Challenge: Vegan Andouille Sausage

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Flavourful vegan sausages are incredibly expensive here. Sure, there are loads of Cumberland and Lincolnshire sausages available. But, if you want a chorizo or Andouille sausage then you are out of pocket or out of luck. And, it’s really nice to be able to customize the flavours of them to match the dish that I’m making them for.

So, the only answer was to make my own. I was at a bit nervous, I out it off for quite awhile. Then finally, a day came when I was craving a deeply spiced jambalaya, I had all the right ingredients to make it, and I knew what I needed to do.

Challenge:

Andouille Sausage

The requirements:

Meaty

Holds its shape well when cooked

Can be pan-fried

The plan:

Adapted from a Vegan Dad recipe, it will be steamed wheat gluten, mixed with beans and spices for a more sausage like texture and shaped using tinfoil.

_MG_8065 The verdict:

Although they aren’t pretty at first, they taste fantastic. The flavour continues to build slowly as you chew and ends with a great heat. They pan fry very well, they turn out lovely and crispy. They are definitely meaty. The only suggestion I would make is to throw them in to sauces and soups at the end of cooking as they have a tendency to swell a bit when cooked slowly in liquid (not unpleasantly so, they just become a bit softer).

You could really use any combination of spices that you would like to create the vegan sausage of your dreams (if you dream of such things)!

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Challenge: Andouille Sausage
 
Prep time
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Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • ½ cup chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup cold vegetable broth
  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  • 2 TBSP soy sauce
  • 1¼ cups vital wheat gluten
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1½ tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 2 bay leaves, finely crumbled
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 TBSP smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp sage
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground pepper
Instructions
  1. Before mixing your ingredients, get your steaming apparatus ready (I just used a vegetable steamer insert in a sauce pan).
  2. Bring water to a full boil.
  3. The rest of the recipe comes together very quickly.
  4. Have ready 4 sheets of tin foil ready to wrap sausages in.
  5. In a large bowl, mash chickpeas until no whole ones are left.
  6. Throw all the other ingredients together in the order listed and mix with a fork.
  7. Knead for about 5 minutes until quite firm.
  8. Divide dough into 4 even parts.
  9. Place one part of dough into tin foil and mold into about a 5 inch log.
  10. Wrap dough in tin foil, like a tootsie roll.
  11. Don’t worry too much about shaping it, it will snap into shape while it’s steaming.
  12. Place wrapped sausages in steamer and steam for 45 minutes.
  13. Remove and allow to cool in tinfoil until ready to use.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Challenge: Vegan Jambalaya

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Truth be told, I’ve only ever had jambalaya once before.

My friend used to claim that jambalaya was her signature dish. So, when she invited me over for dinner and told me she was making the famed jambalaya, I was very excited.

When I walked in the house, I remember the smoky, spicy smell of paprika and slow cooked onions. My mouth was watering.

And then the doorbell rang.

What she hadn’t told me was that this was actually an internet date. She felt weird being there alone with him and so I got the lucky invite.

So there were the three of us, sitting awkwardly.

The two of them making small talk, me staring down at my plate.

Needless to say, the date was a disaster, but at least I got my first taste of delicious jambalaya and I’ve been meaning to re-create it ever since.

So the challenge is set.

The dish:

  • Jambalaya

The requirements:

  • Loaded with vegetables
  • Spicy and meaty component
  • Smoky, deep flavour

The result:

I started by making my own seitan Andouille sausages (recipe coming soon!) and used cubes of extra firm smoked tofu for the other meaty texture. The dish came together surprisingly easy and was incredibly delicious. It was hearty, full of flavour and exactly what I wanted in a jambalaya. The only thing I would change is that I cooked the sausage with the jambalaya and, in characteristic seitan way, the sausage swelled up and lost some of its charm. So, next time I would add the seitan just at the end to warm it through, or pan fry it and layer it on top of the jambalaya.

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Vegan Jambalaya
 
Prep time
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Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 3 large vegan sausages (chorizo or andouille style), cut in to chunks (or omit if gluten free)
  • 1 pack of extra firm smoked tofu, cut in 1 inch cubes
  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 large onion, roughly chopped
  • 4 celery sticks, cut into chunks
  • 2 small bell peppers (I used red and yellow), deseeded and cut into chunks
  • 400g can of chopped tomatoes
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 1 TBSP smoked paprika
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 200g long-grain white rice
  • 2 cups (500 ml) vegetable stock
  • 6 spring onions, sliced
  • flaked sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. In a pan over medium heat, add oil. Stir in the onion, celery and green peppers and cook for 8–10 minutes until well softened, stirring occasionally.
  2. Add in the crushed garlic, paprika, cayenne, thyme, oregano and bay leaves into the pan and cook for 30 seconds, stirring well.
  3. Turn the heat to medium high and add the chopped tomatoes.
  4. Cook for 5 minutes stirring regularly. Mixture should be quite fragrant at this point.
  5. Add the tofu and the rice and cook for about a minute, stirring.
  6. Pour over the stock, season with a pinch of salt and lots of black pepper.
  7. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 15-20 minutes or until the rice is tender and most of the liquid has evaporated or been absorbed by the rice, stirring occasionally. The rice should still be pretty saucy at this point, so if your rice takes longer to cook, you may need to add a little more stock.
  8. Stir in the vegan sausage and spring onions, allowing a few more minutes to cook.
  9. Serve!

 

Ben’s Verdict:

Just had it cold for lunch, and is possibly even better! Great smoky paprika taste.