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cheap and tasty stuff we love to make

Spicy seitan sausages

Spicy seitan sausages

One of my favourite guilty pleasures when I was a carnivore was the McDonalds Sausage McMuffin with Egg. Yum. I loved the salt and god knows what other chemicals were in that thing. So it was with great happiness that I discovered I was able to create a vegetarian version of that favourite using this Spicy Seitan Recipe for the sausage base. No chemicals, minimal salt and maxed out flavour.

This recipe has a mix of beans and wheat gluten flour to give the sausages a firm texture. Steaming the mix gives it a moist and chewy consistency very close to a regular meat sausage.  But the true hero in this recipe is the seasoning. It’s spicy but not too spicy, perfect with eggs as a “McMuffin” or as a regular “hot dog” with all your favourite trimmings.

Here are those spices I was talking about.

spicy seitan sausages
Paprika, chilli flakes, pepper, thyme, bay leaves and salt

Mixed with the ingredients outlined below you’ll knead it all together until the dough begins to get a “meaty” texture — that’s the gluten going to work.

spicy seitan sausages
If you could smell this photo it would smell amazing

If you’re making patties, take portions of dough about the size of a ping pong ball and flatten them as much as you can and wrap them in foil.

spicy seitan sausages
spicy seitan sausages

Or, if you choose to make sausages, take enough dough to form a 5 inch sausage and wrap in foil like this:

Spicy Seitan Sausages
Spicy Seitan Sausages

Steam for 30 minutes

spicy seitan sausages

And you will come out with a final product looking like this:

spicy seitan sausages
a funny looking (but delicious) sausage patty
spicy seitan sausages
Spicy seitan sausage ready to go

This is a seriously easy dish to put together and leftovers can be frozen after steaming in their foil wrappings and sealed in a ziplock baggie. Meanwhile, enjoy as a decadent hotdog lunch or a spicy accompaniment to eggs at brunch.

Spicy Seitan Sausage with onions and Dijon Mustard


  • ½ cup chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup cold vegetable broth
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 2 Tbs soy sauce
  • 1¼ cups vital wheat gluten
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1½ tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 2 bay leaves, finely crumbled
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 Tbs smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper


  1. Start a pot of water to boil for the steaming process
  2. In a large bowl, mash chickpeas using a fork until no whole ones are left
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients in with the chickpeas and mix
  4. Knead for about 5 minutes until quite firm
  5. Let sit for 5 minutes
  6. While you’re waiting tear 6 bits of tinfoil into 4 inch long rectangles
  7. Place golf ball sized pieces of dough onto foil and mould into a sausage shape (about 5 inches long)
  8. Wrap the dough in the foil and seal the edges
  9. Steam for 30 minutes, rotating pieces if necessary so all pieces feel the heat
Ocean Wise and SeaChoice, why we need to support them.

Ocean Wise and SeaChoice, why we need to support them.

I may have weaned myself off meat, but I still eat fish. I know, “boo,” say the real vegetarians. I’m just not there yet but, in an effort to be a bit more environmentally conscious, I try to stick to sustainably caught seafood.

Why is sustainably caught seafood important? What difference does it make really?


Remember the Atlantic Cod Moratorium back in the 90’s? I do. What a mess. Scientists were grumbling about the declining fish population, as were the local fishermen, but the government didn’t listen and/or waited too long to take action and the Northern Cod off the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador were fished to commercial extinction. The moratorium was only supposed to be for 2 years to allow time for “the spawning biomass to recover” but 23 years have passed and that moratorium has not been lifted.

Over 30,000 people lost their jobs. It was called “the biggest layoff in Canadian History”. There was a lot of yelling and pointing of fingers at other countries. It was a shit show. But the fact of the matter was that the cod were overfished. Technology had gone way beyond the cod trap and long-lining traditions of the past and had moved to “factory freezer trawlers” which could fish non stop for weeks. Even when they knew the cod supplies were dwindling nobody stopped and no quota reductions were enforced until it was too late.

So that’s a little piece of Canadian history with a big impact, but what about now? How do we avoid making the same mistake?

Seafood caught using high volume, high impact trawling and gill net fishing should be avoided. Not only do these methods cause over fishing but they also have a large volume of by-catch (accidentally catching other fish and marine mammals) which includes dolphins, porpoises and turtles.

Trawler at work
Trawl Gear depolyed
Trawl Gear deployed

As a consumer it is hard to know what to buy. There are so many different fishing methods – which ones are sustainable?

fishing weaponry
fishing weaponry-which ones are sustainable?

sea choiceHappily there are two organisations designed to empower us to make good seafood choices; SeaChoice and Ocean Wise.

SeaChoice, jointly operated by the David Suzuki Foundation, Ecology Action Centre, and Living Oceans Society, targets seafood in supermarkets. If you see the SeaChoice logo on seafood you can be sure that it was caught sustainably. They also have a list of recommendations on their website.

oceanwise_logoOcean Wise is a Vancouver Aquarium conservation program, created to help businesses and their customers make environmentally friendly seafood choices. On the Ocean Wise website you can see which variety of seafood is recommended and what local restaurants or fishmongers serve Ocean Wise seafood. They even have an app!

