Tag Archives: sausage

Irish Sausages & planning a party

It has been busy days at the Smurf house. Although it is IDEAL hammock weather I have been as busy as…. someone that isn’t me…. with all sorts of activities. I have also been planning for my birthday extravaganza that is going down really soon. I have friends coming in from all over the country and we are going to camp out so I have been trying to figure out what I should make for ~20 people over several days.

Since nothing says Texas like a bowl of red I thought I could make frito pie one night but I was completely stumped for the second night. Then it dawned on me that what kind of Serbian-American vegan would I be without making sausages! They are the only thing that makes sense, I can prepare them ahead of time and then cook them on the grill and I have a million different recipes that I have tried. I liked the Korean dog I had at TaKorea and then I LOVED the Thai sausage taco I made a couple of weeks ago so I could just do it in dog form. And then I thought I could make Irish sausages and top them with caramelized onions and mushroom gravy. What do you think? Maybe I should call them something Irish though like O’sausages or Lil’ laddies, luckily there is till time to think more about that.

These sausages are kind of riffing on a tester recipe and they turned out fab. We cooked them with collard greens and garlic and ate it with some noochy grits. It was a fantastic quick meal.Irish Sausages (makes 8 )

1 cup cooked lentils
2 cups broth
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp soy sauce
2 1/2 cups vital wheat gluten

1/2 cup nutritional yeast

1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp nutmeg
pinch of ginger, cayenne, and pepper
Tear off 8 pieces of foil. Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl with your hand and knead a little bit. It will probably be pretty moist but you want everything sticking together. Divide into 8 pieces. Roll each piece into a log and then wrap in foil twisting the ends like a tootsie roll.

The Polaco Taco

This recipe was an experiment that didn’t turn out perfect but I am going to try and develop a better Kielbasa. The texture was really great, lately I have been using lentils in the sausages and I think they work better than beans. I read about the Polaco taco right before super bowl Sunday and I became obsessed with the idea since I love non-traditional tacos.  I am not a big sauerkraut fan though so I thought I would go in a more traditional Polish route and make a surowka of shredded carrots, apples, and lemon. The salad was really delicious once I added some sugar but the fat sausage was a little overwhelming and had too much caraway, even though I used just a half a teaspoon. I will continue to work on it though so we can have polaco tacos in time for baseball season or basketball season or whatever else you Chicago sports fan are so into.

Vegan Bangers & Mash

Once when I lived in  Olympia Washington we went 97 days without the sun. It rained every day. The local news would keep a very dramatic SUN WATCH and report the number of rainy days like we were approaching the apocalypse. People started to act a little weird. One guy stopped leaving the apartment building and even stopped changing out of his robe and slippers. I stopped sleeping at night because I was working on a  project and it was easier to get blocks of editing time in the wee hours which made everything seem even more out of whack. The whole experience made me really crave sunshine which partially lead to settling here in Austin TX where you can have 97 days of sun and 100 degree days.

People say that England is very similar to Washington and that the winter is cold and rainy all the time. I haven’t ever been there and I haven’t really had any English food, it all sounds either disgusting (blood pie) or really fun (bubble & squeak) but either way I never know what the hell they are talking about until I look it up. I decided to make bangers because I saw ideas for the spice mix on a sausage forum. I knew the bangers were sausage but what the hell was the mash? I guessed mashed potatoes but this is the country that calls fries chips and a cooter a fanny so who knows what other backward ideas they have. After looking at a lot of disgusting pictures I learned that bangers & mash is indeed sausage and mashed potatoes. It is pub grub so you are supposed to drink a pint alongside. It is so British that Radiohead has a song about it. Thom Yorke is vegan so maybe they are searching for recipes to recreate this dish right now! (Hi Thom Yorke I dig your music, please play Austin next time you are around so I don’t have to drive to Houston). I thought the recipe for the bangers was pretty awesome but I don’t know if it is authentic! I tweaked it a little and I think it turned out great. Mr. Smurf applauded after he finished! If you try it and you have had the non-vegan version let me know how they compare.Bangers (make about 8 sausages or 4 servings)

2 Cups of stock
2 Tablespoons of oil
4 Tablespoons of soy sauce
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 Cup Nutritional Yeast
2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon nutmeg
2 teaspoon sage
1 teaspoon pepper
dash of cayenne
1 tsp salt (if there isn’t any in your stock)
1 Cup of pinto beans, mashed
2 1/2 Cups Vital Wheat Gluten
First, get a big pot of water boiling and set up your steaming apparatus. I use a bamboo steamer on top of a stock pot.  Then tear off 8 pieces of foil, about 8X11 inches or (30X20 centimeters). Next mix all the ingredients, except the Vital Wheat Gluten in a bowl. Once everything seems well incorporated mix in the Vital Wheat Gluten. It shouldn’t quite be a dough but if it isn’t holding together at all add a little more vital wheat gluten. Divide it into 8 pieces and roll each piece up like a tootsie roll in a sausage shape and steam for 45 minutes, rotating the top and bottom tiers.
In the meantime make mashed potatoes however you like them. I like roasted garlic, earth balance and hemp milk added to mine.

