Vegetarian Holiday Fare: Herbal Bean Sausages

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Makes about 20 one-inch sausages

These plant-based sausages taste great, contain no added fat except the vegetable oil they’re fried in, and are easy to make. These ingredients yield fairly mild sausages; after you’ve tried them, adjust the seasonings to please your palate.

• 2 cups cooked pinto beans, mashed
• 1/2 cup whole wheat breadcrumbs
• 1/2 cup onion, minced
• 1 clove garlic, minced
• 1/2 cup tomato sauce
• 1/8 teaspoon fennel seed, crushed
• 1/8 teaspoon dried red pepper
• 1/8 teaspoon dried or 1/2 teaspoon
• Fresh basil
• 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley
• Salt to taste

1. Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl, mix thoroughly, and shape into 1- or 2-inch sausages.

2. Sauté in a small amount of vegetable oil until crisp, or place in a baking pan and broil, turning when edges are slightly crisp.

3. Serve with Mushroom-Red Pepper Sauce below.

Mushroom-Red Pepper Sauce

Makes about 1 cup

• 1 red bell pepper, minced
• 1/8 to 1/4 cup vegetable broth or water
• 4 large mushrooms, minced (about 1/4 cup)
• 1/4 cup onion, minced
• Salt to taste
• 1/8 teaspoon celery seed
• 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
• Dash black pepper
• Whole wheat flour (pastry flour works best)

1. Cook red pepper in vegetable broth for 5 to 7 minutes or until tender. Add mushrooms, onion, salt, celery seed, oregano, and black pepper. Cook 5 minutes longer or until onion is transparent.

2. Quickly whisk in enough flour to just thicken the sauce, about 2 tablespoons at a time. Immediately remove from burner. Do not overcook, or flour will cake.

3. If needed, add more vegetable broth or water.

4. Serve over sausages, whole grains, or vegetables.

Recipe courtesy Karen Iacobbo

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