This week is a recipe that I found on the Vegan Dad blog. He found it on the Post Punk Kitchen blog.
I am a sucker for brats, sausages, chorizo, etc... Out of all of the things I miss from my transition to a vegetarian/vegan diet, brats et al are near the top of my list. I've tried many of the store brands with varying degrees of like. During the spring and summer, I make a weekly lunchtime pilgrimage to the vegan hot-dog cart that is just around the corner from my office for a brat with sauerkraut.
The great thing about this recipe is how simple and quick it is. It takes just a few minutes to mix the ingredients together, and there is no odd or unusual ingredients required.
I have eaten them straight out of the steamer (the first batch I made lasted a grand total of 45 minutes), and fried them up in a lightly-oiled pan with some onions, peppers, and mushrooms. I plan on making some for camping this summer with my boys and trying them on a hot-dog stick over the open fire and wrapping them up in a tin-foil pouch with some onions and peppers. The consistency leads me to believe that they will do just fine.
- 1/2 cup pinto beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 cup cold vegetable broth
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 cloves garlic, grated (with a microplane, or very finely minced)
- 1 1/4 cups vital wheat gluten
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 1 1/2 teaspoons fennel seed, crushed
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- Several dashes fresh black pepper
- Before mixing your ingredients, get your steaming apparatus ready, bring water to a full boil. The rest of the recipe comes together very quickly.
- Have ready 6 sheets of tin foil. In a large bowl, mash the pinto beans until no whole ones are left. Throw all the other ingredients together in the order listed and mix with a fork (I mixed it with a fork until it was all wet, then I kneaded it with my hands for a minute or two until the gluten started to get stringy to give it a good texture). Divide dough into 6 even parts. Mold the dough into about a 5 inch log and place on a sheet of tin foil.
- Wrap dough in tin foil, like a tootsie roll. Don’t worry too much about shaping it, it will snap into shape while it’s steaming because this recipe is awesome.
- Place wrapped sausages in steamer and steam for 40 minutes.
This is such a simple recipe, and just screams to be modified. You could make it into a beer brat by substituting the broth for your favorite micro brew (haven't tried this), and adjusting the spices - swap the fennel seed for 1/4 tsp of dried mustard. Or, just play with it and see what you can come up with.
Enjoy! If you come up with a killer variation, drop a comment and let me know. I'd love to try it!