Ok, this is a pretty specific question, but can't figure out a reasonable substitute: found a recipe for vegan sausage that calls for ultimately creating a roll from the ingredients, wrapping in foil, then steaming. First thought was substitute a cloth (for the foil) but seems watertightness is important, so…?? Any leaf would add an unwanted flavor, I'd think… TIA
Is shape important? If not, then why not steam in a container with a lid in a bain marie or bake like a pudding in about a couple of inches of water? Can use romaine leaves to line a bamboo steamer and just make little mounds of the mock meat.
@Catherine Sultana, yes you can steam them covered or with a plate on top of them. Or wrap them in collard leaves. You can also steam food in cloth if it's tightly woven.
I thought aluminum foil was recyclable? (awaiting pummeling)
That sounds like one of the seitan recipes at FFV. There are great vegan sausage recipes that don't require steaming, too. You can make vegan "sausage" in about ten minutes with other ingredients, but seitan is a different situation.
These are some really good ideas! I should just experiment with the different options. After posting, I even wondered if just using some leftover corn husks would work.
Good point to reconsider whether steaming exactly as described is even necessary… The recipe is from The Homemade Vegan Pantry by Miyoku Schinner, and calls for bulgur, vital wheat gluten, a few other ingredients plus spices, all blenderized/kneaded. I think the shaping as a log is totally to make slicing into neat little rounds easier once cooked. You're supposed to "sauté" the slices before serving. I'm sure there are easier versions "out there".
The cookbook's really interesting as the author has come up with homemade vegan alternatives for packaged condiments like oyster, fish, and worcestershire sauce using ingredients I [mostly] could get in bulk!!
The obvious question is how far down the rabbit hole should I go :))
Sorry no pummeling, I just try to go without aluminum foil. A drag to clean for reuse and I have removed aluminum cookware for presumed health reasons so I am definitely not going to wrap food in it to cook.
Those vegan sausages might hold together to just boil up like dumplings, why not go ahead and try that, too? Sounds similar to seitan which can be boiled or baked to firm it up from raw state. Plain water but usually broth is recommended (depending on amount of salt you're ok with) for that boiled version.
I had thought of making some 'hot dog' shaped sausage using linen cocktail napkins and string, so please do a trial run on all versions at your disposal and report back.
I like the collard greens idea as well as corn husk as they would hold up well for the cooking time. The collards would give you a side dish. The corn husks could probably get cleaned and dehydrated between uses...
Are you wondering about being a plant based eater? Just do it the entire 100%. It's not hard. If you can bake a potato, steam veggies, boil rice and pasta, and peel fruit, you can be plant based. It helps the environment more than anything else you're doing. Three to six months after you've been completely 100% plant based with no animals and no plant oils, get your lab work done. Your doctor's head will explode at your great numbers. My last total cholesterol was 94.
I would advise not getting bogged down with complicated recipes either. It can be demotivating in the beginning, because weaning off animals and plant oils is hard enough for a lot of people. The transition period could include eating MORE food to stay full because meat and other SAD foods are so addictive. People are so CHO phobic that they won't go near potatoes and pasta, which are both healthy foods. Potatoes are something like 75 or 80% water. Great diet food. Check out Doug Lisle on YouTube for his lectures about food addiction on a non-plant-based diet.
Have you ever worked with homemade seitan? It's easy once you get the hang of it but it can take practice, like Sultana said, with the moisture content and even the seasoning. It's also a highly processed food so I don't fix it for myself but some of my friends like me to fix it when they come over.
I recommend getting rid of all bad foods - meat, animal dairy, salt, sugar, snacky stuff, anything processed. Do an overhaul of your kitchen. Most people have a handful of foods they like that are plant-based, like burritos, pasta, rice and beans, simple salads, steamed broccoli, whatever, and you can start there. Check out the SpudFit website - guy is eating nothing but potatoes for one year and he looks amazing, I think he's four months in. And watch the film Forks Over Knives if you haven't seen it already.
I love to cook and try new dishes, but for day to day meals, I rarely spend more than 10-15 minutes in the kitchen. I do use a pressure cooker to cook beans or I cook them in the oven so they can be unattended more or less for an hour.
I don't use a lot of condiments like you mentioned just because they contain sodium and oil. But they are great transition foods for meatists who miss certain flavors, and most SAD diets are heavy on salt, so anything that helps people transition is great. But keep in mind that salt and oil can keep you addicted even in small amounts and then you never lose your taste for them.
Good luck! I really believe that first-line zero waste is being a vegan. Just from the GHG angle, it's a huge step. Yay you!
Haven't made yet. I got side tracked contemplating having to collect all the spices, other ingredients :/ However, I was able to find locally, in bulk, a breakfast sausage spice so that I wouldn't end up with lots of odds and ends of spices… so onwards! I think I will try the bain marie first. Obviously the spice flavor may be different, but think that's a minor point in the scheme of things.
Yeah, fascinating book.