Sunday, September 25, 2011

Vegan Tempeh Sausage

It's a long backstory, but my husband and I are going vegan for a week. In full disclosure, we have some concessions. Anything perishable in the fridge that would spoil as a result of our neglecting it for a week, is exempt, including both leftovers and some whole ingredients. So, there will be some consumption of turkey (him), leftover poblano stuffed peppers (me), and a paneer-rice casserole (us). Also, without getting into a lengthy explanation, we are not omitting honey or white sugar.

Provided we can commit to this for a week, here is a skeleton of a planned menu with some possible meal/snack options for the week that may or may not appear as blog posts:
  • vegan tempeh sausage
  • pepita/cranberry snack mix
  • chili-lime pistachios
  • Indian bi bim bop
  • broccoli bow ties
  • fried green tomatoes
  • cashew cream
  • Spanish bean soup
  • carmelized onion & spinach hummus
  • almond oatmeal
  • enchilada casserole
  • lentil bolognese
  • japchae
  • bean burritos
  • polenta with maple/cranberry topping
I promise you, we will not get to all of these, and some may be disasters. But that's the fun of the kitchen.

Anyway, this morning I made vegan tempeh breakfast patties. Be forewarned: If you expect this to taste like genuine sausage, you will be sorely disappointed. Additionally, though the recipe says they are patties, they are more suitable for crumbles. If you're looking for a low-fat alternative to sausage, you will also be disappointed as tempeh is not low-fat and the recipe uses a lot of oil. On a happy note, the fat is healthy fat, tempeh is packed with protein (20g a serving) they are quite yummy, and smell like Thanksgiving!

Recipe taken from my standby, Moosewood New Classics. Wording changed.

Vegan Tempeh Sausage (serves 4 hungry people)
  •  16 oz tempeh (2 packages)
  • 3 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1 tsp dried sage
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 3 Tbsp AP flour
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Heavily oil a large cookie sheet.
2. Crumble the tempeh and place in a steamer basket. Steam for 10 minutes or until soft. While the tempeh is steaming, whisk together the remaining ingredients in a small bowl. Use 2 Tbsp of the oil, reserve the remaining Tbsp.
3. When cool enough to handle, place the tempeh in a large bowl and add the small bowl of mixed ingredients. With clean hands, combine til well incorporated. Add additional oil or flour if necessary. Mixture will be crumbly.
4. Roll into balls (1 in or larger), place on cookie sheet and flatten to 1/3 in or so. Brush with the remaining oil.
5. Cook for 5 mins until tops are brown, flip, and cook for an additional 5 mins.

Kitchen Notes: Unfortunately, these do not form into patties well, they are super crumbly, fall apart easily, but are by no means dry. The original recipe calls for only 2 Tbsp flour, but it was impossible to bind the ingredients. The additional Tbsp does not impart a floury taste nor does it dry out the patties. I saved half of the mixture and reserved it for another recipe when I realized it was so crumbly. My phone settings make the patties appear yellow, they were actually a nutty brown color when done.

Verdict: If you require a perfect presentation, avoid this recipe. If you don't mind a patty that falls apart when you eat it, you may enjoy this. It's far more nutritious than commercial veggie sausages, and is exceptionally tasty in my opinion. As mentioned above, they're crumbly, but not dry at all. It would be a great filler for an omelet (negating the vegan factor, I know!) or for a veggie sausage gravy. The ends are perfectly crispy, the middle juicy, chewy and satisfying. A keeper.

1 comment:

  1. I'd suggest adding fennel seeds as that's what makes it breakfast sausage to me!