than I’m used to, but overall it was very similar to regular vwg sausages.

And then I just laid it over some swiss chard, collard greens, onions and a little garlic, ginger and red pepper flakes. That’s the best and easiest and awesomest way to make any kind of greens, fyi. So tasty!

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Oktoberfesting

I love October. It is easily my favorite month of the year, followed only by December because it has my birthday in it. And because I’m still delighted by snow in December, not horrified by it and shaking my fist at the sky like I am in February.

Anyway, October is also the one time of year I drink beer. I don’t really care for beer, but out of due respect to Oktoberfest, and the one and a half years of German I took in college, I down half a bottle and call it a day.

I made Beer and Cheese Bratwurst! Well, obviously not really bratwurst, but it was still plenty delicious. My only possible complaint about them was that they were too sweet, but I find a lot of vegan meat to be sweeter than it’s evil meaty counterpart. Anyway, here’s the recipe:

Beer & Cheese Bratwurst (makes 4 large sausages):

  • 1/2 cup white or pinto beans
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 3/4 cup vital wheat gluten
  • 1/4 cup TVP
  • 2 T daiya (or other vegan) cheddar
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp sage
  • 1/4 tsp ground marjoram
  • pinch allspice
  • pinch nutmeg
  • pinch caraway seeds
  • pinch black pepper
  • 1 cup of vegan beer, cider, or ale
  • 1 T soy sauce or liquid aminos

First, mash the beans really well with a fork, then add all the dry ingredients (including fake cheese). Mix them together really well before adding in the wet–the vital wheat gluten will make it come together super fast. Roll your sausages up in foil (see these directions) and place in your steaming apparatus. Steam sausages for 40 minutes, then let rest for at least an hour in the fridge. Reheat by baking (in a conventional or toaster) oven at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Or grill!

As delicious Oktoberfesty sides to the sausages, I made baby potatoes roasted with onion powder and garlic powder (it makes a delicious crust on the outside) and some braised cabbage (basically following the recipe for seitan and cabbage from Appetite for Reduction but with no seitan). I didn’t know you could cook red cabbage the same as green–but you can! And it’s just as good! If not better!

So get your Oktoberfest on!

Cherry Sage Sausage Two Ways

Oh, Vegan Brunch! I love your sausages. And since I’ve figured out how to make them not so darn tough (secret: lower the vital wheat gluten to 3/4 of a cup) I’ll be making them all the time. ALL THE TIME. Sausagefest! (Someone is going to come here googling “sausagefest” and not like what they find).

So, I made the Cherry Sage Sausages the first time with Chickpea gravy (Appetite for Reduction), and they were pretty good. I think that sausage needs a little doctoring, because it was on the bland side. However, the next day, it tasted fantastic.

Then, I decided to try it with some spinach, onion, garlic and mushrooms over sliced polenta. So, so good. My husband smothered this in red pepper flakes, and announced it delicious.

This also makes a really pretty presentation, and polenta is so cheap, good for you, and low in fat and calories–it’s like the perfect food! I think if you had a little vegan parmesan it would go perfect on this. Also, easy. SO EASY.

 

 

Maple Sausages & Hash

This dinner is brought to you by brunch. And by the Post Punk Kitchen! And the letter K, and the number 7.

I’ve wanted to try these maple sausages forever. And my only beef *snicker* with them is that they’re too firm. I’m like baby bear when it comes to sausages. Not too soft, not too hard. I think the Happy Herbivore Spicy Sausage has the best texture, for my money, and that’s what I prefer to make. So now I just need to figure out the ratios so I can get different flavors–because the smoky maple flavor in this sausage was fantastic! It seems sorta funny to me that when I was an omni, I hated sausage. But I totally, completely, head-over-heels adore vegan sausage.

The rest of the dinner was just a bunch of steamed kale with garlic salt and nutritional yeast on it (the most vegan-y thing in the world) and Red Flannel Hash from Vegan Brunch. I’ve made it before, and guess what? Still good.

 

Eggplant & Spicy Sausage

Have I told you how much I love the Spicy Sausage recipe from Happy Herbivore? LOVE IT. So insanely good. And somehow, it manages to taste better every time I make it. This time the texture was amazing–so soft and squishy, but a little crusty on the outside…aaah. And I made it a touch less spicy by adding only half of the cayenne it called for–I discovered the last few times I made this sausage, it was uncomfortably spicy.

For this dinner I just cooked some rotini pasta, and tossed in the marinated eggplant and zucchini from the Trader Joe’s freezer section. Since it comes pre-marinated, it already has it’s own sauce. Just toss with the pasta and you’re good to go. Of course I sprinkled on a little nutritional yeast, and a touch of balsamic vinegar doesn’t hurt, either.

Add in a little crusty bread and this dinner is done! And super easy.

 

Spicy Sausage and Collard Greens

 

Do you like sausage? Do you like spicy, spicy sausage?

Me, too!

This is another dinner from the Happy Herbivore. I think I’m starting to figure out why she’s so happy. Seriously. This dinner was fantastic. My only complaint was that the collard greens were a little on the bland side, but when doused liberally with hot sauce (as suggested) they perked right up. I loved this sausage recipe, too, though it did come out a little spongy. But the flavor was just right, and the kind of spicy I like–not too hot to stop eating it, but your lips burn and you break out into a sweat. I also, I LOVE spicy food during hot weather. Don’t you?

 

Breakfast Sampler

I had some leftover tofu, leftover onion, leftover sweet potato…and some experimental sausage. This is what happened:

I made the basic tofu scramble from Vegan Brunch, but I halved the amount of cumin, and replaced it with onion powder. Gentle reader, do not do as I did. Let this be my word of caution to you: it will be bland. Oh, yes, so bland. Use all the cumin, even if you think it’s too strong. Yikes!

The sausage was Gimme Lean. I’ve been trying to think up a meatless alternative to the breakfast sandwiches I make for my husband, and I wasn’t sure if I was up to making breakfast sausage patties myself. I’ll say this–it does taste JUST like sausage. The texture is ever-so-slightly off, but come on. How close do you need it to be? The price at our grocery store is the only hard part: $5.88. Sheesh! So, I think I’m going to glance lovingly over the internet and see if I can’t figure out how to make something like this on my own. Any suggestions?

As for the sweet potatoes–those were my great triumph!

Sweet Potatoes & Onions (serves 2):

  • 1 largish sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch chunks
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • salt & pepper to taste

Prepare a steamer for the sweet potato, and steam those chunks! They should be ready in 10 mins, or when easily pierced by a fork. When cool enough to touch, mix all the ingredients together with your hands (I like to do this directly on the baking sheet). Bake at 400 degrees until everything looks a little browned (probably about 10 to 15 mins, but check on it). Could this be any simpler? But it tasted SO GOOD. I usually really sweeten up my sweet potatoes, so it was nice to get a little hint of the savory.