Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Vegetarian "Sausage" Rolls with Lentils


Recently, I've been trying to incorporate more vegetarian substitutes into my cooking.

For my health, for the planet, for ethical reasons... While I don't know if I will ever give up meat entirely, I do like trying to cut back on how much of it I eat. Where I struggle though is in trying to replace my favourite foods with a vegetarian substitute.

Finding vegetarian substitutes for food can be challenging but rewarding. Especially when the meal you're creating a substitute for is essentially JUST meat.

I was at a party the other day and the hostess was serving one of my FAVOURITE appetizers, Sausage Rolls! After a few bites I thought "I bet I could make these with lentils instead". 


By thickening up a lentil soup into more of a stew/paste, and incorporate the mustard and fennel flavours found in sausages, my Vegetarian "Sausage" Rolls were born! A great replacement for one of my favourite appies!

Vegetarian "Sausage" Rolls with Lentils (Yield approx 25 rolls)

Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cups dried black lentils
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 small onion, diced small
  • 1 tsp mustard seed, crushed
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seed, crushed
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Sriracha sauce
  • 1 package Phyllo pastry sheets or Puff pastry
  • 2 egg whites, beaten


Directions

1) In medium sized pot on the stove add lentils and vegetable broth. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium, letting the mixture simmer, approx 25 minutes.

2) Add onion, spices, salt and pepper to the mixture then let simmer another 5-10 minutes until water is almost all evaporated and lentils are soft. Add water half a cup at a time if the lentils need more time to cook or mixture is too dry. Remove from heat and set aside



3) Take your phyllo sheets and, if needed, cut into strips approx 3" wide. Because phyllo is thin, you may want to overlap your strips when you're rolling your lentil rolls. If you're using puff pastry, one sheet should be fine.

I overlapped mine by about 1/2 of each sheet.

4) Preheat oven to 350F. Squeeze a thin strip of Sriracha the width of the phyllo, about 2" up from the bottom. Then take roughly two tablespoons of your lentil mixture and spoon over top.



5) Roll the bottom of the pastry up over your lentils, then continue to roll (loosely) toward the top of the pastry. You may need to tuck in the sides a bit to secure the lentils. Secure the roll by brushing the seam of the pastry lightly with the egg white. Transfer to a baking sheet sprayed lightly with Pam.

When your baking sheet is full, place in oven for approx 25 minutes, or until pastry is golden on top. 

Serve warm with an assortment of mustard for dipping!




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