At some age (or mindset), most of us start paying more attention to our diets. Perhaps it's a conscious decision: an effort to lose weight, boost a sluggish metabolism, or regain a healthy glow. Maybe dietary changes are medically mandated, doctor's orders to: bring your blood pressure down, lower cholesterol levels, even change your diet because you are borderline diabetic. Or, perhaps your social awareness changes and you decide to: give up meat once a week, or forgo meat entirely and become a strict vegetarian. Whatever the reason, you find yourself reading healthy-eating articles, ingredient lists and nutrition labels, and passing over bags of chips and sugar-laden sweets, reaching instead for fresh fruits, veggies and whole grain products.
But what do you do when you have a favorite food you just can't give up? Perhaps you can't imagine weekend mornings without bacon or sausage. Do you compromise by switching to turkey varieties or vegetarian versions? What if you find these alternatives lacking the full and robust flavors you've grown accustomed to? It can take a while for your taste buds to make the adjustment. Fortunately, there are cooking methods to make some challenging transitions more palatable.
While vegetarian varieties of sausage patties and links can be composed of many ingredients (including soy proteins, wheat gluten, legumes, grains and vegetables), the following cooking method and recipe, shared by Rodney Williams of the Strawberry Creek Inn B&B, enhances the flavor and appeal of vegetarian sausage to the point of making it a desired option at breakfast instead of just a compromise.
Suprisingly easy and and full of flavor, I invite you to experiment with the method below and see if it doesn't satisfy your tastes as much as traditional sausage. If vegetarian sausage is new to you, you might be pleasantly surprised and make the switch just because it tastes so great!
How To Cook Vegetarian Breakfast Sausage
A "Best of" Inn Cuisine, recipe courtesy Strawberry Creek Inn
Note: This method and recipe works with any brand and type of frozen vegetarian breakfast sausage.
- frozen veggie sausage patties or links
- quality olive oil
- mushroom stock (may substitute vegetable stock)
- salt and pepper to taste
- chopped, fresh basil or sage
Coat the bottom of a cast-iron or non-stick skillet with olive oil and heat to medium high. Add frozen veggie sausage and brown quickly on all sides. Standing back, pour enough mushroom (or vegetable) stock over sausage to create a very shallow pool around the sausage. Cook just until stock begins to thicken and soak into the sausage (less than 1 minute). Cover and remove from heat. When ready to serve, sprinkle with salt, pepper and fresh herbs.