One thing I learned after going vegan, is that a lot of our cravings for animal-based foods revolve around flavor. Whether or not the food itself comes from an animal is not necessarily inherent in our desire to consume it. Rather, it’s flavors such as salt and fat and specific spices of our favorites foods that keep us coming back for more.
What this means, at least for me, is that I can still eat all of my favorite foods in a plant-based form, simply by understanding the underlying flavor profile of the food. This concept, however simple, has made all the difference for me! I love food and I don’t want to deprive myself of the things that I’ve always enjoyed eating.
Learning to make tempeh bacon was a fun experiment with how to achieve the smoky, sweet and salty flavor we all love. Cashew nacho cheese has become another must-have in my household, after perfecting the creamy, salty richness we all want out of nacho cheese. My Quinoa Vegetarian Meatballs were a case study in creating a hearty, flavorful and protein-rich meatball for vegetarians and vegans!
Needless to say, being vegan is a creative endeavor. I’ve never had this much fun inventing recipes before! And I must say, this vegan breakfast sausage recipe is one of my all-time favorites. It has all of the flavor from garlic, fennel and sage. Brown rice and mushrooms give it a great texture. Pan frying in olive oil provides the crispiness and a little fat.
I could sit and eat a whole plate of just these, but there are many ways to enjoy them. Serve with tofu scramble, wrap into a breakfast burrito, or make biscuits and gravy (recipe coming soon!!). And they don’t have to be for breakfast! I’ve served these for dinner with roasted potatoes and greens. You could also crumble them up into stuffing or on top of a pizza. Wow, my mouth is watering! I’m not kidding folks – these vegan breakfast sausages are so good!
One note: they do require cooked brown rice which can take a little while to prepare. If you are pressed for time, be sure to make the brown rice ahead of time.
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/2 cup white onion
- 2 cups of crimini or button mushrooms
- 1 cup short grain brown rice, cooked
- 3 tsp sage
- 2 tsp thyme
- 2 tsp fennel seed
- 1 tsp salt (to taste)
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1-2 Tbsp olive oil
- Roughly chop the onion and add to a skillet with a tiny drizzle of olive oil. Sauté over medium heat until they begin to brown.
- Chop the mushrooms and add to the skillet.
- Finely grate (or mince) the garlic and add to the skillet along with the sage, thyme, fennel seed, salt and pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes to let the flavors develop.
- Add the mushroom mixture to a food processor with the cooked brown rice and pulse until everything is thoroughly combined and creates a thick texture.
- Let the mixture cool for a few minutes and then, using clean hands, form into patties.
- Wipe out the skillet then place it back on the stove.
- Heat the olive oil over medium heat.
- Add the sausage patties to the skillet and cook for about 5 minutes on each side, or until browned and crispy.