Time to eat breakfast for dinner.
I doubt I’ll be posting many breakfast recipes on this blog, since, while I am pretty obsessive about eating breakfast every day, the meal focuses almost exclusively on utility. I usually go with plain oatmeal with almond milk, a banana and peanut butter – delicious but boring. And also done in the microwave in 2 minutes, a plus when I am constantly running late for whatever thing. It’s been my favorite breakfast since years before I started eating vegan! Go figure 🙂
My other thing about breakfast is that it has to be nutritionally pure. I love me some greasy, salty, fatty foods, and I definitely indulge from time to time (hey, I tell myself, at least it’s still better for my body than dairy). I choose to exercise my limited amount of self-discipline on that matter by obsessively making sure my breakfast and lunch are free of sweeteners, refined carbohydrates, and processed ingredients. Then when dinner arrives I am ready to rock and roll with the oiliest of samosas. Yup, I make my unhealthiest choices at dinnertime so that the fewest hours of the day are spent on the couch regretting it. It’s a strategy that has worked pretty well for me for a while now.
These sausage patties fall somewhere in between the sanctity of my unsweetened oatmeal and the tragedy of fried pickles (beautiful, beautiful tragedy), but much closer to the oatmeal side of the spectrum. The main reason it’s a dinner food for me is because breakfast and lunch don’t occur at a time of day when I am near a stove or have time to be, and the patties are best eaten when freshly made, because they are crispy and delicious right out of the pan.
The flavor profile is eerily reminiscent of real sausage (says Mr. NINV). We both quite like basically everything about these actually (yup, the omni gobbled them up). But we also both agreed on the textural difference from sausage. Holds together as a patty, holds together when you cut it with your fork, but has a mouthfeel that is more bready than chewy or meaty. As someone who had real sausage in the not-incredibly-distant past, I can’t pretend it’s exactly like the real thing, but it IS extremely tasty. Give them a shot and let me know what you think!
Maple “Sausage” Patties with (optionally) Roasted Summer Vegetables
This is my first-ever attempt at homemade mock meat, and I didn’t expect to be so pleased with the results. I think you will be too! This recipe made 6 small patties, and I ate 2 along with a big plateful of veggies for a light but satisfying meal. The patties were adapted from here, but this general recipe floats around elsewhere on the vegan internet too.
1 tb whole flax seeds
1 tsp whole fennel seeds
1/2 cup textured vegetable protein
1/2 cup boiling water
1/4 cup brown rice flour (see notes)
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
Heaping 1/4 cup wheat bran
Heaping 1 tb nutritional yeast
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tb finely chopped fresh sage
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 cup water
5-10 drops liquid smoke
3 tb soy sauce
2 tsp maple syrup
1/4 tsp molasses (optional)
salt (see notes)
1 head of fennel, roughly chopped
2 bell peppers, seeds and stems removed, roughly chopped
1 white or yellow onion, roughly chopped
olive oil, smoked paprika, garlic powder, salt, pepper
Get the veggies roasting. Preheat the oven to 400 while prepping the veggies in a roasting pan. Add a light drizzle of olive oil and mix with hands to give a light coating. Season generously with paprika, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Roast for 30-40 minutes or until browned and done to your liking. Get ready for a delicious smelling kitchen!
Toast seeds and boil water for the patties. Set a cup of water to boil. Heat a small nonstick skillet (dry) and add flax seeds and fennel seeds. Cook for about 5 minutes on medium heat until fragrant and starting to brown, stirring frequently. Remove from the skillet and, using a mortar and pestle, roughly grind. Set aside.
Make the patties! Stir 1/2 cup of the boiling water in with the textured vegetable protein (TVP). Let sit for a few minutes (maybe give the vegetables a stir?). After the TVP has soaked up the water add the next 8 ingredients (brown rice flour thru cayenne pepper) as well as the ground fennel and flax; stir to combine (see notes). The original recipe includes a nice trick for adding the liquid smoke. Measure out the water and then stir the liquid smoke into the water before adding to the rest of the mixture; this way the liquid smoke is well-integrated. Finally, add the soy sauce, maple syrup, and molasses if you’re adding it. Mix everything well; taste for salt and add if needed. Form into small patty shapes; will make about 5-7 patties at the size I shaped them to.
Heat 1-2 tb (or enough to coat) of olive oil in a large nonstick skillet. When the oil is shimmering, add the patties. Let them cook on medium heat for about 4 minutes or until the bottom is browned; flip them and cook until browned on the second side. Pat dry with a paper towel, or let rest on a drying rack, and serve ASAP with a side of roasted veggies. The patties taste particularly good if you drizzle them with a bit of sriracha and maple syrup to finish.
Notes: I have a surplus of brown rice flour and I’m trying to incorporate it into more things that I make. I substituted half of the whole wheat flour with brown rice flour, and was happy with the results. Brown rice flour has a fairly neutral taste and I would imagine that you would have success using 100% brown rice flour or 100% whole wheat flour if you prefer.
Depending on the brand of soy sauce that you use, you may not need to add any salt at all (I didn’t). I wouldn’t salt the boiling water nor add salt at any other point until you have tasted the patty mix with the soy sauce added. You can always add salt, but you cannot take it away…
Finally, I do not recommend using a wooden spoon for this mix. Due to the consistency of the batter and the way that ingredients are added, the wooden spoon may absorb the wrong things (and in general, a lot of your batter).