Oh boy, how is it December? I haven’t posted in a bit (won’t bore you with excuses) and I sincerely hope all you kiddies had a fabulous Thanksgiving!! And, with barely time for a breath, we are now diving head on in to the rest of the holiday season.
Holidays=gatherings=eating=appetizers galore. What better way to tease (nay, sate) the appetite than with a warm savory pop in your mouth morsel? I served this vegan sausage cheese appetizer as a prelude to our Thanksgiving dinner for 35 (yikes!) and they were devoured before everyone got to try them. (My bad- I’ll certainly double the recipe next year…)
Sausage cheese balls have been part of my family’s appetizer rotations for a long as I can remember. My mom and sister Kitty would make these using sausage, cheddar cheese, milk and Bisquick. As I have said in earlier posts, creating vegan recipes is about capturing flavors and textures pleasing to the palate. There’s clearly no point in harming a sentient being when amazing foods can be created-when tastes and mouth-feels can be captured -with different (and usually healthier) ingredients. In this vegan version, I have sought to recreate the savory, sagey cheddary goodness essential to these balls and (pat on my back) I believe I have succeeded.
These bangin’ balls are crispy on the outside, warm and fluffy on the inside and, thanks to the addition of savory spices, really capture the flavor of the ones my mom used to make.
I started with Gimme Lean Sausage ,
sauteing this veggie protein in a tablespoon of Earth Balance. I added crushed fennel, sage, a sprinkling of salt and pepper and a few drops of liquid smoke while crisping it up.
Without draining the “sausage” I placed it in a large mixing bowl and added Daiya cheddar, homemade “bisquick” ( see Sound Bites in the recipe) , fresh sage and soy milk.
The ingredients mix together well, becoming an easy-to-mold dough,
which is formed into balls, brushed with melted Earth Balance and baked.
In 20 minutes you have crowd-pleasing, palate-teasing delicious morsels of goodness! You can even make these bad boys ahead of time, cool and freeze, then simply bake for 10 minutes before serving.