Monday, April 19, 2021

Vegan Italian Sausage

I get it, not everyone will want to go vegan. I really am not one of those people that will try to get you to change what you love. I am simply one of those ex-meat eaters that really never liked meat at all. This works for me. I started by adapting meatless monday years ago, and slowly it became meatless every day because of how great I felt. Perhaps you will always be a carnivore and that is ok. But perhaps you can give up ONE day per week to help save the planet? The blog Counting Animals found that following Meatless Monday for one year would spare an average of 3.5 animals a year per person. Multiply that by the entire U.S. population and it comes out to around 1.4 billion animals spared annually, per the Humane Society's estimates.

Check out these other 5 great benefits of Meatless Mondays:

Reduce Heart Disease and Stroke: Fruits and vegetables help your body fight cardiovascular disease. If you are excluding meat, be sure to still eat a well-balanced meal. Eating no meat on Mondays will encourage you to increase your veggie, fruit, whole grain, and legume intake.

Lower Cancer Risk: Red meat or processed meat may increase the risk of colorectal cancer. Having a diet rich in vegetables and fruits may lower your risk of cancer.

Prevent diabetes: Diets low in processed meat, and high in plant-based foods, may reduce your risk for type 2 diabetes. Adding more greens to your diet can help you maintain a healthy weight through a well-balanced diet, which is a key factor in preventing type 2 Diabetes.

Prevent obesity: Because greens are so rich in fiber, those who eat vegetarian diets have a lower risk of obesity. As obesity may lead to other health issues, going green on Mondays may help you maintain a healthy weight.

Save Money: Not only is excluding meat on Mondays good for your health, but also for your wallet. Save a few bucks each week by skipping meat on Mondays!

If you try it, use hashtag #meatlessmonday and tag me on your social channels sharing what you make!

  • Vegan Italian sausage 
  • you can sub in ANY recipe that calls for sausage and they won't even know it:

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup vegetable broth
1/4 cup tomato paste
1/4 cup white bean paste (can use chickpea, white beans, navy beans etc)
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes (the kind in oil), finely chopped
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 tablespoon dried basil
2 teaspoons maple syrup
2 teaspoons fennel seeds
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional for spice)
1/4 teaspoon liquid smoke
2 cups vital wheat gluten

Heat the olive oil in a medium frying pan or skillet over medium heat and when hot add the onions and garlic. Sauté until the onions turn translucent and begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

In a large bowl whisk together the vegetable broth, tomato paste, and white bean pasted until smooth. Now add the sun-dried tomatoes, nutritional yeast, dried basil, maple syrup, fennel seeds, dried rosemary, salt, crushed red pepper flakes, liquid smoke, and all of the sautéd onions and garlic along with any oil leftover in the pan, and stir to combine. Lastly, add the vital wheat gluten and combine to make a dough. 

Knead the dough to make sure it’s all combined, but once combined, stop kneading. The more you knead the tougher the sausages will get so only do as much as is needed to incorporate the vital wheat gluten.

Cut the dough into 6 equal-sized pieces. Take one of the pieces of dough and place it on a sheet of aluminium foil. Shape the dough into a rough sausage shape, but don’t worry about making it being perfect. 

Roll the sausage up loosely in a piece of aluminium foil then twist the ends closed. Repeat with the remaining pieces of dough to make 6 sausages. (looking for a better earth friendly way to do this but haven't found it yet message me if you have a solution!).

Add several inches of water to a large pot with a steamer basket and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add the sausages to the steamer basket and steam for 40 minutes. 
NOTE: you can use the instapot here if you have steamer attachment and you can reduce time to 15 minutes ) 

After steaming remove the sausages from the steamer and allow to cool completely in the fridge, overnight is best. The logs will have puffed up in the foil and become tight. Once cooled, remove the foil and they are ready to enjoy as is or you can fry, grill, slice, or enjoy them any way you like.

You can freeze to use for later, or store in the fridge if you plant to use this week. 

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