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Thursday, October 9, 2014

Steel Cut Oat Sausage Crumbles, plus an OATrageous Oatmeals blog tour

Steel-Cut Oat Sausage Crumbles #vegan #glutenfree #oats
I'm not a vegetarian or a vegan. I don't claim the title gluten-free, or paleo, or dairy-free. But, that doesn't mean that I don't work those ways of eating into my family's everyday life. Many of our meals do fall into these categories, but we are also bacon assassins and slayers of juicy steaks. Ask my youngest child what his favorite meal is, and he'll say chicken. Just chicken. You know I couldn't do without my fresh fish and seafood. But, since we're fortunate enough not to be "forced" into a category, I prefer the term varietarian.

Until, of course, I looked up my brilliant new term and realized that somebody had already claimed the term - and they didn't include pork or beef in the definition. How you can exclude things purposefully and still claim to be a varietarian is beyond me. I'm still claiming varietarian as a diet based on variety.

But, I digress—as usual. My whole point in talking about special diets was to highlight the fact that today I'm sharing a recipe that is vegan, soy-free, and gluten-free as part of the OATrageous Oatmeals blog tour! This is the newest cookbook by the very talented (and all around awesome lady) Kathy Hester.

Kathy practices a vegan lifestyle, and as with everything she cooks and teaches - eating healthy is her focus. The thing about her food (I think) is that if you weren't actually paying attention, you may not even realize that everything she shares is vegan. I say this for the benefit of those people who hear the word "vegan" and automatically go on the defensive. The blinds close off a portion of your brain, and you immediately conjure up images of rice cakes and blocks of pale, wobbly tofu. Vegan cooking can be a delicious addition to your everyday routine.
Steel-Cut Oat Sausage Crumbles #vegan #glutenfree #oats
This book itself is so inspiring! I was already a huge fan of oats (steel-cut being my variety of choice), so I felt like a kid with a new toy as I paged through and found idea after idea for ways to use oats that had never crossed my mind before. From a vegan cream liqueur to pepperoni crumbles to oat-steaks to the stuffing for a bell pepper, I have a ridiculous amounts of bookmarks popping from the pages!

If the thought of these seem a little far-out and makes your palms sweat, don't worry—there are also tons of great ideas for using oats in some more familiar and comforting ways like granola and granola bars or cookies and cakes. And of course, there's a variety of ways to dress up that comforting breakfast ingredient (whether baked, overnight, refrigerator, or good ol' stove top).

Today, I'm so excited to share a "sausage" crumble made using steel-cut oats. The chewy texture of the simmered then baked oats, combined with a fragrant blend of spices (that would be good to make and keep on hand for other things, by the way) actually are reminiscent of a meat sausage. I used half of it to top a pizza (along with onions, garlic, and mushrooms), and I grinned the whole time I was eating it. I'm weird like that...I just found it so cool. Sausage, but not sausage. You know? I stuck the other half in the freezer, and plan to stir it into Kathy's Apple Thyme Savory Steel-Cut Oats (as she recommends) when I make them this coming weekend. Can't wait!

Steel-Cut Oat Sausage Crumbles
The spices give this "sausage" made from steel-cut oats its traditional Italian sausage flavor and color, while the oats lend a chewy texture. It is vegan, soy free, and gluten free.
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Steel Cut Oat Sausage Crumbles
by From OATrageous Oatmeals by Kathy Hester printed with permission of Page Street Publishing
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Keywords: bake simmer dairy-free gluten-free nut-free soy-free sugar-free vegan oats spice herbs

Ingredients (2-3 cups)
  • 1 cup (237ml) water
  • 1/2 cup (40g) steel-cut oats
  • 2 teaspoon rubbed sage
  • 2 teaspoon marjoram
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt, or more, to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne, or to taste
  • 1/4 to 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground rosemary or 1/2 teaspoon regular
Preheat oven to 350° F and cover a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a saucepan add the water and oats, bring to a boil then turn the heat to low and cook for 10 minutes covered. Mix all the other ingredients in a bowl and set aside.

