MenU; Meatless Snags

Image result for images toad in the holeThrow another snag on the barbie, mate! That used to fill me with dread. Funny thing is that, even as a youngster, I never liked sausages. There was an instinctive distrust of anything which had the potential for undesirable materials being contained within. It may also have had something to do with 'toad in the hole'; a thrift dish our mother used to make us eat on pain of bedroom assignment for 87 days. I mean, the name says it all really.

BBLAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRKKKKKKKKKKKKKK.

It was enough that I had to eat meat at all, but as soon as I had any real say in the contents of my plate, sausages were off. In all the Aussie barbies I ever attended, I succeeded in eating as close to none as possible and for the past 10 years have not touched a single one, until about 18 months ago.

What changed? I discovered the vegetarian sausage. I knew they existed, but had always avoided them for pretty much the same reasons as their cousins - the concept of anything and everything going in there and lots of it less than desirable. However, I had never met Linda McCartney sausages until I got to the UK. To be honest, even then I may not have tried them, but I had just moved half a world away and was up to my hocksters in unpacking boxes and I really needed something which required minimum prep and provided maximum boost. ... and this is Dunoon. Choices are limited.

Now those little tubegems are a regular on my grocery list, along with a couple other of the LM range. However, having gotten over a certain prejudice, there was an even greater surprise awaiting me last year when I stayed at the bed and breakfast place in Norfolk. The owner had made vege snags for breakfast. From scratch. They were very good indeed.

Easy's mum was wondering about this. I have attempted to make my own twice since then. Successfully, I may add; however, quite a bit of work for just myself. Would certainly do them if had company. No real recipe here, it is more about the process and am only even bothering to share this as the question was asked! There are certainly recipes out there in the ether; but a lot of them call for TVP or Quorn - both products I count as undesirable. I shall spare you the whole sorry tale of the whys and wherefores and howcomes; suffice to say that the processing they go through is not conducive to sattvic diet.

Okay; first you need to decide what flavour. that is to say, the main bulk of your sausage. In my case for the first lot I opted for coriander, carrot and green lentils as the base; for the second lot I had potatoes and leeks. Any pulse or legume would work well I think. Equally, sweet potato or other yam would do. Things like pumpkin or zucchini would be yummy, but they would require, perhaps, breadcrumbs to bulk them and absorb their moistness.

I use dried, large lentils from the Indian supplies store; canned ones here tend to be rather tiny, but they may work just as well. It's all an experiment! They have to be pre-cooked (one hour of boiling - without salt! It toughens them). I pulsed them a bit in the blender (not too much), then mixed them with the roughly grated carrot and a goodly amount of chopped coriander (cilantro). In the case of the potatoes, again they were cooked, then mashed. The leeks were sauted down with butter.

No photos of the originals, of course - but the usual
search provided this, which is pretty darned close to
the tattie leek specimens.
Next; seasonings. With the tattie leek mix, simple salt and pepper would be quite adequate, but I chose to add some dried mixed herbs also. Go gentle with those little blighters. It can get nasty. With the carrot ones I added some ground cumin, paprika, salt and black pepper. Get creative! But remember, less is more. Once it's in there you can't take it out.

Assembly and formation. This was the tricky bit. Well, not so much the tattie leek. For that, I pretty much thought along the lines of croquettes, forming them into logs and then rolling them in some beaten egg and finally coating them in breadcrumbs. With those, I gave them quick fry till they were just golden on each side (...side? on a tube??? tsk, you know what I mean!) and then put them into container and refrigerated them.  With the lentils carrot mix, it was a bit more bothersome. I realised, once I had the mix all together and seasoned to my taste, that it was loose and crumbly, like really good earth. Given that I had a bit of an Indian theme going on, I took some besan (chickpea flour) and cooked it on a dry frypan until turning just a little nutty in aroma and colour. Added enough of this to the mix along with a little sunflower oil to create a texture which would hold together when squeezed. Then made my tubes. For reasons which I cannot fully explain, the par-cook for these occurred in the microwave. I think because I know that besan can be 'gluggy' and needs deep cooking. I had no intention of deep frying the things, so somewhere in the menorecesses, nuking them seemed to be the option.

Whatever. It worked. They too were refrigerated for a while before the actual fry up. At last an hour I think. Wasn't paying attention. Didn't think I'd need to report on it. I could see potential for up to 24 hours in the frig - but any longer and I'd be saying whack 'em in the freezer.

...and these are not 87miles away from looking like the
lentil carrot ones; except clearly these were basil and
not coriander.
COOK! Now, I cannot vouch for either of these two things I made actually holding together on a barbecue grill, but they both did really rather well in a shallow fry situation. With the tattie leek option I had baked beans. With the lentil ones I just made a yoghurt dressing, with lime and more coriander.

There you go. Now it makes sense that if you are okay with bread, then you could use up stale loaves or rolls by making crumbs and then adding seasonings and something else like the aforementioned water veges, or perhaps small ones like peas and corn. The binding agent could then be an egg and maybe some flour. I think if using bread as the main thing, I'd be inclined to steam them as the par-cook, to ensure a moistness and texture that said, 'sausage' rather than, 'breadstick!'

The main point here is, don't be afraid of trying to make your own snags! No matter what you do, it is going to taste way better and be much healthier than the vast majority of the stuff you buy from the store.

11 comments:

  1. I tried Quorn once, and then read how it is made. I use most the Gardein brand of meatless items which, though they have soy in them, have a lot of natural grains and seasonings.

    What you came up there looks really tasty!

    I got the diet blog back up (this was a CRAZY month). I saw your comment on my recipe. OOOPSS! That was two PINCHES of salt and pepper, the same as the other spices in it.

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    Replies
    1. Hari OM
      Not heard of Gardein - seems to be Can/US based only - but reading, is looks to be along similar lines to McCartney stuff and at least the soy is non-GM...according to their blurb. Perhaps I shall have to check it out when I get to the States!!!

      Oh dear... I did wonder as you will have gathered by my rather aghast blast! Easy done and it's the sort of thing which happens to me.

      Hope things are starting to settle down now you are finally all moved back. Yxx

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  2. I read how quorn is made. Aaarrrrggghh. But your made from scratch little darlin's sound fabulous.

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  3. I would like to try them but there is no way I would make them. Maybe you can make a big batch and freeze them?


    Your Pals,

    Murphy & Stanley

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hari OM
      In theory, that would be fine... will and report in due course!!! Yxx

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  4. Looks really good. I am trying to eat vegetarian a couple times per week, those could be a good idea, but like Murphy and Stanley's mom, I am not likely to make them!

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  5. Sounds yummy. Hubby is on a low carb diet per Dr. orders to get blood sugars in order. But these might be fun to try.

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  6. GREAT! Many thanks for such a cool idea! yesterday I bought green lentils! I will try the lentil carrot sausages! I'm happy you shared a cool recipe. I asked in the store yesterday for sausage without meat... the sales person said: well, you can buy chicken sausage... I had no clue that chickens are plants :o)... oh wait... maybe this woman meant chick-peas? LOL

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hari OM
      Oh yes of course Chickpeas would be a great ingredient for sausages... mmmmm... with wilted spinach as their vege component - or minced kale.... really, the options are boundless!!! Glad you feel inspired. Yxx

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  7. Oh yum , I luffs sausages Aunty Yam and I finks I would luffs a veggie one as well 'cos Mum says I is very good at eating my veggies
    Loves and licky kisses
    Princess Leah xxx

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  8. That potato and leek sausage sounds really good. I might have to give that a go.

    I am giving another recipe of yours a go today, as soon as I figure out how to slaughter the pumpkin!

    ReplyDelete

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