April 15, 2013 by Meg G.
Heather and I had a very vegan weekend. Not only was it Worcester VegFest, which featured tons of vegan food and presentations by folks like Terry Hope Romero, co-author of Veganomicon, but we also had vegan brunch with some vegan friends. (How many times can I say the word vegan today?) While Heather and I consider ourselves vegetarians, we do tend to cook quite a bit of vegan food, although it’s usually not on purpose. Always looking for a kitchen challenge, I was pumped to bring two new recipes to the vegan brunch table.
First up, a veganized version of Liana Krissoff’s baked oatmeal, which I had blogged about a week ago. Since Liana has been hanging around the From Scratch Club’s Goodreads book club with us, I went straight to the source. Not only did Liana make a recommendation for replacing the egg and butter, she actually went ahead and did TWO trial runs to be sure that she could stand behind that recommendation. I mean, she’s no joke. A HUGE thank you to Liana for her due diligence! Here’s the vegan version.
Vegan Baked Oatmeal with Apples, Cranberries, and Ginger – adapted from and by Liana Krissoff via Whole Grains for a New Generation
- 2 1/2 cups rolled oats
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1.5 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon Penzeys baking spice
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- pinch salt
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup dried apples
- 1 Tablespoon minced crystallized ginger
- 1.5 cups almond milk
- 1/2 cup apple sauce (homemade or no sugar added)
- 1 Tablespoon flax seeds, ground finely
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Preheat oven to 350F and spray a 8- or 9-inch square or round pan with olive oil Pam or the like.
- Combine oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Stir in dried fruit and ginger.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk, apple sauce, and vanilla and add to the oats.
- Finely grind flax seeds in a spice mill, then whisk in a small bowl with 1/4 cup water until gooey. Stir it into the oat mixture.
- Transfer to prepared baking pan and bake until golden brown on the top, about 25-30 minutes. Serve hot with a bit of almond milk, if desired.
Honestly, I think I would have failed a taste test of vegan vs. non-vegan. There was almost no discernible difference in taste, texture, or presentation. Score one for the vegans!
Next up, these smoky maple sausages. The recipe is very similar to the Italian sausages that we make regularly, but with a flavor profile that screams breakfast. Here goes!
Smoky Maple Breakfast Sausage – via Post Punk Kitchen
- 1/2 cup cooked pinto beans, rinsed and drained
- 1/2 cup vegetable broth (homemade/low-sodium)
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 1/2 teaspoons liquid smoke
- 2 cloves garlic, grated (with a microplane, or very finely minced)
- 1 1/4 cups vital wheat gluten
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 2 tablespoons chickpea flour
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- Several dashes fresh black pepper
- Before mixing your ingredients, get your steaming apparatus ready, and bring water to a full boil. Have 4 sheets of tin foil ready. The rest of the recipe comes together very quickly.
- In a large bowl, mash the pinto beans until no whole ones are left. Throw all the other ingredients together in the order listed and mix with a fork. Divide dough into 4 even parts. Place one part of dough into tin foil and mold into about a 5 inch log. Wrap dough in tin foil, like a Tootsie roll.
- Place wrapped sausages in steamer and steam for 40 minutes. You can unwrap and enjoy immediately or refrigerate until ready to use. They’re really great sliced up and lightly sautéed, or grilled.
We found the texture of these to be a bit tougher than the Italian sausages, but the flavor was fabulous. I was rather befuddled by the texture issue until I started preparing this blog post and went through my photos. Maybe, just maybe, it was my less than precise vital wheat gluten measurements…
Oh well! Slightly chewy vegan sausage was hardly noticeable with all the laughter and twin 3-year-old antics happening at the table. Not to mention, of course, the delicious fruit salad, tropical smoothies, and homemade vegan orange cranberry bread.
We doubled the recipe and threw half of these in the freezer. Just leave them in their tin foil, let them cool, and put them in a freezer bag. When you’re ready to use them, let them defrost before slicing and lightly sautéing.