Saturday 7 September 2013

Sausages, Election and Kath and Kim

I finally make vegan gf sausages in homage to Kel Knight, purveyor of fine meats.  And I post them today in memory of all the sausage sizzles around the country for election day.

Television Show: Kath and Kim, comedy, Australia, 2002 - 2007

What it means to me:
Kath and Kim is a comedy about a dysfunctional mother and daughter in the working class outer suburbs of Melbourne. It is a show that makes me cringe because there is so much truth in the characters and it can feel uncomfortable to laugh at them.  But I do in the nicest way possible.  (Think the discomfort of watching The Office.) 

This show is full of actors that I have been watching for a long time.  They are particularly memorable for all their roles on sketch shows.  I remember loving Glen Robbins on the Comedy Zone when I was at school and many others were on Fast Forward.  The characters reflect people I know and visit places that are familiar to me - Flinders Street train station, the shopping centres and Ikea.  Their catch phrases have entered out local lingo.  'Noice, different, unusual', 'But mum, it's all you can eat', 'It's mummy's turn now'.

First attempt at vegan gf sausages - too dry
Food featured:
The mother in the series, Kath Day, has a boyfriend called Kel Knight.  Her 'great hunk o' spunk'.  He greases his hair and combs it over the bald spot.  He is a health nut and a butcher: 'purveyor of fine meat'.  (As E likes to say, meat to please you, pleased to meet you!)  To use some Aussie slang, he is a bit up himself!

Kel Knight is very proud of his sausages.  He likes to spend time searching for new flavours and in the third show, spends time trying to develop a new gourmet sausage to celebrate his forthcoming wedding with Kath.  I love a vegie sausage so this was a great excuse to make some.

The process for making sausages.  The chickpea flour dough was a little more yellow than the second batch of sausages.
Recipe notes:
I have tried chorizo sausages with gluten flour before but I have never been a fan of the gluteny taste of seitan.   I saw a recipe for vegan and gluten free sausages on The Crabby Crafter a couple of Vegan MoFos ago and have intended to make it ever since.  Finally its time had come.

I am not so keen on rice flour so I had decided that chickpea flour would work well.  Unfortunately the first attempt was not successful.  The mixture was a bit dry but would come together if squeezed hard.  But once cooked it was too dry.  Even when drowned in caramelised onion gravy.  I learnt my lesson when making them again.

My first attempt at the sausages - drowned in onion gravy to compensate for being too dry.
My second attempt was far more successful.  I used different flours and made sure the mixture was soft enough to knead.  They cooked under the grill (broiler) to a lovely golden brown.  The texture was a little less robust than the gluten flour counterparts but still held together very well and had lots of good flavour.

Rolled sausages ready to be wrapped in foil.
Random notes:
We eat sausages a lot.  I usually buy them but I like to make them occasionally.  This recipe takes longer than buying them, despite being just a matter of mix and steam.  I love making bangers and mash for an easy meal.  The second lot of sausages was made for a visit by my dad.  He enjoyed them.  I was a little stressed because it took me so long but at least I didn't try making chips.  As you will see in the photos, I was experimenting with sausages and chips in a few meals.

I am posting the sausage recipe today because it seemed topical.  Today was a federal election in Australia.  All of Australia loves a bbq sausage and never more so than at the polling booths.  In fact with all the discussion of people voting early, one of the issues was about missing out on the sausage sizzles on election day.

Election day sights (sausage sizzle: top middle)
We had quite an interesting trip to the polls today.  When setting out to the school where we usually vote, and a neighbour told me it would be an hour queue and there was a quieter one nearby.  We went there and then back to the school for the cake stall, the second hand book stall and the playground.  Then over the road to a community centre where we were given herbs, ate quiche and admired their vegie garden.  On the way home we stopped in at a local op shop and found they are closing next week and have 50% off.  We made purchases.

It was a nice day but goodness it has been a depressing campaign with the race to the bottom with refugee policies (including buying all the leaky boats in Indonesia to stop asylum seekers getting ti Australia), 'suppositories of wisdom', more arrogance than compassion, and lacklustre leaders.  So rather than dwelling on results (we live in a safe seat where there are no surprises), here are some things that made me smile today:
  • Being handed how to vote cards by a fellow blogger.  It's a small world.  (And if you wonder why we need how to vote cards, pity us for having 97 senate candidates to choose from this year!  Argh!)
  • Our local member arriving at our polling booth, handing out about 3 how to vote flyers before racing off to the next booth.  (To be fair, I have been at a function with him and he is very personable.)
  • Kevin Rudd announcing he was standing down from the Labour leadership.  It was a bright moment in a tortuously long concession of defeat.
  • The young girl pouting and posing behind an exhausted Bill Shorten, an MP on the losing side of politics, as he spoke to the television cameras.

