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Prepare flax eggs by adding flaxseed meal and water to a small bowl and stirring to combine. Let rest for 5 minutes to thicken.
Drain and rinse the kidney beans, and pat dry with a kitchen towel or paper towel.
In a food processor or blender, pulse the oats until they form a coarse flour — there should not be any whole oats visible.
Add the beans and mushrooms to the oats and pulse a few times to break the beans and mushrooms into smaller pieces. Then add the flax eggs, chili powder, smoked paprika, cayenne (optional, start with the lesser amount), ketchup, garlic (optional), and salt and pepper. Pulse to fully combine, but avoid processing it into too smooth of a paste — leave some chunks for texture. Taste and season with more salt and pepper as needed, more paprika for smokiness, or cayenne for heat. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the chopped walnuts until fully combined.
Scoop 2 tablespoons of the mixture and form into a mini sausage link shape. If it is too sticky, run your hands under some water and try again with slightly wet hands. Using 2 tablespoons will make ~16 sausages, or you can also use a 1/3-cup measurement to make 8 sausages about 6 inches long (amounts as recipe is written // adjust if altering number of servings).
Once formed, place sausages on a plate lined with parchment paper and chill in the refrigerator for 20-25 minutes, until firm and not sticky to the touch.
While your sausages chill, bring a few inches of water to a boil in a large pot with a steamer insert. Remove your sausages from the refrigerator and wrap each sausage in a small piece of parchment paper, twisting the ends to seal. Place sausages in the steamer basket and steam for 30 minutes, until firm and cooked through. Add more water at the 15-minute mark (or as needed) to avoid scorching your pot.
If freezing for later, cool completely and transfer to the freezer. Otherwise, to cook and brown the sausages, heat a large cast iron skillet over medium heat and add 1 Tbsp (15 ml) oil to the pan. Remove the sausages from the parchment paper, add as many as will fit in the pan comfortably, and fry for 5-10 minutes, turning every once in a while until all sides are slightly browned. Repeat with more oil and sausages. You can also cook the sausages on a grill if desired!
Enjoy these on their own or with your favorite breakfast or brunch items. They’d be especially delicious with our Southwest Tofu Scramble, Perfect Roasted Potatoes, Corn Tortillas, and Mango Habanero Hot Sauce.
Store leftovers in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month. They can be cooked on the stovetop directly from frozen.