I just felt like a sausage sandwich and these chestnut sausages from ‘Peace & Parsnips‘ are some of my favourite vegan bangers going. Teamed up with the Rye & Stout Loaf that I just posted and some home made ketchup (recipe is in the book;), made creamy with macadamias or cashews, you’ve got yourself a really top breakfast/ brunch.
I haven’t shared a recipe from the cookbook for a while and thought this one is arriving at an ideal time, a great way to start a chilly morning and these sausages freeze well, so you can make a stock for the freezer to last you through winter.
THE BIG QUESTION – WHAT’S ON THE XMAS MENU?!
I’ll be in Murcia, Spain for Christmas, a tough call, but someone’s got to do it! I’m spending time with family over there and no doubt Mum’s already thinking about Xmas lunch (as am I).
I think these sausages will be made over the festive period, there are huge mountains of local castana’s (chestnuts) down at the local food markets and after a quick roast in an oven, and especially when eaten straight from their shells, it’s one of my favourite tastes of Christmas.
I see Christmas as a great time to try out new things and I’m surprised how chestnuts can be neglected at this time of year, for me, they’re as essential as cranberry sauce or mince pies.
Do you already have one eye on your Xmas menu? It’s such a feast, a celebration of good food and drink, but I don’t think it necessarily needs to be really unhealthy. I’m looking at a balance between indulgence and food that makes us shine. Xmas doesn’t need to be an eating marathon that makes us feel sluggish and heavy all the way to February, I think we can get the best of both worlds. I know we can get the best of both worlds!!
I’m going to share some recipes with you and there are a few on the BHK already. Here’s one to get you into the spirit;) Maple Roasted Parsnip, Walnut & Mushroom Roulade with Cashew Cream Sauce.
Let us know what you have in mind for this Xmas and generally what’s inspiring you in the kitchen, it’s always awesome to hear from you in the comments below.
Here’s the intro from Peace & Parsnips:
“Chestnuts seem to have been a little neglected of late, and you rarely see the lonely chestnut roaster on the festive street corner these days. But chestnuts are so plentiful on our island, and can be used in a variety of dishes, both savoury and sweet. They come to life when paired with the robust and earthy sage, and will live with most herbs in harmony. I like to use them in sausages and burgers because they are quite starchy and help with the binding process, which can be a major failing in many vegan sausage and burger recipes. Most vegan sausages/burgers are best cooked straight from the freezer – they hold their shape better that way. The key with vegan sausages/burgers is to be gentle with them in the pan, and don’t mess with them unnecessarily. They just need a precise flip on occasion and they are perfectly happy. To make things easy, you may like to use pre-cooked chestnuts.”
Chestnut, Millet & Sage Sausages with Homemade Ketchup
The Bits – For 15 small sausages
250g cooked chestnuts
300g firm tofu (mashed with a fork)
3 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
a handful of toasted sunflower seeds
1 onion (grated)
3 cloves of garlic (peeled and minced)
2 tablespoons very finely chopped fresh sage
2 tablespoons very finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 red chilli (deseeded and finely diced)
a large pinch of ground allspice
2 tablespoons lemon juice
150g very fine wholewheat or gluten-free breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon tamari or teaspoon sea salt
Vegetable oil (for frying)
Homemade raw ketchup (or your favourite sauce)
To cook the millet, put it into a small pan and cover with 2cm of cold water. Bring to the boil, then pop a lid on, lower the temperature and leave to cook for 20 minutes. Fluff up with a fork – the millet should be soft and tender but quite sticky.This is perfectly normal. Allow to cool.
In a food processor, blitz your chestnuts to fine crumbs. Add half the tofu and pulse a few times until quite smooth. In a large bowl, mix the chestnuts and tofu with the rest of the ingredients apart from the vegetable oil. The mixture should be firm enough to form into sausages, slightly tacky to the touch. Check the seasoning and add more tamari or salt if needed.
Using dampened hands, form your sausages, making them look like big chipolatas. Roughly 15 will do, but you may prefer just a few longer ones instead. Place them on a plate and cover lightly with cling film, then pop into the fridge and chill them for 30 minutes (you can also freeze them at this point).Put 1 tablespoon of oil into a large frying pan on a medium heat and fry your sausages for 5minutes, turning them regularly to get a good colour all over.
Serve with a big blob of homemade raw ketchup and some warm toast. And normally I’ll have a few green leaves for the plate. Sausage sandwich, anyone?
Chestnuts are best kept in the fridge and are the only nut to contain good levels of vitamin C. You’ll also find some of the vitamin B’s along with a decent amount of fibre and minerals, especially copper and manganese. Nut-wise, they are low in fats and are unusually starchy for a nut.
Join us in Murcia, Spain next year for our blissful vegan cooking and yoga retreat, we have a couple of rooms still available in our beach side villa and we might even get some chestnuts in the oven!