Cook uncovered for 5 minutes while stirring to help get some of the moisture out. Remove from heat and add in the spice mixture and mix well.

Spoon the oat mixture onto the parchment paper and try to distribute it as close to evenly as possible. Then tear a second piece of parchment paper and put on top an flatten the mixture as much as possible (then peel off top parchment and discard).
Steel-Cut Oat Sausage Crumbles - ready to bake
Bake for 10 minutes, then pull out and cut lines into the sausage with a spatula. You aren’t trying to move it, just to make more places for steam to escape.

Bake for 5 more minutes. This time scrape and break up the sausage into crumbles with the spatula.

Bake 5 more minutes and it should be easy to crumble. You can sprinkle on pizza and you can even freeze the leftovers for another time!

nutritional info:
Per 1/4 cup serving: Calories 42.5, protein 1.8 g, total fat 0.8 g, carbohydrates 7.3 g, sodium 145.3 mg, fiber 1.3 g
Steel-Cut Oat Sausage Crumbles #vegan #glutenfree #oats
OATrageous Oatmeals blog tour + giveaway

OATrageous Oatmeals

author: Kathy Hester
publisher: Page Street Publishing
photos: yes
soft cover: 208 pages

chapters/sections: Do It Yourself Homemade Staples | Warming Oats for Fall and Winter | Cooling Breakfast Oas for Spring and Summer | Granolas and Bars for Breakfast and Beyond | Satisfying Soups and Stews | Savory Oats for Lunch and Dinner | Delightful Desserts | Drinks, Oat Milk and Even an Oat Liquor | Beyond the Dining Room: Other Uses for Oats

fun features: Let me just start by saying that I think the premise of this cookbook is general is pretty fun—the variety of things that Kathy managed to make using oats is astounding. But I really love that she added on a chapter that included a bath soak, a body scrub, and treats for not only dogs, but also cats. So much fun!

(a few of the many) recipes destined for my kitchen: Banana Oatmeal Cookie Pancakes | Butternut Squash Maple Walnut Scones | Pomegranate Rose Smoothie | Bourbon-Scented Pecan Granola | Mushroom Ginger Congee | Scottish-Inspired Mushroom Lentil Stew | Veggie Oat Taco Mince | Bourbon Oat Shortbread | Plain Unsweetened Oat Milk | Oat-Chata | Oatmeal Cookie Scrub | Catnip Kitty Treats

about the author: Kathy Hester is the author of Vegan Slow Cooking for Two or Just You, The Great Vegan Bean Book and the best-selling The Vegan Slow Coooker. She loves to show people how easy it is to cook healthy at home.

She posts easy recipes on her blog, Healthy Slow Cooking and writes a weekly vegan column for Key Ingredient, as well as writing for various blogs, sites and publications.

She lives in Durham, North Carolina, with a grown-up picky eater, 2 quirky dogs and 2 cats—who still would rather not live together—in her 1970's modernist dreamhouse.

further info: website | facebook | pinterest | twitter

Would you like to win a copy of OATrageous Oatmeals? If so, simply answer this question in the comment section below (mandatory entry): 
What is YOUR favorite way to use oats (in cooking or beyond)?

After you've commented with your answer, be sure to record  your entry in the rafflecopter widget below. Completing this mandatory entry will then open up optional ways to get more entries into the contest.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway is open to residents of the US and Canada only. Submissions will be accepted through 11:59 pm ET on Wednesday, October 15, 2014. One winner will be chosen via random draw and notified via email within 48 hours of the close of this contest, and given 24 hours in which to respond. If no response is received within that time frame, a new winner will be chosen. All entries will be verified (if the mandatory comment is not received, yet the box is checked, all entries by that person will be voided).

I received a free copy of this book at no charge from the publisher for being a part of this book tour. All opinions stated in this post are my own.