I am the type that goes to the grocery store and checks the nutrition facts labels on EVERYTHING.
I can’t help it. I want to know how much sodium there is. Mysterious dyes. Artificial flavors. And all that stuff that I try to avoid.
I think I watch too much of the Dr. Oz Show. Blame it on Dr. Oz!
But sometimes I REALLY want and crave sausage. Yup! Or hot dogs. Processed meat. You name it! I know there are some brands that are better and have all-natural ingredients. I know for sure that Trader Joe’s probably has better options. But the nearest Trader Joe’s is about an hour away. Also, they can be a bit pricey!
Well last year, I found this recipe for vegetarian sausage from Vegan Dad and I was super amazed by how easy it is to make and how very few ingredients are needed.
This vegetarian sausage is made with vital wheat gluten, that’s the stuff you need! Vital wheat gluten is the ESSENTIAL ingredient that you need to achieve the sausage-y and meaty texture. You can’t substitute the vital wheat gluten! And after you add all the other ingredients you shape them up and roll them into cute tootsie rolls with foil and steam them.
I just love having this stuff around. I could use it on all those recipes that call for sausage but I could never make because I never have any sausage. Why? Because of those scary nutrition label facts!
Also, this vegetarian chorizo is very versatile. I mix it into my scrambled eggs, slice it and sauté it with diced potatoes for a quick breakfast hash, add it to a veggie soup, mix it into a rice dish! Serve as an appetizer. ETC!
PLUS there’s no guilt. There’s no MYSTERY ingredients lurking around. It has protein from the beans, and some vitamin B’s from the nutritional yeast. And YES, it really does taste like meat!
I decided to make my own version of sausage and played around with the spices and liquids to turn this into a chorizo with a little Mexican or Spanish accent. I’m not sure about Spanish because I’ve never had Spanish chorizo! But I know Mexican chorizo very well and I can say it has quite a similar flavor to that of Mexican chorizo. Not 100% but CLOSE!
If you don’t know about either of these chorizos here’s a little quick info. Mexican chorizo is more of a spicy ground pork mixture that you take out of its plastic casing but Spanish chorizo is solid and sliced up like a regular sausage.
Anyway, this version of vegetarian sausage or chorizo is full of spice and flavor so it really helps to enhance any dish. I just made a simple tomato-based stew by sautéing some onions in a little oil. I added the “chorizo” and sautéed. Then I added some cooked garbanzo beans and some tomato sauce and simmered. Ready for lunch!
And if you have leftovers, just slice them up and freeze them in a freezer bag! They freeze very well!
- 1/2 cup beans (you could use any kind you want, I used pinto beans)
- 1/3 cup vegetable broth
- 1/3 cup tomato sauce
- 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar (or white vinegar)
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 2 tablespoons water
- 2 cloves garlic (or 1/2 teaspon of garlic powder)
- 1 1/4 cup vital wheat gluten
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon cumin (ground)
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 3 teaspoons paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon dried mexican oregano (or more)
- 1-2 Pinches cinnamon
- 1 small pinch cloves (ground)
- 1/2 teaspoon creole seasoning
- salt & pepper (to taste)
Makes 4 sausages
Adapted from VeganDad
|In a small or medium bowl mash the beans really well until they're nicely mashed up and smooth.|
|Add the broth, tomato sauce, vinegar, oil, water, garlic, and whisk well.|
|Using a fork, stir in the gluten and blend it in well. The mixture will star to look like a dough. Add the nutritional yeast and combine it. Add the herbs and spices and mix them in. You could knead it with your hands like dough to blend everything together if you want. Next, form the dough into a round shape.|
|Cut 4 pieces of foil paper and have them ready. Section off the dough into 4 pieces. Roll each section into a log and wrap into a piece of foil paper, twisting the ends like a tootsie roll.|
|Have a steamer basket with boiling water ready and add the foiled up "chorizo" to the basket. Steam for 40 minutes.|
|After they've cooled off a bit I coated them with paprika by rolling them in a bowl with just enough paprika to coat them lightly. I like the red color on them and paprika is not too hot or spicy (I think). This step is optional!|