Sausages with sweet potato chips, stir-fried rainbow chard and plum and apple chutney.
I am sending these sausages to Jac of Tinned Tomatoes for her Bookmarked Recipes blog event because I am really pleased to have finally made this recipe that has been on my to do list so frequently.  I am also sending them to Ricki Heller's Wellness Weekend blog event.

Previously on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
One year ago: Mad Mex and Melbourne Central
Two years ago: CC Bookshops, pretzel buns, burgers and corn salad
Three years ago: Winchelsea Larder - regional goodness
Four years ago: Chocolate cookies and pizza
Five years ago: A bloody tale of burritos and beans

Vegan GF Sausages
Adapted from the Crabby Crafter
Makes about 8-10 sausages

400g can of white beans, drained and mashed
1/2 cup quinoa flour
1/4 cup brown rice flour
1/4 cup buckwheat flour
*2 tbsp psyllium husks 
4 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
1 tsp powdered sage
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp fennel seeds, ground
1/2 cup cooked quinoa
2 tbsp water
juice of 1/2 a lemon
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 small onion, finely diced
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
seasoning to taste (I used 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper)

Mix together all ingredients.  Check seasoning and adjust according to taste.  It should come together to make a dough that you can knead with perhaps a few cracks.  Grab handfuls and roll into sausage shape.  Wrap each sausage in foil (twisting each end like a Christmas cracker to seal them) and place in a steamer basket.  Steam for about 40 minutes.  They are now ready to grill or fry and I think they would even be sturdy enough for the BBQ.

* Psyllium husks are not essential.  The Crabby Crafter didn't use them when she made them but I really like their binding properties - and I also have a tub of the stuff that needs to be used. (I have had a few comments ask about this so hopefully this helps)

On the Stereo:
50 favourite nursery rhymes, vol II: Patsy Biscoe

This post is part of Vegan Month of Food September 2013.  This year for Vegan MoFo I am cooking recipes inspired by some favourite tv shows - and veering off topic occasionally.  Go to my Vegan MoFo list for more of my Vegan MoFo posts.    


  1. Hmm, those sausages look really great! I have trouble finding psyllium husks around here, do you think they can be replaced by something or shall I continue my quest?

    1. Thanks Sara - I am guessing you could use some xanthum gum if you wanted to substitute something but the Crabby Crafter didn't use any - i just added it because I like how they bind gf doughs

  2. Oh, my, these look INCREDIBLE. I've GOT to try them!! :D

    1. Thanks Ricki - yes try them - I think there are lots of possibilities to play with in the flavours and flours so would love to hear how you go

  3. Hmmm elections- always seem to provoke a mixed bag of feelings..Glad that you can focus on the happier things though :)
    I bookmarked these sausages to try far too long ago but still haven't got to them. I do like making sausages with VWG but it's always fun to try something different.

    1. Thanks Emma - I was so inspired when I saw this recipe so I am pleased to make it because vital wheat gluten (or gluten flour as it is called here) just seems really heavy to me. As for elections - I can't stand how our politicians spend more energy telling us what is wrong with the opposition than talking about their policies.

  4. Love the sound of these sausages!

    1. Thanks Yummy C - they are lovely but I would like to play around with it a bit more

  5. Oh I do love Kath and Kim! A couple that we know don't like it because it hits too close to home for them! :P I'm so glad that I'm out of Australia for this election!

    1. Thanks Lorraine - I know a few people who I see Kath and Kim (and Pru and Tru) in.

  6. This post is wonderful for several reasons. I've also had this recipe bookmarked for years and have been thinking of playing around with it recently too. I love how you tied it to Kel from Kath and Kim as well as the election BBQs which was just perfect timing. I'm curious about the psyllium husks in your recipe, are they crucial or could another ingredient be used in it's place. It's not something I currently have in the pantry.

