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Thinking Outside the Bun

We are deep into grilling season, and for those who eschew animal meat, there is still plenty to enjoy on the grill—yes, even salad. There are many vegetarian brats and sausage links on the market that come in quite a variety of flavors. These prepared links are pre-cooked, so they just need a few minutes per side on a hot grill (or pan on the stovetop). In Field Roast’s roster are Apple Sage, Italian, and Chipotle sausages; Tofurky has Kielbasa, Italian, Spinach Pesto, and a Beer Brat made with craft beer. The industry standard for these ready-to-grill items seems to be no less than four per package. If you attend a cookout with your grillables and you’re the only one enjoying them while everyone else is noshing on animal-derived grilled delicacies, you will have some left over. While they last a while tightly-wrapped in the refrigerator for another grilling session, it’s nice to have alternative uses for these flavorful meat replacers. My favorite re-usage is breakfast—chop them up and add them to omelets, breakfast potatoes, or use my gravy recipe below and serve with biscuits!

Apple Sage Meatless Sausage Gravy
This is my favorite gravy recipe. Ideally prepared using Field Roast’s Apple Sage sausages. I use dairy but this can easily be made vegan. 

  • 1-2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 2 Field Roast Apple Sage sausages, finely chopped
  • 2-3 Tbs. butter (or vegan alternative)
  • 4 Tbs. all-purpose flour
  • 2 c. milk (or unsweetened plain soy, cashew, or almond milk)
  • Black pepper to taste
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Chili pepper flakes to taste

Directions: Heat oil in large skillet over medium high. Place ground sausage in skillet for about two minutes, stirring occasionally. Turn heat down to low, add butter, and melt. Sprinkle flour into pan and stir everything around; making sure the sausages are coated evenly. Add milk slowly, half a cup at a time, allowing mixture to thicken before proceeding. When all the milk has been added, stir, and remove from heat. Serve immediately with fresh biscuits.

Sausage, Kale, and Sweet Potato Hash
Adapted from www.realsimple.com.

  • 2 Tbs. olive oil (divided)
  • Up to 3 Tofurky Italian sausage links, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 lb. sweet potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1 c. vegetable broth (divided)
  • 1 bunch kale, stems removed, leaves torn into bite-sized pieces
  • 4 eggs (if desired)

Directions: In a large skillet over medium heat, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil. Add the sausage and brown, stirring with a wooden spoon to break it up, for 2-3 minutes. Transfer to a separate dish.

In the same skillet, pour the remaining 1 tablespoon of the oil. Stir in the onion, sweet potatoes, thyme, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper, and cook for 3-5 minutes, until the onions are soft. Pour in 1/2 cup of the broth and cover. Cook 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sweet potatoes are tender. Uncover, and add the last 1/2 cup of broth. In batches, add the kale, and toss to incorporate. Cook until the kale is wilted and tender and the liquid has almost evaporated. Return the sausage to the skillet and stir. Cook until heated through, 1-2 minutes. Serve, or if desired, prepare a few eggs to serve on top: In a large, nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of oil over medium heat. Fry the eggs sunny-side-up until they’re done the way you like them (or 2-4 minutes for slightly runny eggs). Divide the sweet potato hash between 4 plates and top each with a fried egg. Serve hot. Serves 4.

There are many other uses; not just for breakfast! Try them in mac and cheese, or substitute them for pork sausage in a jambalaya. Get creative!

Permaculture DesignEdgewood College

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