No Pig Breakfast Links


Lately, it seems that it’s been all about “the sausage”. A while back, my friend Dalyn posted recipes for vegan Italian sausages and vegan spicy chorizo sausages on her blog ( And more recently, on the Food Network, I caught a show called Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives that was featuring hot dogs from a dive in Hawaii.  Ever since, I haven’t been able to get Dalyn’s post, the Food Network’s episode, or sausages out of my mind!

Unfortunately, while Dalyn’s recipes called for vital wheat gluten, the Hawaiian dive’s recipe called for meat! Consequently, they all needed some serious revamping to meet my wheat, soy and meat free criteria! I took on the challenge, did a little bit of research, and came up with a pretty good alternative!

My first challenge was to learn about vital wheat gluten, one of the key ingredients in Dalyn’s recipes. I discovered that it is the natural protein found in wheat that binds and produces the elasticity and texture of bread products. Once I made this discovery, I created a substitute binding agent by combining beans, rice flour and brown rice. While that concoction may not sound incredibly appetizing, to me it certainly sounds much more appealing than the ingredients found in some regular Italian, chorizo and/or breakfast sausages (mechanically separated meat, anyone!?!)!

Once I had my binding agent in place, I started thinking seriously about other key ingredients – namely, the spices. It really is the spices that differentiate one sausage from another and I’m pretty sure that once you taste the combo that I derived for this recipe, you’ll forget about all of those quirky ingredients I used as the base for these juicy sausages!

We are heading to Victoria to visit my parents this weekend and I know that my mom will be whipping up at least one hearty bacon, sausage and egg breakfast. I’ll definitely be bringing over a couple of my breakfast sausages … in fact maybe a few extras to slip onto my dad’s plate … 10 bucks says he won’t even notice! I’m telling you, these sausages are quick to prepare, freeze well, and taste great! Served with a little HP Sauce and some homemade hash browns, you’ll have a vegan breakfast that stands up to the real thing. Right, Dad?!?

Makes:  17 sausages
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time:  6-8 minutes

15 oz can black eyed peas
1 small onion
5 cloves or more garlic
1 cup cooked brown rice
4 tbsp rice flour
1/2 tsp fennel seed
1 tsp dried sage
1 tsp basil or one sprig of fresh basil (not shown here)
1 – 2 dashes red crushed chili flakes
1 tsp ground rosemary
salt and pepper to taste
grapeseed oil for frying

Saute the onion and garlic in a pan.

In a food processor (or you can do this by hand with a potato masher) combine the black eyed peas, rice flour, brown rice, basil (if fresh), and sauteed onions and garlic.

You want to pulse gently until the mix is just combined.  The thing that makes the sausages most like real breakfast links is to keep some texture in the mix.  If you over-process, the sausages won’t be successful.   (if you are worried, do this by hand and you can’t really go wrong).

When roughly processed, turn out the mix into a bowl and add all the seasonings, mixing gently with a spatula.  Make sure you taste and adjust salt and pepper as needed.

Use 1/8 cup per sausage and roll into sausage-like logs.

Heat the oil in a fry pan.  The oil must be hot when you put the sausages in the pan.  Turn the heat down to medium and cook about 2-3 minutes on each side (the sausages will turn golden brown).

I don’t usually cook all 17 sausages at once unless I’m serving a large group.  You can form the sausages into logs, wrap in plastic wrap and seal in a ziplock bag to freeze until a later date.  Alternately the sausages will keep in the fridge uncooked for about 2 days.

Serve with country hash browns, fried tomato and HP sauce.




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