Often times, especially when you are at the beginning of making changes to your diet, and/ or following a specialist diet you become aware of the journey ahead, stretching out, and when you’re tired or at a low ebb, you project doubt onto your efforts. What you need are staple foods that you know you can turn to, that offer substance, reassurance, tastiness and something-you-always-would-have-enjoyed. Cue veggie sausages (aka bangers). These cannelini bean and kasha (roast buckwheat) sausages are bang on. Buckwheat sausages are the best because they create lightness and substance, without soya (something I have to avoid as a coeliac). You can eat them as is, have them in a wrap or a buckwheat bun (for a true buckwheat fest), have them with root mash and gravy, make them into balls and pop them in soup as a delicious dumpling. They’re light and fluffy and so so good… make extra, so that you have them there in the fridge or freezer, ready to eat and cook, making life that bit easier, which is always good, especially if you’re making changes to what you eat. The future can be a scary place, but it can be a better place too so hang on in there and find the foods that you and your body loves. I love this photo of Dan and I, at dusk when the sun came out in a blaze creating long shadows, it was such a lovely moment and I find it so symbolic of the future.
Buckwheat is a pseudo-grain, easier to digest than grains and has a higher protein content. It is a wonderful ‘grain’ to cook with, especially roasted, as kasha, which is quick to cook, light, fluffy, and keeps very well in the fridge if you have some left over, and can be used like rice. Kasha is a beautiful food. Uncooked, its scent is rich with chocolate hues. It is redder in colour than raw buckwheat groats, and takes far less time to cook, producing a fluffier, lighter ‘grain’.
I use kasha, buckwheat flour and buckwheat flakes as part of my regular larder, and you can do pretty much anything that you can do with other grains and grain flours with buckwheat, except that you know it is healthier, and often kinder to your body.
Cannellini beans are also very good to cook with, with their beautiful smooth texture, taste and substance, they’re stars of the bean world. Combined with kasha, it’s a match made in foodie heaven ♥
- 1 cup cannellini beans
- 2 cups buckwheat flakes
- 1 cup kasha
- 1 heaped tbsp buckwheat flour
- Mild coconut oil, or other good frying oil
- 1 heaped tsp finely ground black pepper
- 1 tbsp bouillon
- 1 tsp salt (if using very salty olives, reduce slightly)
- 15 olives (or more, I prefer greek)
- 3 heaped tbsp sunflower and pumpkin seeds (can use one or the other)
- 1 smallish onion
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/3 cup of warm/hot water
Cook the kasha until light and fluffy using 1 cup of kasha to 2.5 cups of hot water. This should only take five minutes or less, don't worry if it a bit mashed, this is good.
Sauté the finely chopped onion with a bay leaf.
Mash the beans and mix with the other ingredients, add the water to get a firm consistency, and add the onions when translucent and slightly browned, removing the bay leaf.
Form the mixture into sausage shapes, pressing it tight (don't worry if is a bit sticky, but should be quite putty like) and roll in the flour, coating lightly and rolling so the flour in absorbed into the surface of the sausage.
Heat the frying pan on a medium heat, add the oil being careful not to heat to smoking point (if it does smoke just turn down slightly). Carefully place the sausages into the hot oil, cooking for a few minutes either side, and browning as desired.
If you're using unroasted raw buckwheat groats, try roasting them lightly till browned, and then cooking them. They'll take longer than pre-bought kasha, but will work well too. If you use raw buckwheat groats, they won't bind as well as kasha.
If you don't have buckwheat flakes, use only the kasha and beans, add a little extra flour and leave out the water. But buckwheat flakes are a great product and really create the texture of these sausages, helping bind them together.
Fresh and dried herbs are great in the mix too, finely chop fresh, I like basil best, and make them your own.
Cooked kasha is very good the next day, the clumps crumble by hand and are very light and fluffy, great to eat in salads or as a rice substitute in many meals .