Each organisation targets a different area of the seafood industry but both are trying to educate the public about sustainable fishing practices. Why should we care? Because if we educate ourselves then we can make better informed choices about what we eat and who we buy from.

Money talks and we are the consumers. We have the power to change things. We’ve already fished one species to the brink of extinction, let’s not make the same mistake twice.

Cod Moratorium in Newfoundland
The Announcement of the Moratorium (Press Release 1992)
Scientists say Newfoundland’s cod stocks are coming back. Can we get it right this time? (Globe and Mail June 2015)
The collapse of the Canadian Newfoundland cod fishery (May 2009)

Muesli for non breakfast types

Muesli for non breakfast types

Super easy super healthy muesli recipe
Need a healthy muesli recipe? Read on

Either you are a breakfast person by nature or you’re not — I’m not. Give  me a cup of coffee first thing in the morning and I’m good to go. And while I’ve made some health improvements over the years (it used to be coffee and a cigarette first thing in the morning) I’m still feeling the need to clean up my eating habits. So I started with breakfast and this super easy, super healthy muesli recipe.

Muesli is definitely a good choice on the health front. Because it is pre-soaked (in yogurt or soy milk, almond milk, whatever) I find muesli super easy to digest because, again, I don’t usually eat first thing in the morning. It’s homemade so I can control the amount of sugar I use (other than what’s in the dried fruit, the recipe below adds none). It’s full of fibre and, with all the raw oats, it will not only keep you fuller longer, it will also get you burning more calories (more on that here). I don’t know about you but I need to burn some more calories…

super easy, super healthy muesli recipe
Some people might think this looks disgusting but it’s not. It’s delicious.

Muesli is also perfect for for the non breakfast type because it’s fast. Mix half a cup of this with yogurt and let it soak while you’re  getting ready in the morning. Or better yet, (if you’re organized)  throw it together the night before and it’s ready to eat while you’re waiting for that precious first cup of coffee to brew.

The biggest argument for eating muesli in the morning though is that it’s delicious. Top it with fresh fruit or just as is, you can’t go wrong.

Super Easy, Super Healthy Muesli Recipe


  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 2 cups quinoa flakes
  • 1 cup nuts (almonds, walnuts, cashews) combined and chopped
  • ½ cup sunflower and/or pumpkin seeds
  • ½ cup hemp seeds
  • ½ cup dried unsweetened coconut flakes
  • ½ cup dried cranberries or craisins (contains sugar, so optional)
  • 3 or 4 dried dates chopped
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • dash of nutmeg
  • pinch of sea salt

Mix it all together and you’re done. Easy as that.


Confession time: coffee and cigarettes were my breakfast vice for over 20 years. Anyone want to confess an unhealthy vice past or present? Dare ya to comment below.

Super Special Veggies and Eggs (for that super special someone)

Super Special Veggies and Eggs (for that super special someone)

An easy and delicious brunch using veggies and eggs

This is basically a fancy version of a Swedish Hash–leftover roasted veggies and potatoes with an egg on top–only the potatoes and veggies are cooked up fresh. And this version has cheese, not just any cheese either, this has Gruyere. Very Fancy. You’ll be wanting to whip this dish up when when you’re out to impress that special someone with a super special brunch after you two have uh, you know…


easy and delicious brunch using veggies and eggs
The humble potato base

It’s super easy, and that’s why I like it. I don’t have time to fuss (too much) in the kitchen. Preheat your oven to 400F (200C) toss your potatoes in oil and salt (this was a spice mix gifted by a client, but it’s basically salt) and place them in an oven safe pan. Roast for 10-15 minutes (depending on your oven).

easy and delicious brunch using veggies and eggs
Spinach, mushrooms, garlic and Gruyere. What more do you need?

Pull your potatoes out after the 10-15 minutes and add the mushrooms and garlic. Stir it all about and put it back into the oven for 10 minutes. It’s going to look like this going in:

easy and delicious brunch using veggies and eggs
potato mushroom garlic mix

Pull it out after 10 minutes and stir in the spinach:

easy and delicious brunch using veggies and eggs
Stir in the spinach till it wilts

Then add the cheese and eggs and cook for another 6-8 minutes until the eggs are set.

easy and delicious brunch using veggies and eggs
Gruyere and eggs–yes please

Final product seasoned to perfection. Dig in and enjoy.

easy and delicious brunch using veggies and eggs

 What’s your go-to brunch delight? Let us know in the comments below.


    • 1 large Russet potato
    • 1 Tbs. olive oil
    • 200g mixed mushrooms
    • 1 garlic clove
    • 100g baby spinach
    • 1 large handful of gruyere, grated
    • 4 medium eggs
    • Salt, to season
    • Large pinch of chilli flakes


    1. Heat the oven to 200C/400F. Cut the potatoes into chunks and season with oil and salt. Put in a large ovenproof frying pan, and roast in the oven for 10-15  minutes.
    2. Cut the mushrooms into quarters, chop the garlic, then mix with the potatoes. Roast for 10 minutes until the potatoes are tender.
    3. Remove from the oven and stir in the spinach.
    4. Add gruyere and eggs, season with salt and the chilli flakes. Return to the oven and cook for 6-8 minutes until the eggs are set.
    5. Serve with love