When the sausages are done steaming, unroll them and fry them in a little olive oil with garlic on the stove and serve them with the potatoes and a nice pint. Enjoy!

Hungarian Cabbage Soup

I went on a trip to Hungary once. It was only later that I learned they have a marzipan museum in Szabo where you can see, among other things, a life-sized marzipan Michael Jackson. I don’t have very many regrets about my life but missing that museum is definitely one of them. Luckily, on that same trip I was able to see baby Jesus’ diaper so I can’t say the trip was a total bust.

I love Eastern Europe and the food, especially sausage which is often, unfortunately, the only dining option when traveling to those parts of the world. If you would have asked me long ago why I would never go veg I think a love of sausage would be up there. I wish I would have known then about seitan sausages because they are all I need to be a happy sausage lovin girl. Here in Austin you can even get whole wheat flour from the farmer’s market so if you wanted to make local cruelty-free sausages you could do it with much ease.

This soup recipe is everything that Lazy Smurf’s Guide to Life is all about. The recipe was really easy, the dish was very hearty and comforting, the recipe yielded a ton, the ingredients were healthy, seasonal, and local, it has Eastern European roots, was really cheap to make, and it tastes fantastic! That is a lot to ask for of a cabbage soup but I was really happy with how it turned out. Using seitan sausages really made the soup pretty wonderful but if you don’t have any around the soup would still be good. There is a lot of vinegar that we put in at then end which gives it the characteristic sour flavor but if you are not a fan you can leave it out or add a little at a time to taste.

Hungarian Cabbage Soup

2 onions, sliced into half moons
1 small cabbage, chopped
water, broth, or water mixed with broth powder
28 oz can of tomatoes, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 large potatoes, cut into chunks
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp brown sugar
2 sausages
1 Tbsp vegeta or seasoning powder
1 tsp liquid smoke

In a large soup pot saute the onions while chop up the rest of the ingredients. Once they are beginning to brown add the cabbage and the garlic followed by enough water to cover all the vegetables. Add the tomatoes and simmer for 30 minutes. In a small skillet saute the sausages with a little bit of olive oil until the turn brown. Add them to the soup pot along with the potatoes. Simmer for another 20 minutes uncovered. Add the vinegar, sugar, liquid smoke, and seasoning powder and taste. Adjust and enjoy with some hearty bread. Mmm soup.

Italian Feast, some Broccoli Quiche, and a Swiss Chard Fritatta

I have been cooking up a(heat) storm from Vegan Brunch so I thought I would share the wonder that is this books. First I made the Broccoli Quiche which was surprisingly creamy but somehow the Broccoli flavor wasn’t strong enough for me. I think next time I will saute it for longer with more liquid to bring out the flavor. It could have been a problem with my broccoli too. I love this picture I think it looks like some sort of a broccoli space ship.I also made the Italian Feast Sausages with Spinashed Potatoes and the Jalapeno corn gravy from the Veganomicon. I loved these sausages! It is so nice to have the recipe right there too, so I don’t have to come up with one on my own or look it up on my blog. We used these the next day for some Seitanic Jambalaya and they really elevated the whole dish. And the gravy was kind of magical despite its somewhat off putting yellow color. It uses only corn and cornstarch for thickening so it might be a good choice if you are trying to avoid flour or beans.  Finally the real star of the show, the Swiss Chard Frittata. I don’t know why this was so yummy, I think the only spice was Thyme or Oregano but I just loved it! I also made the lemon pepper roasted potatoes and they were really easy and good. Homemade Iced coffee has become my new staple and I am really excited to have it always on hand, but that is another post!I do wish this book had come out in the winter when I had nothing do all night besides cook, now that it is a hundred degrees outside and about a thousand in my kitchen is getting really hard to cook but I want to make everything from Vegan Brunch. What a conundrum.

The dog days of summer have arrived.

