This hash is a yummy way to get a serving of whole grains and vegetarian protein. A delicious combo of sweet and spicy makes the perfect vegan breakfast.
If you don't have vegan sausage on hand, we'll guide you to the flavors to use instead.
Brunch has got to be one of my favorite meals to prepare. Not quite breakfast, not quite lunch, you're free to just play around and have fun with it. And since Jeff and I are just about to head out of town, I found myself needing to use up some stuff in the fridge. That's how this recipe found its way to our plates.
It is all really quite easy to pull together, and your brunch will be ready in less than 10 minutes. It's a fun way to get a daily serving or two of whole grains (1/2 cup of cooked whole grains is a serving).
This recipe calls for organic silken tofu, which is what I had on hand. I don't normally use silken tofu except when making things like pudding or a homemade vegan sauce of some sort. It's called "silken" for a reason -- because the results are like silk; read: smooth.
That said, it DOES help to add some silken tofu to "pump up the volume" of a dish. Feel free to use regular organic firm tofu, or simply leave it out altogether, substituting with more whole grains.
And the vegetarian sausage, while not one of the most all-around nutritious foods, DOES contain some good amounts of vegetarian protein and, of course, a yummy spicy flavor.
Most vegan sausages out there are made with soy. Now, as you might be able to tell from my entire website, I encourage you to ALWAYS buy organic soy products (also organic corn, and organic sugar) because these are almost always grown with GMO's. I want you to really try your best to avoid products made with these ingredients unless you can find it organic.
Now, that said, it's difficult to find organic vegan soy sausage. There is a vegetarian sausage that's organic made by Morningstar Farms, but it contains eggs and is not vegan.
Instead, I recommend you buy Tofurkey brand. The main ingredient is not soy but wheat. It does also contain tofu but the tofu is organic. So it's really your best bet at this time.
Alternatively, leave the sausage out completely and instead add the flavors of sausage to the dish.
Which flavors would you add to bring in the sausage-like flavor? I thought you'd never ask. ;)
Whenever I'm trying to replicate the flavor of vegan sausage I use some sage, garlic, liquid smoke, paprika, and something spicy such chipotle chili powder.
You don't need a lot of each -- but I would add more sage and garlic (about a Tablespoon of each), a little less paprika (a teaspoon) and even less chili powder (1/2 teaspoon), and a teeeeeny amount of liquid smoke. And LOTS of black pepper!
Let's back up for a second. If you're new to cooking vegan you need to know that the amounts of spices you could add to a dish before has to be taken down a few notches now. That's because dairy helps to mellow the spice and if you don't use dairy, then you need to use far less spice (such as chili powders or jalapenos). Always start small and add more if needed.
What really brings this dish to delicious heights is the dill pickle relish. Don't cheat and use sweet pickle relish -- you'll want the spicy flavors the dill relish brings. Feel free to finely mince dill pickles to get the same effect.
When all was said and done, here's how my recipe came together...
Vegan Sausage and Rice Hash
1 cup Tofurkey vegan sausage links (or your favorite)*
1/2 cup organic silken tofu
1-2 cups pre-cooked brown rice mix (see note below)
1-2 teaspoons organic Tamari soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon organic pure maple syrup, or use coconut nectar
2-3 Tablespoons dill pickle relish, or finely minced dill pickles
Onion powder, garlic powder, sea salt & freshly ground black pepper, all to taste
Step 1: Using a napkin, spread a very thin layer of oil in a large frying pan, or use a non-stick pan. When the pan is hot, add finely chopped sausage, stirring occasionally.
Step 2: When browned, add remaining ingredients and cook until warmed throughout.
Step 3: Plate. Dollop with ketchup, if desired. Serve with PB&J slathered crispy English muffins (optional), and 1/2 chopped avocado for some deliciously healthy fats. Enjoy!
Note: We rarely use straight brown rice. Instead, we cook up a batch of "brown rice mix". This week our brown rice mix consisted of brown rice, wild rice, and lentils. Experiment to find a brown rice mix you like, such as brown rice/wild rice/barley, brown rice/lentils, or even a mix of some pseudo-grains such as quinoa/buckwheat or buckwheat/millet, etc.
Note: An asterisk (*) indicates a "fun food" and should be used sparingly. Not recommended as part of a healthy everyday vegan diet.