Grounds for Creation

While my creations most often happen at a sewing machine, today I am talking about some creations of my own that I have been working on for quite some time in the kitchen!

We have tried many versions of imitation beef and sausage grounds over the years both store bought and homemade. While we have found some of each that we have quite enjoyed they were either lacking in our desired flavor and texture or too crazy with sodium and preservatives for our comfort.

I have taken my experience with veganizing recipes and have been testing out finding a balance of what I have both liked and disliked from various other recipes we have tried over the years. Not to toot my own horn, but I have really perfected and personalized two recipes enough to confidently call them my own! One is a ground ‘beef’ and the other is ground ‘sausage’.

The ground beef is tofu based and extremely versatile. We have used it in tacos, cowboy casseroles, shepherds pie, lasagna…just about any place you’d use regular ground beef!

The ground sausage has a TVP (textured vegetable protein) base and pairs well with tofu scrambles, tater tot casserole, breakfast burritos, with pasta or as a pizza topping! I am also including a way that we also turn our tofu base into sausage as well, if you don’t have access to TVP. If you have never heard of or tried TVP before, this would be a wonderfully way to introduce yourself!

Ground “Beef”
1 Block Super Firm tofu (if using firm, press it)
3 Tbsp Liquid Aminos (or soy sauce)
2 Tbsp Liquid Smoke
1 tsp Garlic Powder
1/2 tsp Smoked Paprika

Preheat oven to 400*F
Use your hands to crumble the tofu into a bowl and set aside.
Next, combine all remaining ingredient in a small bowl to create the marinade.
Pour marinade over the tofu crumbles.
While you can back this off right away, I enjoy it best if it marinates at least 30 minutes.
Bake for 15 minutes before tossing then bake for another 10-15 minutes depending on your oven.

**To give this mixture a sausage flavor add the following to the marinade mixture:
1/4 tsp crushed Fennel
1/8 tsp crushed Sage

Ground “Sausage”

Wet Ingredients
1/2 cup TVP (rehydrated with 1/2 cup hot water)
1/2 tsp Liquid Smoke
3 Tbsp Liquid Aminos (or soy sauce)
1 tsp Maple Syrup

Dry Ingredients:
1/2 cup Whole Wheat Flour
1/4 cup Ground Flax
1 Tbsp Nutritional Yeast
1 tsp Garlic Powder
1/2 tsp crushed Sage
1/2 tsp crushed Fennel
1/4 tsp Black Pepper

Combine wet ingredients first.
In a separate bowl combine dry ingredients.
Lightly toss wet ingredients with the dry.
Pan fry, stirring only occasionally.

We really enjoy these and maybe some of you may find something you like from these recipes too! If not, maybe they inspire you to do some recipe testing of your own!

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