These delightfully easy meat-free sausages that I often make for our family will quickly become a favourite in your household! I sometimes make a large batch and either freeze them, or take them with on holiday so that I always have something in the refrigerator for family meals when the others want to BBQ. Although the chopped nuts give the sausages a nice crunch and texture, the grated carrot will do the same if you want to use any left-over nut pulp after making your own home-made nut milk. The nut sausages will simply have a more refined texture, but for a chunkier feel you can always add a tablespoon or so of extra texture in the form of sunflower seeds.
Thyme, paprika and turmeric combine with tart tamarind and finely grated vegetables to impart a wonderful aroma to these nutty sausages. The dried prunes and tahini paste help to bind the ingredients together, while the walnuts and quinoa provide a good measure of protein. The sausages have a nice crispy coating of psyllium husks and oat bran.
½ cup walnuts
½ cup finely grated carrot
½ cup finely grated baby marrow (zucchini)
2 fresh garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
5 dried prunes, cut into tiny pieces
1 tsp paprika powder
½ tsp turmeric powder
1 tbsp quinoa flour
2 tsp tamarind pulp
1 tbsp tahini paste
2 tsp soy sauce
2 tbsp each psyllium husks and fine oat bran
4 tbsp rice bran oil, for frying
MethodLightly toast the walnuts in the oven until fragrant. Crush the nuts to medium fine with a pestle and mortar.
Place the nuts with the grated carrot and baby marrow in a mixing bowl. Stir in the garlic, thyme and prunes and mix well.
Stir in the spices and flour, again mixing well.
Add the tamarind pulp, tahini paste and soy sauce. Stir this well into the walnut mixture.
Mix the psyllium husks and oat bran on a plate and spread out.
With wet hands, shape the walnut mixture into long patties, squeezing slightly as you shape. It is a wet mixture.
Then roll the sausages in the psyllium husk and oat bran mixture to coat. Rest the sausages in the refrigerator, uncovered, for 10 minutes.
Heat the oil in a pan and fry the sausages, turning them to brown on all sides. Drain on absorbent kitchen paper.
Makes 5 sausages.
If quinoa flour is not available, use the same amount of cooked quinoa grains. Alternatively, use chickpea flour (both of which are high protein sources). You can also use oat bran instead of the psyllium husks to roll the sausages in, which will give them a more rough look but will impart a wonderfully nutty taste.
You can also give these sausages a more of a Thai flavour by using the same nuts, but for spices and herbs, use finely grated fresh ginger and turmeric, chopped garlic, coarsely ground coriander seeds and finely snipped Kaffir lime leaves and fresh coriander leaves. Make a brown jasmine rice dish to accompany the sausages, perhaps flavoured with star anise.
To give the sausages a French flavour, use the same nuts, but add lots more herbs, such as tarragon and sage with finely grated green apple and add chopped pitted green olives.
Laurinda Erasmus is a vegan chef and author of a vegan recipe book, called Benessere well-being: vegan & sugar-free eating for a healthy life-style, by Quinoa Publishing. The book has over 520 recipes, each with a colour photograph, taken by the author herself. The book won a gold medal at the Living Now Book Awards in New York, USA. She is passionate about the vast possibilities of creating plant-based meals, the increased wellness and energy through plant nutrition and making a smaller impact on our precious ecosystem. Through her book and vegan classes, she shows healthy and fun ways of how to bring more plant-based meals into one's diet. She also travels extensively, always collecting new recipes and re-writing them as vegan dishes. She shares her tips for vegan travellers accompanied by vegan travel recipes on her blogsite http://veganwellbeing.wordpress.com/ and to view her vegan recipe book, see http://www.veganwellbeing.net/.