    1. Thanks Mel - I am interested to hear a few people who have also bookmarked the recipe - I had this recipe waiting to be posted and then I kept hearing people talking about sausage sizzles and realised it was the perfect day for it - esp as it is a very inclusive recipe (if only sausage sizzles had veg sausages). I have made a note about the psyllium husks - they are not necessary but I do find it a useful ingredient for gf baking even if I don't use them much and they last for ages

  7. This is AWESOME. haha i love Kath and Kim. I didn't believe that fountain lakes was a real shopping centre but turns out it is. I had the Lynda MacKartney sausages yesterday. To be honest, they tasted a bit like meat to me!

    1. Thanks Cass - I sometimes have trouble believing in Fountain Lakes too - while I feel like I know Kath and Kim's Melbourne, I don't think I have ever been to the shopping centre they love. I used to love linda mccartney snags but now eat the sanitarium more because Sylvia likes them (she wouldn't eat mine - sigh!)

  8. Yay! Gluten free vegan sausages. Looks yummy!

    1. Thanks Erin - yes I was so excited to see this style of sausage as GF

  9. I have never tried making veggie sausages but this might be the recipe to change that. I wish they had been on offer at our local primary school after voting! We only had 62 senate options but it still took some time to number all the boxes and I'd have liked a hot dog with one of these to recover...and to take my mind off the dismal main party choices.

    1. Thanks Kari - I love these steamed sausages as they seem to come together really well with the steaming so I recommend these - and if you check out the crabby crafter's post you will see that she is pretty flexible in the way she directs the recipe but I like to note what I did (and will probably change it another time depending on what is about).

      62 senate hopefuls is quite a lot still - I heard them saying there is likely to be senate reform. But I sort of liked all the odd little party names - the pirate party was one of my favourites.

  10. Wow, it's amazing how to made these GF vegan sausage! I'm going to forward this to my girlfriend who's on a straight vegan diet and her hubby is also vegan and GF. They're always looking for new recipes to try and I'm sure they would appreciate this. Thank you so much for sharing.

    1. Thanks Amy - hope your girlfriend and hubby enjoy these - I thought they were really good, albeit slightly beany

  11. I hear you about seitan, I'm not a big fan either. these look great! We didn't get a sausage sizzle at our polling station, but that may have been a blessing, not having to put up with the smell!

    1. Thanks Kate - we didn't actually get a sausage sizzle at our polling station but we went to another that had sausages - I was curious to see if they had veg sausages but obviously just too hopeful

  12. Instead of rice flour, I've also used ground rice (which I found at a Chinese grocers, it's kind of like cornmeal, only made of rice, obviously) or cornmeal [fine or coarse, although I prefer coarse when I make polenta or grits (grits is actually hominy, but whatever, I can't find hominy here), but that's another story] with much success. :D
    I used to have some kind of drink when I was a kid* that had psyllium husks in it and I really liked it. I like their chewy, goopy texture. I wonder if I can find any. And I wonder if ground flaxseeds would be a good substitute, since they get kind of goopy, too.

    * One of the reasons I went vegan was because I used to have really high cholesterol (used to because since going vegan, I don't any more, yay!). The psyllium husk drink was marketed as something to keep you 'regular,' but I guess it also lowered cholesterol.

    1. Thanks Big Momma - I love polenta so will try this in these - I have never quite got my head around grits and hominy. I have psyllium husks because I have GF sister and niece so my mum bought some for GF baking and gave me some - I don't use it often but as I don't have xanthum gum it is a good binder to have on hand - not sure I would like a gloopy psyllium drink though - glad the cholesterol is under control

  13. Kath and Kin good, election results bad. I just can't even. I can't even.

  14. KIM I mean. Now let's see if it takes me less than four goes to get the bloody captcha code right this time.

  15. I don't often make sausages myself - I've tried a few times but never overly impressed with the results - they're just not even half as nice as the ready made ones. I can clearly see now I should have stuck with it, and different flours are the key - I had the rice one in there before.

    And yeah - Kath and Kim = hilarious. Election result = not funny at all.

  16. YUM! I have pinned those to try after mofo (or during if I find a way to fit them in my theme somehow). They're lovely.

  17. hahahaa oh the good memories of watching Kath & Kim! I loved that show!
    Love making veg*n sausages too! :-)

  18. I'm super curious about this gluten-free "seitan" sausage thing! I don't have any tips, but I'm excited to see folks working it out, especially because I so often get comments asking about removing the gluten from things that are 90% gluten. Good work!


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