After pretty average meals all week I wanted to do something a bit more creative last night. I had so many beautiful tomatoes that I bought from the asian market the other night. I had orange grape tomatoes, kumato tomatoes and roma tomatoes. While I was busy at work (like I am now) I came across this Jamie Oliver recipe for Sweet Cherry Tomato & Sausage Bake. I am not a big fan of store brought vegan tomatoes and at short notice its hard to get hold of them. So I thought I would try make them out of tempeh. I found this recipe by Vegan Chef, Italian Tempeh Sausages. So this recipe is adapted from both of these recipes to make something hearthy and delicious for a cold winters night. I paired it with some sauteed baby spinach, pureed potatoes and fresh Ciabatta bread.
I got good reviews from Marco and both of us thought the tempeh was a pretty close to the meat flavor of regular sausages. The tomatoes were also really sweet and delicious baked. My pureed potatoes were meant to be mashed, but I thought I would try out the vitamix. It came out pretty pastey, but it was still ok with the rich taste of the oil and tomatoes. I enjoyed the cooking juices to with the fresh bread as well. Marco thought I looked like an old Italian woman eating over the baking tray, but that’s the best part!
Sweet Mixed Tomato and Tempeh Sausage Casserole (vegan, gluten free option, nut free)
Ingredients Italian Tempeh Sausages-
3-4 tablespoons Italian seasoning
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup tamari or light soy sauce (use gluten free soy sauce if you prefer)
1/4 cup olive oil or grapeseed oil
Ingredients for Italian seasoning (makes double):
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion flakes or onion powder
1 tablespoon ground fennel, or grind fennel seeds by hand
1/2 tablespoon dried thyme
1/2 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 tablespoon ground black pepper
1 kg (or more) mixed cherry tomatoes and larger tomatoes, halved
2 sprigs fresh thyme
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
2 dried or fresh bay leaves
1 tablespoon dried oregano
3 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
extra virgin olive oil
1.5 tablespoon balsamic vinegar (or more to taste)
sea salt and ground black pepper to taste
2. To make the Tempeh Sausages, cut the tempeh into cubes and steam for 15 mins. Then allow it to cool or if your impatient rinse with cold water. Then break up into crumbs and place into a mixing bowl.
3. Add the Italian Seasoning to taste, then add 1/2 cup flour, tamari, olive oil and then 1/4 flour again. You shouldn’t need any salt, the soy sauce is quite salty.
4. Place all the tomatoes in a baking dish. Add fresh thyme and rosemary, bay leaves, oregano and garlic. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Season with sea salt and black pepper. Toss together.
5. Take about 1/4 of a cup worth of the sausage mixture and form into a sausage shape or patties with your hands, then lightly place onto of the tomatoes. You should be able to make about 10 sausages/patties. Don’t worry if they are difference sizes and shapes.
6. Bake in the oven for 30 mins. Then turn the sausages and bake for a further 15-20 mins. The sausages should be golden brown color. Serve with some sauteed spinach, mash potatoes and/crusty bread.