Saturday, 17 December 2016

CHRISTMAS RECIPE: EASY, NO FAFF VEGAN 'SAUSAGE' ROLLS


Hi lovelies! I cannot believe how fast December has been going! I'd had big plans for lots of festive blog posts and things, but with a busy time at work, at home and catching the inevitable winter flu for a few days, that didn't quite happen! However, it's not too late yet and today, I wanted to share with you all a recipe that I'm super excited about for the festive season. This Christmas will actually be my first Christmas fully vegan, so I've been coming up with recipes for yummy festive foods so that I'm not stuck eating sprouts all day (ugh!).

For me, the best part of Christmas food was never the Christmas roast dinner (though stuffing and roast potatoes have a special place in my heart), but the evening food, the sausage rolls, sandwiches and crisps that we all probably unnecessarily snacked on later in the day while playing board games and drinking too much Prosecco. I decided that even though now I can't quite stomach the idea of an actual sausage roll, I still wasn't going to sit nibbling on pringles alone this year! So, the vegan sausage roll experiment began!

Now don't get me wrong, I love cooking. I love making things from scratch, experimenting with lots of different ingredients and flavours, but with these, I wanted to keep it simple and more importantly, fairly cheap and easy to do. So, you won't find a list of obscure ingredients and expensive spices and seasonings here, basically, these are just one big shortcut with a seriously yummy outcome, so while these sausage rolls aren't going to give any chefs anything to lose sleep over, they're still sure to be a hit with your vegan and hopefully non vegan friends this Christmas.

For these, I got almost all my ingredients from Aldi, all except the lentils, which for some reason they don't seem to sell, but you can get lentils at most supermarkets so that won't be a problem. So, you will need;
Dried red lentils (Any will do and you can also use canned as a shortcut!)
Sliced mushrooms (Again, any kind, I used frozen for speed)
Gravy granules (I used Bisto as it's vegan, the red box!)
Sausage casserole seasoning (again, I used Aldi as it's vegan)
Sage and Onion stuffing mix
Pre rolled puff pastry
Plant based milk

As with almost every other recipe I've ever done ever, I don't measure anything. I do think it's all dependant on taste, but basically, I use roughly equal parts mushrooms and, lentils and then adjust the stuffing mix as needed. So for example, one mug full of cooked lentils plus one mug full of cooked mushrooms, then enough stuffing mix to bind it all together. You can adapt as you go, but there's really no right or wrong here!

To start, I cook my lentils in veg stock on the stove. While they cook, I take my (defrosted) mushrooms, make up some thick gravy and add all the mushrooms and a little gravy to a blender, I then blend them up, adding a little gravy at a time until the mushrooms are totally blended and make a thick liquid/ paste. You don't want to make this too runny, but sort of like a super thick smoothie. When the lentils are cooked, you'll want to drain off all the liquid and add the mushroom smoothie (nice) to them. Add your sausage casserole seasoning and stir through, it'll all still be very runny at the point, but that's where the sage and onion stuffing come in! Add the dried stuffing mix to the mixture until it becomes thick enough to hold its shape. I then put the mixture into a greased loaf tin in the oven for around 20 minutes to cook through.

Once it comes out of the oven, take your pre-rolled pastry and cut the 'sausage' mix into strips. I doubt I need to tell you how to roll them into sausage roll shapes, but just a couple of quick tips; I always score the pastry a couple of times on each roll so that the mixture gets cooked all the way through, I also use a little plant based milk to stick the pastry together at the join, and use a little on top to give them a golden finish - no egg wash needed!

Sorry if this recipe is a little vague, I'm definitely no chef, but my non vegan fiance absolutely loves these, as do I and I promise these are super easy and self explanatory once you start making them! These will be the perfect addition to your Christmas feast and from what I remember, they taste pretty similar to the real thing, so you're sure to impress all your non vegan friends and family!

Merry Christmas!

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