Veggie Breakfast Sausage

Veggie Breakfast Sausage is a phenomenal vegetarian alternative to regular sausage patties. While there may not be any meat in this recipe,  these jam-packed lentil, oat, and tofu patties are still satisfyingly hearty and perfectly spiced just like regular sausage. I know that it might look like a ton of ingredients but a lot of the items are spices or pantry staples that you already have on hand, plus I divided the ingredients list and recipe into general steps to make it simpler to read. Using a wide variety of ingredients in this dish helps to build layer upon layer of of delectable flavor for the tasty and versatile sausage patties. Not to mention  that while there might be quite a few ingredients, this recipe isn’t challenging to make. To start, simply toast the spices in a sauté pan, then add the lentils and TVP and let simmer for a few minutes. After that, the lentil mixture is pulsed  with the remaining ingredients in the food processor until combined so it can be formed into patties. Once the sausage has been refrigerated overnight, it’s ready to be used! The possibilities for Veggie Breakfast Sausage are limitless- from searing on the stove to cutting into pieces and using in a casserole- try these veggie patties anywhere you might use regular sausage. 

Veggie Breakfast Sausage 
Gluten Free
Makes 4 Patties

veggie breakfast sausage

Ingredients:
Sauté:
1/2 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon fennel, diced
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon dried marjoram
1/4 teaspoon dried sage
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 crushed red pepper
dash of ground nutmeg
Salt and Pepper
Simmer:
1 teaspoon double concentrated tomato paste  (like the kind by Amore )
1/2 cup cooked lentils
1/4 cup TVP (like the kind by Bob's Red Mill ), rehydrated*
1 teaspoon gluten free soy sauce
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup vegetable broth
Salt & Pepper
Pulse:
3 ounces lite firm tofu (I always use Mori Nu)
1/4 cup cooked lentils
1 tablespoon liquid egg substitute
Salt & Pepper
Combine :
1 tablespoon ground flaxseed (like the kind by Bob's Red Mill)
1/4 cup gluten free rolls oats  like the kind by GF Harvest)

*Note: To rehydrate TVP, cover with 1/2 cup of boiling water and let soak for about 5 minutes, or until softened and water is absorbed.

Saute:
1. Add oil to a small skillet and heat to medium low.

2. Add garlic, fennel seeds, and cumin seeds to skillet. Saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds
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3. Stir in fennel, and ground spices (paprika, marjoram, sage, thyme, cumin, crushed red pepper, nutmeg, salt and pepper). Continue to sauté for 4-5 minutes more.

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Simmer:

1. Add tomato paste to skillet and cook for about 1 minute, stirring to deglaze the pan.

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2. Add lentils and TVP to skillet and season with salt and pepper. Pour in soy sauce, balsamic, and Worcestershire to skillet then stir to combine all ingredients.
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3. Raise heat to high and stir in broth. Bring mixture a low boil, then reduce to a simmer. Simmer,7-8 minutes, or until liquid is absorbed, stirring occasionally. Taste for seasoning, then remove skillet from heat and set aside.

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Puree:
1. Wrap tofu in a paper towel and squeeze gently to remove some of the moisture. Add tofu to the bowl of a small food processor along with lentils, egg, salt and pepper. Pulse until mixture is smooth and pureed.

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Combine:
1. Scoop lentil/TVP mixture into food processor with pureed tofu , then add oats and flaxseed meal. Pulse until all ingredients are evenly incorporated.

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Prepare:
1. Line a tupperware container ( large enough to hold 4 “burger” sized patties) with wax paper.

2. Use a 1/3 cup measuring cup to divide sausage mixture and shape into 4 patties. Arrange sausage patties in prepared tupperware container. (Don’t worry about them being perfectly shaped since you can reshape the patties before cooking).

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3. Place lid on container, then refrigerate overnight so sausage can set ( you can leave sausage in the fridge for 5-6 days prior to cooking, if you want to make them ahead).

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Cook: 
*Note: Once refrigerated, you can cook the sausage in almost any manner from baking to casseroles to sauteeing . Furthermore, you don’t have to leave sausage in 1/3 cup size. This is just a good serving size but fee free to crumble, cube, or or divide into smaller patties The following is just one example of a simple method to cook and enjoy the sausage.

1. Spray a nonstick skillet with olive olive spray and heat to medium high. 

2. Reshape sausage patty, if necessary, into a flat even patty then add to skillet.

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3. Cook sausage for 4-5 minutes, or until golden brown on the bottom. Use a spatula to flip patty, then continue to cook 3-4 minutes more or until golden on both sides. Enjoy!

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Nutrition Information--approximately 85 calories per sausage (1/4 of the recipe)

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