Friday, October 14, 2011

Spanish rice, for the wrong sausages

I've mentioned previously that I have a few quick and easy dinner options up my sleeve for the nights I get home late (or just feel lazy!). As we know, one is veggie burgers. Another is veggie sausages.

These sausages, to be precise:

These aren't something I would want to eat everyday, but they are dairy and egg free, high in protein (11g per sausage), a reasonable source of iron (15% of RDI per sausage), and very low in saturated fat. They also take about 2 minutes to cook. I can walk in the door at 7pm, put the oven on and some potatoes in the microwave, transfer the potatoes to the oven, have a shower, make some salad or steam some vegetables, cook the sausages, and have dinner done by 7.30pm.

Of course, if I was more organised, I would have made dinner the night before and just be re-heating leftovers. But there you are. Most of the time, I'm not!

The only problem with these sausages is that they look quite similar to two other products made by Sanitarium: the original veggie sausages (which are fine) and the hot dogs.

We discovered last week that we aren't a big fan of the hot dogs. I didn't intend to buy them, but somehow they ended up in our fridge instead of the BBQ sausages we usually select.

We tried them, but they just weren't the same. Unfortunately, after the initial trial, we still had half of the packet left. What to do?

Disguise them!

Vegetarian Spanish rice with sausages
This may not be anything like real Spanish rice, but I couldn't come up with a better name
Serves 4

  • 1 cup rice (3 cups cooked)
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • 100g tomato paste (I used 1 50g sachet low-salt & 1 50g sachet with pizza herbs, because they were what I had to hand, but any variety would be fine)
  • 1 onion
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 sticks celery, diced
  • 1 small red capsicum, diced
  • 3 veggie sausages (or, in our case, hot dogs), chopped
  • 1 tsp dried basil, or equivalent fresh
  • 2 tsp oregano, or equivalent fresh
  • Parsley and pepper, to serve
  • Oil, for cooking vegetables, to taste


1. Prepare and cook the rice (or grain of choice) as per packet instructions.

2. While the rice is cooking, heat a large non-stick pan and saute the onions and garlic until just soft and starting to brown.

3. Add 1/4 cup of the stock and the carrot, celery and capsicum. Reduce heat and stir occasionally, until the vegetables are starting to soften. Add another 1/4 cup of stock and simmer on low heat for 5 - 10 minutes.

4. Add the remaining 1/2 cup stock and the basil and oregano to the large non-stick pan and keep over low heat.

5. In a separate non-stick pan or on a grill (or even in the bottom of a saucepan), lightly cook the chopped veggie sausages. I did mine for about 1.5 minutes, until they were just crisp, but some sausages may need longer.

6. Add the sausages, cooked rice and tomato paste to the vegetable mixture, and mix through to combine. Keep over low heat for a further 5 - 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

7. Serve sprinkled with fresh or dried parsley and pepper.

The verdict? Well, the hot dogs were still detectable. I didn't mind them in this format, but I think the dish would have been improved further by the sausages we usually buy. I think in future I'd also add chilli or paprika, as those flavourings would pair well with the dish.

What are your simple meals? Have you had accidental supermarket purchases that haven't quite worked out?


  1. This looks like a tasty way to diguise the hot dogs to me!!!

  2. I find any brand of store-bought veggie sausages and hot dogs are overpowering no matter how hard I have tried to disguise them. They are the one mock meat that my entire household detests so we gave up on them a long time ago.

  3. I've never liked vegetarian hot dogs.. probably because real hot dogs are gross enough themselves! Veggie sausages can be pretty good, though. I love them in sandwiches!

  4. Teehee, yes, I've never been a fan of those sausages! I used to really like the fake chicken fillets, but then I discovered they had whey in them. WHY? WHY? *pouts*

    P.S. I like the idea of this rice with tempeh though!

  5. Thanks Lisa - any method of disguising the hot dogs was going to be an improvement, so all things considered I think this was a good outcome :P

  6. Ah, interesting! They're about the only sort we do have, other than veggie burgers, and mostly I buy the vegetable-based ones. I tried the Quorn range and really liked some of them, but they have egg whites :( My partner still enjoys them though.

  7. Yes, there is definitely a difference between hot dogs and sausages! I've never tried sausages in sandwiches though - good idea.

  8. Oh I know...I made that discovery earlier this year too :( It was such a shame, because they worked so well in dishes like these!

    I am yet to try tempeh! I must get on to it. Tofu can only take me so far...

  9. looks so so good.
    I am a Rice and Sausage Lover.

  10. Glad you like the look of it :)

  11. This is one of the few mock meats I buy - we probably have them once a week with mashed potatoes - that is E's contribution to the cooking so I can't complain and they are healthier than some things he might make. If I had more time I would make my own sausage but I do love having one convenience food to fall back on. Love them with baked beans or in a sausage curry too but that is less often. Agree the hot dogs aren't as good but I was never such a fan of them when I ate meat.

  12. I'm rather relieved to hear I'm not the only person who has these! The convenience aspect + healthier than some products is the winning combination for me too.


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