I was pleased to be offered a copy of The Sexy Vegan: Happy Hour At Home by Brian L. Patton from New World Library. This is his second cookbook, you may already be familiar with his first book The Sex Vegan: Extraordinary Food from an Ordinary Dude. Learn more about this not-so-ordinary dude on his website here.
I flipped through to see which recipe to make first and was enchanted by the Pretend Italian Sausages. This recipe comes from the Little Britain chapter menu, with other recipes you can pair with it like creamy polenta, peppers and mushrooms. I was never a fan of meat sausages in my pre-vegan days until in 2012 when I was introduced to Field Roast sausages at the Toronto Vegetarian Food Festival and I was hooked! Apple Sage is my absolute favourite and I’d been meaning to try to duplicate it with seitan (wheat protein).
You can also make them ahead of time and store in the fridge for up to four days or the freezer for up to a month. Unlike many “fake meat” from the grocery store that can be full of highly processed/GMO soy, the protein and meaty texture from these soy-free sausages come from the white beans and potatoes. It’s just delicious plants in the perfect shape to enjoy in a bun.
We also tried the Tofu-Citrus “Titrus” Dippers and Citrus Soba. Both recipes would be great if you’re a fan of creamy dressings as well as the combination of tangy orange and sesame flavours. (See also a photo on the front cover, above.)
I like that Brian’s fun and cheeky personality comes through in his writing. He’s hilarious, just check out his cooking videos like this episode featuring to Stromboli.
This cookbook would be great for anyone who loves to create fancy appetizers to wow guests at parties. Many recipes feature alcohol; there’s an entire chapter of cocktail recipes! Tip: get the e-book as I did which has colour photos, over the hard copy which has black and white photos.
Pretend Italian Sausages
Excerpted with permission from The Sexy Vegan’s Happy Hour at Home ©2013 by Brian Patton. Published with permission of New World Library http://www.newworldlibrary.com
1/2 pound russet potatoes, peeled and quartered
1 cup vital wheat gluten
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon vegetable bouillon powder
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon celery seeds
Pinch of dried thyme
Pinch of ground sage
1/4 teaspoon chili flakes
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 tablespoon chickpea flour or all-purpose flour
1/4 cup low-sodium tamari
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup diced yellow onion
3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon chopped oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
1/2 cup (1 15-ounce can) drained and rinsed canned white beans
In a small pot, cover the potatoes with cold water and bring to a boil. Boil for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the chunks easily fall apart when you put a fork through them. Drain the potatoes well and while they’re still hot, gently mash with a fork until there are no chunks left, or pass through a potato ricer. Set aside to cool.
In a large bowl, whisk together the wheat gluten, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, onion powder, bouillon powder, pepper, celery seeds, thyme, sage, chile flakes, fennel seeds, and chickpea flour.
In a food processor or blender, puree the tamari, water, onion, garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, and beans. When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, add them and the bean mixture to the bowl with the dry ingredients, and mash it all together with your hands to form a soft dough, making sure there are no dry parts remaining.
Let the dough rest for 10 minutes before using. You can also wrap it in plastic and store it in the refrigerator for later use. It will last for 5 days.
Form the dough into a loaf-like shape and cut it in half. Then cut those halves in half. Finally, cut the halves of the halves into five- sixteenths…just kidding, cut them in half. Now you’ll have 8 portions. Roll them into cigar-like shapes, 4 inches long and 1/2 inch wide. Loosely roll each portion in foil and twist the ends of the foil to seal the packets. Remember to leave some room for expansion. Using a steamer basket, steam for 1 hour. Now they’re ready to be browned or grilled in a pan.
If you don’t use all 8 sausages right away, store the remaining ones in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to a month.
Thank you very much to Kim at New World Library for the cookbook!
Have you tried any of The Sexy Vegan’s recipes yet? What are your favourites?