Saturday, February 9, 2013

Easy Vegan Sausage Rolls

When I was younger, I always loved helping my mom make sausage rolls.  They were definitely one of my family's go-to appetizers: using just two ingredients (usually a roll of biscuits and a package of ground sausage, I believe), we could make a quick, easy, and warm finger food for all of our crowd-pleasing needs.

This morning, I decided to try out a vegan version of these rolls.  I used puff pastry instead of biscuits, and vegan sausage instead of pig sausage. While they don't taste exactly the same, they're still delicious!  

Fresh out of the toaster oven.
Easy Vegan Sausage Rolls

About 40 minutes ahead of time, set out the puff pastry sheet to thaw (or thaw it in the fridge overnight).  When the sheet is almost thawed, preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

When the pastry is malleable, unfold it on a cutting board and spread the sausage evenly over the sheet. Then, starting on one of the longer sides of the rectangle, roll up the sheet into a log.  Finally, using a sharp knife, cut the log into 3/4"-1" thick sections.

Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the pastry is golden brown.   Yields 10-12 pinwheels. 

There's nothing fancy about this appetizer, but sometimes simple is good.  These rolls are warm, flaky, savory, and steamy in all the right ways.  However, the sausage-to-pastry ratio is a bit higher than I remember it being when we used biscuits, so I might try using homemade biscuit dough the next time I make these.  Simon added some mustard to one of his, so feel free to experiment with toppings or sauces.   
It's quite easy to find vegan puff pastry (Pepperidge Farm's Frozen Puff Pastry Sheets are vegan); however, I am only able to find vegan sausage at higher end or specialty grocery stores.  It freezes and thaws well, so stocking up is always an option.
 Ease of Preparation:        
This is an incredibly simple dish to make--just remember to thaw the puff pastry in advance.
Non-vegan friendliness:             
The appeal of this appetizer pretty much comes down to whether or not you like Gimme Lean's vegan sausage (or another variety of vegan sausage--I just find Gimme Lean to be the best).  Simon ate these and requested seconds, so that's a good sign; but, I can see other people shying away from imitation sausage.  Your body will thank you for making these rolls with vegan sausage compared to pig sausage: one serving of vegan sausage has 60 calories and 0 grams of fat, while one serving of pig sausage has 180 calories and 15 grams of fat.