Commercial meatless sausages are definitely delicious, but I still find this recipe to be superior – and a whole lot cheaper. In the top left part of the accompanying photo you can see some sausages in the steamer basket (wrapped in their foil packets). At the top right you see two sausages after they’ve been unwrapped, and at the bottom are two sausages nicely browned up in a little oil. They might not look too pretty, but they taste incredible.

This recipe might sound complicated, but once you’ve made these sausages you’ll realize how fun and easy it is and will want to make them again soon. We always have a supply on hand in our freezer to use in various dishes. Watch for next week’s column, which uses these sausages in a recipe.

Ingredients:

2 ½ cups water
2 Tbsp. garbanzo bean flour or pea flour
2 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
2 Tbsp. minced fresh garlic
4 tsp. onion powder
2 tsp. fennel seeds
2 tsp. dried oregano leaves
2 tsp. dried basil leaves
½ to 1 tsp. (or more) crushed red pepper flakes
¼ cup reduced-sodium soy sauce or Bragg liquid aminos
2 Tbsp. neutral oil
2 tsp. liquid smoke
2 cups vital wheat gluten
2 Tbsp. dried minced onion

Directions:

1. Put all ingredients EXCEPT the wheat gluten and dried minced onion in your food processor and mix well. Add the wheat gluten and process for a couple of minutes until it becomes a gloppy wet mess resembling oatmeal.

2. Let this mixture rest for 5 minutes while you tear 12 strips of aluminum foil measuring 12” by 9.” Lay the strips out on your kitchen counter.

3. Evenly distribute 12 globs of the mixture evenly onto the center of each of the sheets. Yeah, it will be wet and goopy and you’ll think this isn’t going to work, but it will. Go ahead and use your clean hands to apportion it.

4. Bring together the two 9” edges of a sheet of foil and fold them over about ½ inch and press them flat; then fold and press again to form a tight seal.

5. Pick up the sheet by the sealed edge and gently shake the contents to the bottom. Lay it back down and use the pinky side of your hand to scoot the contents to the bottom of the package.

6. Roll up the package starting at the side where the contents are and working toward the sealed edge. Twist each end of the package tightly so it ends up looking like those little hard candies wrapped in colored plastic, only much bigger (see photo). If you tear the foil, just put another piece around it and repeat the process. It doesn’t have to be wrapped too tightly as the ingredients expand to fill out the package during cooking, but a tight seal all around is crucial. (I know, I should’ve made a video.) Repeat steps 4 to 6 for the remaining 11 packages.

7. Prepare a steamer basket over a decent amount of boiling water and place the foil packets in it with the seam side up. Turn those twisted ends facing upward to make more space. Double or even triple stacking is fine.

8. Cover the cooking pot and keep the water boiling gently for 45 minutes. Do not let it boil dry.

9. After 45 minutes, remove the pan from the heat. Use tongs to remove the little packages and set them aside to cool to room temperature.

10. Place all the sausages into a plastic bag and refrigerate for at least 8 hours. You may then unwrap them and use them immediately, refrigerate them for a few days, or freeze them. Please rinse and recycle the foil!

Recipe adapted from Seitan and Beyond, by Skye Michael Conroy.