Well hello there friends! I'm so excited about this post because these beautiful, perfectly formed, delicious and very versatile sausages were born out of a cooking challenge. This was the first in a collaborative "Mystery Box" series between myself and fellow recipe blogger Ahlam from Straight Up Bananas.
Let me tell you more about the Mystery Box challenge. We asked our Instagram friends to let us know what 5 ingredients they want to see us cook with (perhaps those pesky ingredients you always have laying around) and Ahlam and I went away and produced two very different recipes. This is going to be a regular thing as if we're both perfectly honest it really gives us that push to post PLUS it was such a fantastic and rewarding challenge!
So not only was this an unique opportunity to reach out to our audiences and get a little sense of what type of ingredients you're using but we both had to think outside of our comfort zones and produce blog worthy recipes (and nothing short of lip-smacking!) Check out Ahlam's beautiful Puerto Rican empinadas here!
We had just 4 ingredients to work with on this challenge: Lentils, gram flour (chickpea flour), almond meal and nutritional yeast.
I have to say I was very happy with these ingredients as have been working on some gluten-free savoury pancakes for a while now, however, I didn't want to fall in to my comfort zone, there's just no challenge there and I have a great brunch cake recipe up already. No, no, no, Sophie. This is an ingredient CHALLENGE. Challenge accepted!
So these are not currently gluten free because they contain pasta (I know, what?!) but pasta is literally the glue in this recipe and actually you can just straight up swap that pasta for a gluten free version. Easy peasy.
There are three parts to these sausages: lentils, pasta and the flavour and spice mix which is the part you can really play around with. This recipe has a bit of a Mediterranean tomato and smoked paprika flavour but I'm going to play around with other classic flavours like apple and sage, garlic and rosemary etc Exciting!
You can bake or fry these, but baked were a bit dry and fried were simply delicious, so.....
VEGAN LENTIL SAUSAGES
Play around with the flavours on here, let me know what you come up with! If your mix isn't as nice and thick and easy to mold as in the above pics try adding more gram flour or pasta.
MAKES 12 SAUSAGES
PREP TIME 45 MINS | COOK TIME 10 MINS | TOTAL TIME 55 MINS
1 cup green lentils (picked over, rinsed and soaked)
1 tbsp balsamic
1 tbsp tamari/soy sauce
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
1/2 cup gram/chickpea flour
1 onion (finely chopped)
thumb ginger (grated)
2 cloves garlic (crushed)
pinch salt and pepper
1/2 tsp each: cumin, coriander, white pepper, smoked paprika
1 tbsp tomato paste
1/2 cup dried macaroni
oil for cooking
1. Add 2 cups of boiling water to the soaked lentils in a sauce pan (you only need to have soaked them for around 20 mins), bring back to the boil and cook for around 30 mins or until very nearly cooked.
*While the lentils are cooking*
2. Add boiling water and salt to the dried macaroni and cook until soft. drain, blend and set aside.
3. Fry the onion and ginger in a little oil with a pinch of sugar and salt until onions are translucent. Add the garlic and cook for another 2 mins.
4. Add the remaining spices and stir and fry releasing all those lovely aromas for a further 2 mins.
5. Add the tomato paste, stir and take off the heat after a minute. Set flavour mix aside.
*back to the lentils*
6. Once the lentils are almost soft an mushy add the balsamic, tamari/soy sauce and nutritional yeast (there should not be much liquid, if there is drain it off). Give it a good stir and remove from the heat.
7. Stir in the gram flour, flavour mix and blended pasta into the lentils, don't worry about mushing up, that's the point! (I use a whisk sometimes just to break the lentils down more)
8. Allow the mix to cool a bit and then use a tablespoons to scoop some mix into your hand, roll it in to a ball and then roll out in to sausage shapes on a clean board.
9. Fry sausages in a bit of oil on a med-high heat until brown on all sides. Alternatively, bake in the oven for 15 minutes.