They see me rollin’….

As I announced at the beginning of the month I have adopted a vegan lifestyle. The other night I made vegan black bean and beet burger and there was plenty of “meat” left over so I decided to use it to make vegan sausages for sausage rolls. 

Whenever I think of sausage rolls I think of picnics in the park as a kid, running around and laughing without a care in the world. As I grew up sausage rolls became a quick meal to grab while rushing out the door to class or work. Now that I have more time to myself I am finally at that point again where I feel I can sit, relax and enjoy a sausage roll again, this time a healthier version.
 
When I went gluten free I came to the realization that some food may just never be eaten again but over the last year I have swapped that attitude for a yes-you-can attitude and have slowly been trying to re-introduce certain dishes back into my diet.
One thing I never thought I would have again was a sausage roll. Typically the roll part is made with flaky or puff pastry and it can be hard to make with wheat flour I decided not to even attempt to make a gluten free version. That stops now. Not only is a gluten free flaky pastry doable but also is making it vegan.
 
Basically I use a puff pastry recipe that is meant for wheat flour and just substituted it with Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1 to 1 Baking Flour and Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks. It was certainly not the easiest dough to make but as long as you keep it chilled it will work. I ended up putting the dough back in the refrigerator a few times to ensure it stayed cold.
I found that doing “rough” dough worked best, that is to incorporate the butter chunks and basic dough together while rolling it out. This is not quite puff pastry but still good as a flaky pastry recipe. What this recipe really call for is time and patience. Do not give up even if it seems to be going wrong, it will come together.
 



A huge problem many vegans face, particularly when they first cut out animal products is the lack of protein in their diets. Many times people rely on ready-made meat alternatives picked up from the grocery store. These are fine when you need something that does not take too long to prepare, but most of these meat alternatives are either loaded with salt to disguise the contents or have wheat in it to bind the product together.

 

As neither one of those works for me (I am not a huge fan of salt) I constantly find myself looking for better and more nutritious alternatives. Beans are a great way to add protein to your diet, and if you buy dry or salt free canned ones are also healthier. I love kidney beans and have been adding them to meals for years, particularly salads. Lately I have also been eating more chickpeas (I love them roasted) and black beans. Any type of bean will add protein and mimic meat in most dishes. 

 
Other ways to add protein to a vegan diet is eating food like quinoa, lentils, soy products, (I am really into tempeh lately), peas, or just plain vegetables. Also for those with a sweet tooth unsweetened cocoa powder has a good source of protein too; just don’t overdo any sugar that is added!
 
I am so far enjoying my vegan lifestyle and have yet to crave meat or miss it from my diet, which must mean I am doing something right. 
 
PS- I had more photographs of the process but did not realize my lens cap was still on so none of those turned out!

 

Beet and Mushroom Rolls
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • Sausage Ingredients
  • 1 Medium beet, roasted, skins removed and minced
  • ½ Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 Small onion, diced
  • 2 Cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ Cup quinoa, cooked
  • 1 Can black beans, drained
  • ½ Cup walnuts, crushed
  • 1 Tsp ground flax
  • 1 Tsp cumin
  • ½ Tsp paprika
  • Salt and pepper
  • Dough Ingredients
  • 1 Cup gluten free flour plus more for dusting
  • 8-10 Tbsp cold butter, 2 tbsp cut into small cubes the rest into thin strips
  • Bowl of cold water with a squeeze of lemon juice
Instructions
  1. Filling Directions
  2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Cut beets roughly, drizzle with oil and spread on baking sheet. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until they give way under a fork. Cool before moving onto next step
  3. Remove the skin from beets and chop until minced.
  4. Combine all ingredients in bowl, smash the beans up with a masher or hands. Does not need to be perfectly mashed.
  5. Shape into sausages and place on in refrigerator to chill for at least half an hour.
  6. If you do to use all the sausage mix you can form into other things like burger patties and freeze for later use.
  7. Pastry Directions
  8. Sift flour into a bowl.
  9. Add 2 tbsp cubed butter and crumble gently with hands or a pastry cutter. Add enough water to form into a ball.
  10. If dough appears sticky or is falling apart chill in refrigerator for a few minutes.
  11. On a heavily floured board roll out ball into a rectangular, cut into 3¼ inch thick strips.
  12. Add 3 pieces butter to one strip and place another strip on top. With dusted rolling pin roll the two sheets and butter together. It may come away at some points, if this happens dust some flour over the area and fold the entire thing in half and continue.
  13. Do the same thing with the last sheet by adding it to the others.
  14. Once all sheets and most of butter is rolled out into a rectangle again place two pieces of butter on one side, fold over and roll out again. Do this once more with last two pieces of butter.
  15. Cut into 4 strips and put back into the refrigerator to chill for 10 minutes. At this time preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  16. Once chilled again, take one strip and roll out to width and length of sausage. Do not forget to dust with flour.
  17. Lightly dust sausage in flour then place at one end of strip. Roll dough over the sausage until it is nearly at the end. Wet end with water and roll over to seal by pressing down gently.
  18. If there is excess dough on the sides of sausage, gently pinch inwards until it falls off.
  19. Transfer to an oiled parchment lined baking tray and continue making other sausage rolls.
  20. Score the tops of each sausage roll with sharp knife.
  21. Bake for 30 minutes. Take sausage rolls out and brush with butter. Bake for a further 15 minutes or until golden brown. Serve immediately with a side such as miso sweet potato salad.

Enjoy!

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