Vegan Brunch- Sausage & Greens with Smoked Almond Gravy

We have been day dreaming about opening a vegan brunch spot for forever. It is my favorite meal and probably what I make the most: breakfast tacos. Well now my concept of brunch has been greatly expanded since Isa Moskowitz finally put out the much anticipated Vegan Brunch book. I can’t wait to get a waffle maker and make some of the savory waffles! And here I thought I didn’t need any more kitchen appliances. Our first meal was in the top ten meals of all time according to Mr. Smurf who is a huge fan of Ms. Moskowitz’s work. We made Cherry Sage Sausages which were comparable with any vegan or non sausages we have eaten in out lifetime, smoked Almond gravy which was terrific, bagels with Kalamata olives that I raved about yesterday, and paprika spiced roasted potatoes which were (sadly) much better than my paprika roasted potatoes that I make all the time. Since it was breakfast for dinner we also had PBR.

The gravy was really terrific, it wasn’t as creamy as a normal gravy but the smokey taste added a lot to the whole meal. It is the kind of gravy you could eat with a spoon.

We had the cherry sage sausages in  a dish called something like “Collard Greens and Sausages” but I used kale because that is what I had on hand.  This is something that I make quite a bit but I followed the recipe for everything instead of just throwing stuff in and it really paid off. The potatoes, the greens, and the sausage were all great. I can’t wait to try more from the book! Hooray for Everything!

Tequila Sausage & Cornmeal Crusted Plantain Tacos

I made some tequila sausages based on Isa’s recipe. They came out really good, I love making these sauages, I have been trying to eat less soy so I keep falling back on thinking I need to make seitan even though what I really need to do is eat more vegetables! The problem is that I love making seitan, it is like a science experiment where you get to taste the results. It always leads me to think, next time I will make this or that but really I need to chill out, eat my greens and stop frying everything. I guess that is the problem with being a good cook, you eat all the time!

Despite my complaining I really liked these tacos. We got a fall harvest of tomatoes (take that North!) and I made a simple tomato salsa with them that was really spicy but perfectly complemented the tacos. I also had a plantain that I covered in cornmeal and pan fried. In another pan I sauteed the sausages with a red onion and then, just for good measure, I threw in some broccoli. Broccoli is really becoming one of my favorite things to add to tacos. It is hard to overcook and it really soaks up whatever you are cooking with in a lovely way while still holding up, unlike most of its leafy green friends.

If you already had the sausage made and the salsa ready to go you could easily make this meal in 10 minutes, just chop the onion, sautee it with the sausage & then the broccoli and meanwhile make the plantains.

Tequila Sausage

1/2 Cup Refried Pinto Beans (or cooked pintos mashed)
2/3 Cup Broth
1/3 Cup Tequila
1 TBSP olive oil
7 cloves of garlic
2 tsp fresh sage
1 heaping tsp fennel seeds, crushed
1/4 tsp cayenne
1 heaping tsp salt
1 1/4 Cup Vital Wheat Gluetan
1/4 cup almond meal
1 tsp red pepper flakes

Prepare steaming apparatus, I use a pot of water with a bamboo steamer sitting on top. Mix the dry ingredients together and the wet ingredients together. After everything is incorporated well add the wet to the dry and knead for a minute or two. Lay a piece of foil on the work area. Place 1/2 cup of the mix in the bottom third in the middle of the foil. Roll up into link and then tie off like a tootsie roll. Place the links in the steamer for 30 minutes and then refridgerate.

Makes 4 links

VeganMoFo: El Taco Italiano and a word on olives

I love olives. They are probably my most favorite food in the history of the world. When I was little I once had a dream that the Sears Tower in Chicago was made of olives. I also used to put an olive at the bottom of my ice cream cone for a salty finish. I still like to finish my meal with an “after dinner olive” and I make sure if I am running low to keep an “emergency olive” on hand in the jar until I replace my stash. This naturally led to a love of Italian and Greek food. Traveling in the Mediterranean I was so excited to be able to order a little plate of olives with every meal!

Living in Austin Texas I eat a lot of tacos. I often read on vegan food message boards “I don’t know what to put in my taco” and it makes me laugh because anything can be a taco! I had a bunch of red peppers in my fridge that I needed to use up and some black olives that I had already popped the can on as well so I decided to make and Italian-sausage-style seitan, a roasted red pepper creamy topping and add some olives. They were the best tacos ever. My partner had eaten three before I even took the picture!

