as a fresh start to the new year, and a bit of a cleanse after a full-fledged, meat-filled trip to atlanta and new orleans - daniel and i declared the start of vegan month. the goal was exactly as it sounds, one full month eating as vegans.
i can't say i was excited about the idea from the start, but soon it became somewhat of a fun challenge in the kitchen! We were always looking for ways to satisfy ourselves in the manner we had when we were eating anything we considered to be "real food." these vegan sausages were somewhat of a breakthrough in vegan deliciousness - the perfect discovery to add a meat-like flavor and good source of protein to breakfasts.
plus, they are much cheaper than other sausage substitutes from the store, and contain only simple, whole ingredients!
side note: don't be scared away by the ingredient list! it's long, but a lot of these are things you're likely to have around the house. if some of the more unusual ingredients aren't something you would normally buy, look for them in your local health food store in bulk to buy just what you need for this recipe (but consider buying extra nutritional yeast - it's a great source of vitamin b12 and delicious sprinkled on popcorn, pasta, and lots more!).
1/2 cup textured vegetable protein
1/2 cup boiling water
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup oat or wheat bran (we simply blend rolled oats in the vitamix to make oat bran)
1 Tbsp nutritional yeast
1 Tbsp fresh ground flax seeds
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp ground sage
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp salt
dash cayenne (or more, if you want a little spice)
1 Tbsp water
2 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp blackstrap molasses
in a medium bowl, stir together textured vegetable protein and boiling water, let soak for about 5 minutes.
add flour, bran, and all dry spices to the bowl and mix until combined.
add remaining water, soy sauce, maple syrup, and molasses. stir to combine into a thick paste-like substance.
in a small pan, heat about 1/4 inch of a high heat oil (like canola) over medium heat.
drop dollops of batter into the pan and flatten with the backside of a spoon to create patties 2-3 inches across and about 1/2 inch thick.
cook patties until browned. this will take a few minutes on each side.
remove from pan and place on a plate with a paper towel to absorb excess oil. repeat with the rest of the batter. plate of finished "sausages" can be placed in a warm oven to keep hot until served.