I often receive comments about plant-based protein being “processed food.”
I’ve found a new company in Asheville, North Carolina called No Evil Foods that makes an amazing vegan Hot Italian Sausage they call “The Stallion” with eight simple ingredients – all of which are non-GMO and three of which are also organic.
Here they are:
- Filtered Water
- Vital Wheat Gluten
- Organic Red Kidney Beans
- Organic Shoyu Soy Sauce
- Chickpea Flour
- Nutritional Yeast
- Sea Salt
- Organic Herbs and Spices
Since each vegan sausage contains 160 calories, no cholesterol, saturated fat, or trans fat, and a whopping 26 grams of protein, this product deserves your attention. I love the fact that it is wrapped in brown paper, just like you’d get at an old-fashioned butcher’s shop, and that the two owners, Mike Wollansky and Sadrah Schadel, poke fun by styling themselves as the Head Meat Packer and Master Cleaver Heaver, respectively. Seriously, check out the “Meat Us” portion of their website and tell me that you get Sadrah’s clever reference to herself as “Babe Froman aka the Sausage Queen of Asheville”! (Stumped?? Here’s a hint!)
I found the three No Evil Foods products at Healthy Home Market, and see that they are also available in Charlotte at Common Market and Queen City Pantry. Note to Earth Fare and Whole Foods: since you carry No Evil Foods at your Asheville stores, please consider adding their products to your Charlotte stores – soon!
I used The Stallion in a simplified version of my Baked Italian Sausage, Fennel, and Peppers over Peppery Parmesan Polenta recipe from Fool a Carnivore. I needed to make a super quick version for a party and lacked a number of the ingredients in what is normally a fairly complicated and labor intensive recipe. My friends at the party all enjoyed the new version, and I think you will, too.
If you can’t find “the Stallion”, you can certainly substitute Field Roast Italian Sausage, which is the meatless sausage I used in my original recipe.
But please seek out No Evil Foods. They will ship their products to you if you’re not near a store that carries them.
You’ve got to love a company whose tag line is “It’s not Fake Meat – it’s Real Food!”
- 8 cups boiling water
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- 2 cups corn grits
- 4 tablespoons Earth Balance vegan buttery sticks (or real unsalted butter if you’re not vegan)
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 red onion, sliced
- 1 Vidalia onion, sliced
- 1 yellow bell pepper, sliced into 2 inch matchsticks
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced into 2 inch matchsticks
- 1 orange bell pepper, sliced into 2 inch matchsticks
- 1 purple bell pepper, sliced into 2 inch matchsticks
- 2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes
- 3-4 rosemary sprigs
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 12-ounce package of the Stallion, Hot Italian Sausages (or substitute Field Roast Italian Sausage), chopped into fairly small pieces
- Optional toppings if you aren’t vegan:
- - 6-8 ounces UAV smoked mozzarella
- - 6-8 ounces UAV fresh mozzarella
- - 6 ounces Goat cheese
- - grated Parmigiano-Reggianno
- Put the boiling water in your slow cooker, stir in the salt, and then the corn grits. Set the slow cooker to low and let the polenta cook for 3-5 hours, stirring occasionally. Add some additional boiling water if it seems too thick. Stir in the vegan butter (or the unsalted butter) and plenty of freshly ground black pepper. (And if you're serving people who eat dairy and want to add some grated Parmesan, go for it!)
- When the polenta is done, lightly oil two Pyrex baking dishes and pour in the polenta. Cover loosely with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and let the polenta firm up. Once the polenta is cool, you can put the baking dishes in the fridge. When the polenta is firm, slice it into squares.
- Heat the oven to 425 degrees. Toss some of the olive oil with the sliced onions, peppers, and rosemary sprigs, salt, and pepper and put the mixture in one foil-lined baking pan. Toss the remaining olive oil with the sliced tomatoes and garlic, season with salt and pepper and put the mixture in another foil-lined baking pan. Roast both the peppers and the tomatoes for about 30 minutes, flipping occasionally so that nothing burns. Remove the rosemary sprigs from the peppers and the garlic from the tomatoes (or leave it in if you like!)
- Meanwhile, sauté the chopped pieces of The Stallion in a large skillet a couple of teaspoons of olive oil over medium high heat until lightly browned. Set aside.
- When you’re ready to assemble, put your roasted peppers over one of your two polenta pans and your roasted tomatoes over the other. (Or use tomatoes and peppers on both! I kept them separate because I know that some folks don’t like peppers, and I wanted to give them a tomato-only option. Either way will be good!)
- You can assemble far in advance and pop them in a 400 degree oven (with the optional cheese if you eat dairy) for about 8 minutes.
- Since you’ve sliced the polenta into squares before putting on the toppings, you can easily use a spatula and put the squares on a serving plate – or separately plate for each person.