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Homemade vegan sausages

I don’t think I’ve ever known anyone who didn’t like sausage. It’s a miracle that someone figured out a way to make the nasty bits of pig taste good.

Lots of people don’t want to eat those nasty bits, though. Morningstar’s vegetarian sausages are very good. Like the real thing, I don’t think I’ve ever known anyone who didn’t like them. But they’re also very expensive.

Many vegans make their own homemade sausages. If you Google for recipes, you’ll find many of them on the web. The ingredients vary a great deal and usually include a legume in some form mixed with wheat gluten (also called vital wheat gluten — same thing). I haven’t seen a recipe which, like mine, uses cooked soybeans.

Here’s how to do it. As usual, this is an outline, not a measured recipe. Improvise according to your own taste…

Cook some soybeans in a slow cooker until they’re soft and turn a medium brown. This probably will take 18 hours or more. Drain the beans and put them into a food processor. Don’t process them into a puree. Leave some texture. Mix your sausage spices into the beans. I prefer a breakfast sausage — sage, red and black pepper, dried garlic, dried onions, and other spices in smaller quantities. Add some salt and some olive oil. Stir all that really well. Then add the wheat gluten (it’s like a flour). Stir that well, then add water until the mixture is moist, like bread dough, and holds together pretty well. Mix it all very well. Today I used about 3 parts soybeans to about 2 parts gluten. Half of each would work fine.

Make logs of the mixture and put it on a square of aluminum foil. Wrap it up in a log shape and twist the ends of the foil. Then steam the logs for 30 or 40 minutes.

When the logs are cool, you can slice them into sausage patties and brown them gently in olive oil.

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