It really feels that autumn has suddenly arrived; the clocks have changed, the nights are drawing in and the mornings are mighty chilly. It’s time for warming comfort food!
This week it’s also Bonfire Night (in the UK). For me, this always makes me think of eating bangers (sausages) and beans (the baked bean variety from a tin 😉 ). I do make my own beans – you can find my version of baked beans here on the blog,a lovely smoky flavour that warms you from the inside out. Todays satisfying stew is just as warming, but a little less smoky!
If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you may be surprised to see a recipe including a food that comes out of a packet. Well, I confess I’m a big fan of veggies sausages and although I do make my own from time to time, sometimes the bought version come in very handy. Especially when you are travelling, cooking for the family or have visitors who don’t want to be too scared by all the vegan food in the house!
There are lots of different veg sausages available on the market now including some incredible facsimiles of the real thing. I actually find them too ‘meaty’ and can’t eat them. And indeed I’m not their target market. The customer base for companies like Impossible Foods and Beyond Meats, which use meat alternatives for their burgers and sausages, is overwhelmingly meat eaters rather than veggie or vegan. The aim is to focus on meat reducers. Which is great for the planet and (of course) for the animals.
For me, I prefer to go ‘old school’ and stick with good old Linda McCartney veggie sausages. They have a good flavour, the texture cannot be confused for meat but is also reasonably firm and they are low in saturated fat (now palm oil has gone from the recipe). But there are many other options, so choose whichever one works for you.
You’ll see in the recipe I ‘fry’ the sausages without oil. They just get popped in a pan and turned regularly. The key is it has to be a good non-stick frying pan. I often get asked which pans I use. I am very happy with the Prestige Eco Pans I bought last year, made with plant-based materials and with recyclable elements too. I have 2 of their frying pans and a large wok and they’re lasting very well (I don’t get any commission for this recommendation by the way 😉 ).
If you don’t have a good pan, then pop the sausages under the grill and brown them that way. The key thing is you don’t need any extra oil.
The recipe is a slightly different version to the one that appears in my free Campervan Cookbook. If you’ve not grabbed your copy yet, you can get it here. The final cookbook will be ready next year so this is just a taster. All the recipes can be made in any kitchen – campervan not required 😉
This stew is a great way to get kids to eat more veg and to introduce family or friends to veggie food. And, most importantly, means that you only have to cook one dish to suit everyone.
Bean and veggie sausage stew
- 8 vegan sausages
- 1 white or red onion sliced
- 4 medium carrots peeled and sliced
- 1 medium red pepper optional
- 2 sliced portobello mushrooms OR
- 1 medium courgette chopped
- 1 clove garlic finely chopped
- 400 gram tin chopped tomatoes
- 1 tbsp tomato purée
- 2 teaspoons oregano
- Pinch paprika
- Pinch chilli flakes optional
- 400 g tin cannellini beans rinsed
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Add 2 tablespoons of water to a large pan. Add the sliced onions, chopped carrots and red pepper (if using). Sauté on a medium heat for 5 minutes, adding more water as needed so the veggies don't stick to the base of the pan.
- Once the sausages are lightly browned on all sides, remove them from the pan and set aside on a small plate.
- Add the carrots to the pan along with a drizzle of water and sauté with the onion for a couple more minutes.
- Tip in the chopped tomatoes, tomato purée, oregano, paprika and chilli if using and enough water to create a good sauce. Gently bring to the boil then reduce the heat and simmer with the lid on for 10 minutes until the carrots are soft.
- By now, the veggie sausages should be cooked and lightly browned. Turn off the heat and leave to cool for a few minutes, then chop them into bite-sized pieces.
- Add the beans to the mix and cook for a couple of minutes before tipping in the sausage chunks.
- Warm thorough for 2 more minutes until everything is piping hot. Serve with veggies of choice.
My online course Eat Well Live Well covers all sorts of information about whole-food plant-based eating for health but also covers the wider issues such as the environment and ethics. To celebrate World Vegan Month you can access this course as well as my short introductory course Eating Whole Plant Foods for Health for half the normal price. Go to my courses site here and use code VEG50. But only until the end of November 2021 so don’t put it off.