If you live among other Americans, you’ll inevitably need to serve up some old-fashioned American food! Using a plant-based diet, you can turn that SAD (Standard American Diet) fare into some pretty wholesome and delicious meals! One of my favorite Sunday meals growing up was pancakes and sausage. I loved dipping my sausage in maple syrup and I still love this taste combination. I purchase a plant-based (low in fat) breakfast sausage called Hilary’s (https://hilaryseatwell.com/products/apple-maple-veggie-sausage) and they are SO tasty. However, they are not cheap and with my son and I easily going through one box a day (4 patties per box) I have been working on my own recipes to make these at home. It has allowed me to create a much healthier version as well.
This week I made a giant batch of some homemade vegan sausages using lentils and millet just like the Hilary’s brand does, and they came out very good! I have a large freezer bag of them now just waiting for a quick morning meal. I pop them in the toaster oven while we get ready and then we serve them on a plate with a small amount of maple syrup (about 1/2 tsp per sausage is usually enough). My son loves these and they provide a decent amount of protein and fiber (my homemade ones do; much more than the store bought). I’m still tweaking this recipe, so when I come to a final version, I will share that with anyone who is interested. These are great to carry along on hikes as well.
Recipe (makes roughly 3 dozen patties/rolls)
1 cup cooked lentils
2 cups cooked millet (if you do not have millet, quinoa makes a good substitute)
1 Tbsp ginger syrup (optional, but we love the subtle sweet and spicy flavor it lends)
1 Tbsp tamari
6 large dates, pitted
1/4 cup applesauce (or 1/2 a baked apple)
1/4 cup hemp seeds
1/4 cup flax seed meal
1/2 tsp maple extract (optional, it can be strong)
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground fennel
1/4 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp smoked paprika (use cayenne if you can handle the heat!)
1/4 tsp ground sage
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground rosemary
- Cook your lentils and millet following the directions on your package or Instapot. Cool them enough to work with before moving forward. If they are too hot, it may make the mixture difficult to form and you’ll need to cool it down before forming them to prevent excessive sticking.
- Take 1/4 cup of the cooked lentils and 1/2 cup of the cooked millet and place in a blender or food processor with the dates, applesauce and all of the seasonings and blend until a smooth paste. If the mixture is too dry, add 1 tablespoon of applesauce to it.
- Place in a large bowl and using a wooden spoon or spatula, mix in the remaining whole cooked lentils and millet. This mixture should be something you can work with easily if you keep your hands wet with water, or oiled. Using spoons, I get about 1-2 Tbsp servings on a wax paper and form them into patties or small rolls with my hands that I keep moistened with water.
- Pan fry on medium low heat using cooking spray to lightly coat your cast iron pan until browned on all sides.
- Serve on a plate by pouring 1/2-1 tsp of maple syrup per patty on the plate and then placing the sausage on top.
These store very well in the freezer for several weeks, so make the whole recipe which yields roughly 3 dozen. To reheat, simply pop them into a toaster oven on 350°F for 5-10 minutes. These sausages can be eaten daily as they do not contain any saturated fat or cholesterol like traditional sausage does, and contain a decent amount of protein and fiber. They are a great way to start the day, and they also travel well so can be great for camping trips and hikes.