Vegetarian Sausage | Sweet potato, caramelised onion & sundried tomato sausages

Delicious vegetarian sausage:

sweet potato, caramelised onion & sundried tomato with a chilli kick!

As I recently embarked on a sausage-making spree, my vegetarian friends asked me if I’d make some vegetarian sausages for them.  I love cooking and I’m always up for a culinary challenge, so I came up with not one, but two vegetarian sausage recipes:

Sweet potato, caramelised onion & sundried tomato AND

3 bean, lentil & mushroom (recipe coming soon)

I’m actually delighted with the results – though a word of warning: the vegetarian / vegan sausage casings are ok and easy enough to use, but although they cooked fine under the grill, they exploded somewhat on the BBQ.  They’re quite delicate in the cooking process!

Note: These vegetarian sausages can also be made into vegetarian burgers / patties without the vegetarian sausage casings.  Simply shape into a burger / patty and fry with a little oil in a non-stick pan.

Vegetarian Sausage | Sweet potato caramelised onion sundried tomato with chilli

In their casings, ready to ‘cook’

Ingredients for 8 vegetarian sausages (makes approx. 8 sausages plus what’s invariably left in the sausage-filling funnel & mechanism)

  • 2 sweet potatoes – approx. 340680g , prepared as described below
  • 4 fresh red chilli peppers, de-seeded & finely chopped
  • 60g sundried tomatoes in oil, loosely drained, roughly chopped
  • 2 large onions, prepared as described below
  • 2tbsp olive oil
  • 4tsp light brown soft sugar
  • salt (to taste)
  • Vegetarian / Vegan Sausage casings (I found these online – available from various retailers)

Method

Prepare the sweet potato:

roast sweet potato

Sweet Potato cubes ready for roasting

  • Peel the sweet potatoes and chop them into squares (approx. 2cm squared)
  • Drizzle on a little olive oil and sprinkle on some fine/ground sea salt
  • Place onto a non-stick baking tray in a pre-heated fan-assisted oven at 200°C and cook for approx. 20 mins until soft and slightly caramelised but not too much – you want them sweet, not bitter (higher temp or cook for longer if your oven isn’t fan-assisted).  I use Pampered Chef’s Rectangular Stone to bake the sweet potatoes on and this requires minimal use of oil.  Depending on what you use, you may have to adjust your oil quantities to avoid sticking.

Prepare the onion:

  • Peel the onions and cut it in half, then finely slice
  • Place 2 tbsp of olive oil (or use some of the oil from the sun-dried tomatoes) in a non-stick pan, pre-heat, then add the onions
  • Cook on a high heat, stirring frequently to avoid burning, until the onions are soft and browned and have become quite sweet
  • Add 2tsp of light brown soft sugar, stir in and quickly remove from the heat before the sugar burns

Remove the sweet potato cubes from the oven once they’re ready and mash them with a fork or potato masher, adding some of the oil from the tomatoes

Mix in the caramelised onions and wait until the sweet potato mash and caramelised onion mixture has cooled down to ambient temperature

Mix in the finely chopped chilli peppers and roughly chopped sun-dried tomatoes

vegetarian sausage

Vegetarian Sausage mixture waiting to go into casings

Season to taste with a little fine sea salt

If the mixture is too dry, add a little oil from the sundried tomatoes

Push the mixture into the vegetarian sausage casings using a sausage-making machine/funnel (note that when you twist the ends, unlike with natural casings, they won’t remain properly twisted…leave enough room at the end to allow for a bit of expansion of the contents during cooking and prevent all the filling from escaping from the ends)

Grill or fry (careful if you BBQ – the vegetarian sausage casings have a tendency to tear open / explode on the high heat!) and serve with accompaniments of your choice

Vegetarian Sausage – Gloriously Simple, Gloriously Good!

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Rice Salad

This is not so much a rice salad recipe as an idea of ingredients you could put into your rice salad

My mother always used to do rice salad with tuna, olives, and lots of other ingredients; It was always seasoned with extra virgin olive oil and salt rather than mayonnaise.

I still adore rice salad with tuna, but for a meat BBQ side dish that doesn’t always work (especially when hubby can’t stand tuna!).  This is my Italian/Mediterranean take on the English rice salad made with mayonnaise.  I’ve not added quantities as this will depend on how many people you want to feed…and you can adjust the ingredient quantities to suit your individual taste.

Rice Salad

Ingredients

  • Long grain rice, washed in cold water, then boiled according to instructions (usually approx. 12 mins) in slightly salted water, then rinsed in a colander under cold water and left to cool down and drain/dry
  • Pitted black olives, sliced
  • Pitted green olives, sliced
  • Chargrilled artichokes in oil, drained and chopped

    Rice Salad Ingredients

    Rice Salad ingredients before adding Rice

  • Sundried tomatoes in oil, drained and finely chopped
  • Sweetcorn (tinned, drained)
  • Spring onions, finely chopped
  • Capers, drained and finely chopped
  • Green, Yellow and Red peppers, finely chopped
  • Mayonnaise or extra virgin olive oil

Method

Mix all the ingredients together, taste and adjust seasoning if needed.  Cover with clingfilm and refrigerate until needed.

Food safety note: Rice can quickly become unsafe to eat as it contains spore-forming bacteria. Always keep cooked rice refrigerated and, in the case of rice salad, which will be eaten cold (i.e. without re-heating to kill off any bacteria), consume within a couple of days.

Rice Salad – Gloriously Simple, Gloriously Good!