Homemade Seitan Sausages

It all begins with half a cup of canned pinto beans.

Mash the beans with a fork. Just. Like. This. (says Cafe Drake HRV, doing our best RuPaul impersonation)

Yup, wheat gluten, pure wheat gluten. Unless you have Celiac Disease, proceed with the recipe and free yourself of any perceived wheat intolerance.

Mixing up the magic brew.

In the old days making seitan required 15 minutes of kneading the dough under running water to separate out the gluten, a wasteful and boring process. Purchasing vital wheat gluten at any natural foods store saves time, effort and water. This all came together in, like, 4 seconds!

Sausages rolled and ready to steam.

A finished sausage, ready to enjoy immediately or be incorporated in to an endless number of dishes . . . pizza, pasta, braised sauerkraut, sandwiches, omelets, stop us now . . .

This recipe, courtesy of Isa Chandra Moskowitz' genius cooking bible Isa Does It, makes 4 large, very substantial sausage links.

Because a salad is always welcome with sausages.

We ravenously consumed the sausages at Cafe Drake HRV with brown rice, salad and a Carrot & Habanero Dressing.

Leftovers for Lunch, with walnuts and a bleu cheese=dressed salad this time around.

And leftovers even TWO days later. The veggie sausages keep well, refrigerated, for 5 days. Cafe Drake HRV spiked the protein in this lunch with roasted tofu as well.

An unadapted recipe, straight from another source, is rare here, but we've no faith we could match - or alter - the approachable ease of Isa's technique.

First, set up your steamer on the stove top, whatever kind you have or prefer. As the sausages will steam for 40 minutes a deeper or wider vessel is ideal; if one's not handy, no worries, you'll just need to add water about halfway through the steaming process.

In a large bowl mash 1/2 cup rinsed and drained pinto beans. Use a fork and mash lightly, just no whole beans remain, a smooth paste is neither necessary or desirable. Mix in 1 cup vegetable broth, 1 T. olive oil and 2 T. tamari or soy sauce. Now dump in 1) 1 1/4 cups vital wheat gluten 2) 1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes 3) 1 t. garlic powder 4) 2 t. lightly crushed fennel seeds 5) 2 t. smoked paprika 6) crushed red pepper flakes to taste.

We also added 1/2 t. dried sage but that was the ONLY alteration to the original recipe.

Mix everything with a fork and then knead with your hands for a minute.

Divide the dough into 4 pieces and shape like a 5-inch sausage link. Wrap tightly in a square of aluminum foil, twisting the ends like a Jolly Rancher or Tootise Roll. Repeat with the other three sausages and place all in your steamer.

Steam for 40 minutes, unwrap, enjoy, add to a recipe or cool and refrigerate. Or freeze even!


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