Italian Style Seitan O’Greatness

Original Seitan Recipe

This turned out fantastic. The red wine and tomato paste made it very yummy. Next time I will replace the nutritional yeast with chickpea flour because I think that would make this the perfect Italian style seitan. You mix together the dry ingredients in one bowl and the wet ingredients in another bowl. Then add them together and knead for a few minutes. Roll the seitan into a log and then roll it into foil making sure to keep the whole dough surrounded and to twist the ends. Bake at 325 degrees Fahrenheit for 90 minutes. When I made the seitan I also roasted peppers, garlic, and potatoes in the oven and could have made cookies too since it takes so long!

1 and 1/2 cups Vital Wheat Gluten

1/4 cup nutritional yeast

1 tsp salt

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp fennel

1/2 tsp sugar

1 tsp pepper

1/4 tsp cayenne

3/4 tsp caraway

1/2 tsp corriander

1 Tbsp worchestire

1 and 1/2 Tbsps Red Wine

3 Tbsp tomato paste

1 Tbsp soy sauce

2 Tbsp olive oil

Roasted Red Pepper, Jalapeno, and Pine Nut Cream

First roast the peppers for 15 minutes in a 450 degree oven. Then let them steam in a paper bag for another 5 minutes to loosen the skin. Remove the skins if you want and add the peppers, jalapeno, pine nuts, and garlic into a food processor and mix well. Then add the water and salt, taste, and season again. Enjoy this cream with tacos, bagels, or maybe mix with some vegetable broth and some wine to make a pasta sauce!

4 red bell peppers

6 medium garlic cloves (you may want to use less)

1 jalapeno

1/2 cup pine nuts

1 tsp parsley or 1 Tbsp fresh parsley

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 cup water

For El Taco Italiano*

1/3 of Seitan roll, chopped

2 cloves garlic

1 Tbsp olive oil

5 cups of Spinach or 2 cups of other leafy green (Chard would be nice)

1 cup black olives

6 Tortillas

First wrap the tortillas in foil and warm up in the oven. Saute the sausage with a couple cloves of chopped garlic and some olive oil. After the sausage is browned add quite a bit of spinach or other dark leafy green. Cook until wilted. Assemble sausage mixture, red pepper cream, olives on tortillas and Enjoy!

*Note- you may want to cut WAY down on the garlic in this recipe. We love garlic but it was pretty intense! I think next time I would fry the sausage with red onion instead of more garlic.

VeganMoFo: Caribbean Jambalaya

This is one of my most favorite meals of all time. It is an adaptation of my friend Carrie’s recipe and it is so tasty, spicy, sweet and filling that I want to encourage you to try it.

2 spicy sausage links (I use Isa’s recipe)

1 large onion, diced

6 cloves garlic, chopped

1 large red pepper, seeded and chopped

2 jalapenos, seeded and chopped

1 can crushed pineapple

1/2 tsp curry powder

1/2 tsp cumin

1 mango, diced

2 cups mango juice

1 handful of cilantro, chopped

salt & pepper to taste

This is a dish that I usually do the prep while I am cooking (I chop the onion while cooking the sausage  and do the peppers while the onion is going) so times are not exact.  Make or buy the sausage ahead of time and start the rice or other whole grain first.

Fry sausage in 1/2 tablespoon olive oil until brown.  Remove from pan. Saute the onion on medium high heat in the same pan you used for the sausage for about two minutes. Add red pepper, jalapeno and then garlic and sautee for two more minutes. Add two cups of juice (and the juice from the canned pineapple).  Reduce for 5 minutes. Add sausage back in.  Cook for 3 minutes. Add pineapple and cumin, and curry powder.  cook for 5 minutes. Add mango, cilantro, and salt.  Cook for 1 minute and taste for seasonings. Serve over rice.

VeganMoFo- McVegan Griddle

A couple weekends ago I made Dreena Burton’s Polenta Pancakes from Eat Drink and Be Vegan. The method is so simple and easy that I bought prepared polenta just to try it. The recipe calls to simply cut the polenta into rounds, rub with cinnamon and sugar, and then grill on each side. We really liked them but I instantly regretted upon tasting them that I didn’t also make vegan sausage patties because I thought they would go together just perfectly and the polenta pancakes were kind of simple on their own.

I had also seen a post on “good eats and faux meats” for an Egg McVegan and although it looks like a brilliant idea it also seemed more in the “project” category so I haven’t made it yet. But I was inspired by it and the polenta pancakes to make the McVegan Griddle and it turned out better than I could have hoped. The polenta pancakes are so smooth and creamy but hold up really well to create the perfect encapsulation for morningstar sausage patty and a little bit of syrup. The whole project took 10 minutes from walking to the kitchen to trying and I am sure that this will become the standard “to go” breakfast in my house.