janet @ the taste space

Käsekrainer (Cheese-Stuffed Sausage) & High Protein Vegan Cookbook Giveaway

In Favourites, Mains (Vegetarian) on February 25, 2014 at 7:22 AM

Käsekrainer from High Protein Vegan

I have been meaning to review Hilda’s High Protein Vegan for a while. I bought it last year while exploring more protein-rich ideas (I thought it was a great deal, under $5 for a kindle version). Despite many people poo-pooing protein needs, I have long been a proponent of higher protein intake. This is especially important for active people (see my first rant here). With Carrie’s recent post about Fatigue and the Ex Vegan Phenomenon and Sayward’s older post about low cholesterol and protein on a vegan diet, both highlight the importance of proper nutrition. One needs adequate calories (including protein! and fat!) on a restrictive vegan diet which is naturally high in carbohydrates (see my review of vegan nutrition guides here). Why harp on protein? For me, it can be the most difficult to obtain on a vegan diet. 

Eat beans and legumes. That includes tofu. Hilda’s book may be soy-free but soy is ok. Yes, there is protein in vegetables (spinach is almost 50% protein) but you have to eat a lot of vegetables for it to be a meaningful protein source. Whole grains, like quinoa, are ok, too. And when you want  a high protein boost, pick something like vital wheat gluten which is basically wheat protein powder.  Anyways, enough with the lecture, more about implementing high protein meals.

I like Hilda’s book because it has over 100 recipes with an emphasis on a (soy-free) protein component. All are whole-foods based recipes. Recipes are marked as gluten-free, nightshade-free, nut-free, and onion/garlic-free. Some are low-fat, some are higher fat.  She does not call for processed foods like fake meat, cheese or yogurt. The cookbook highlights the gamut of vegan protein selections – beans including chickpea flour, whole grains, nuts and seitan. She even has a soy-free tofu recipe to use in a satay tofu with an almond sauce, cauliflower parmigiana bake, bean and mushroom stroganoff and even pasta alla carbonara. I was most excited about the seitan recipes since I don’t make it nearly enough.

One of the paradoxes about eating vegan is that you explore new foods and increase your food options despite limiting meat and dairy consumption. I had never even heard of käsekrainer or a “kransky” before, let try alone a vegan version. Cheese-stuffed sausages are probably the antithesis of vegan eats but here is a vegan spin on it. An easy, flavourful steamed seitan is filled with a cashew cheese spread. I thought the cheese spread was absolutely delicious and was thrilled I had a bunch leftover. I don’t like nooch-heavy sauces but it was very well balanced. In fact, I preferred the cheese sauce before steaming as it lost its sharp, salty bite once in the sausage.

Certainly, I cannot vouch for its authenticity but I can tell you how it tastes: delicious. I shared it with Rob (who hadn’t had a kransky previously, either) who said it tasted 60% like sausage and 40% like cheese. It was 90% like cheese as the uncooked spread. With my recent infatuation with all things mustard, I thought it was perfect with a side of sauerkraut as well. (With a shout-out to this recipe that led me to finally making homemade sauerkraut successfully!!).

Hilda graciously allowed me to reproduce her recipe (it would have taken me so long to type up!) AND giveaway the cookbook to a reader ANYWHERE in the world! BOOYAH!  Please visit her blog and thank her! To be entered in the random draw for the cookbook, please leave a comment below telling me about your favourite vegan protein and how you like to prepare it. The winner will be selected at random on March 10, 2014. Good luck!

Käsekrainer from High Protein Vegan

PS. Here’s a shout out to my latest raw brownie with over 7g of protein per serving without beans/legumes/protein powder. Not enough protein for a meal but I think it is great for a dessert. 😉

This is my submission to Ricki’s Weekend Wellness.

Käsekrainer (kransky) (Vegan Cheese-Stuffed Sausage)
Adapted from High Protein Vegan

Smokey seitan sausages flavoured with garlic and black pepper, surrounding a delicious centre of vegan cheese. Best served with mustard.

2 teaspoons black pepper, ground
3 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 1/2 cups gluten (vital wheat gluten)
1/2 cup chickpea flour
3 tablespoons nutritional yeast (savoury yeast flakes)
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 big cloves garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil or melted coconut oil
1/2 cup tomato sauce (ketchup) [Janet’s note – I used tomato paste]
1 1/2 cups cooked beans (adzuki, borlotti or pinto)
2 tablespoons vegan Worcestershire sauce, tamari, miso or coconut aminos
3/4 cup water

cashew cheeze (recipe below), for filling (best made a few hours or a couple of days in advance)

1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the pepper, paprika, gluten, chickpea flour and nutritional yeast.

2. Place the salt and garlic in a mortar and pestle and crush until it turns into a paste (if you don’t have one, you can just cut the garlic into really tiny pieces using a knife).  Add this to a smaller bowl, along with the oil, tomato sauce, beans and Worcestershire sauce.  Mash or food process until the beans are evenly mushed up, then add 3/4 cup of water to this mixture.  Mix through, then pour into the dry ingredients and stir, then knead to combine.  Knead for another minute or two.

3. Bring a pot of water that will fit a steamer over it to the boil.  Divide the mixture into 8 pieces.  Take 8 pieces of baking paper or foil roughly 3 inches wide by 8 inches long (7.5cm x 20cm).  Take each piece of the sausage mixture and shape into a thick rectangle, around 4-5 inches long by 2 inches wide.  Place 2 flat teaspoons of cashew cheeze in the length of this rectangle, leaving an inch around the edges.  Fold the edges over, to seal, then roll up to completely cover the cheeze.  Roll up the baking paper and twist the ends, place in a steamer and repeat for the other 8 pieces.

4. Steam for 40 minutes.  Remove sausages from the baking paper and fry in a little oil until browned in places.

Makes 8 sausages. 

Cashew Cheeze

3/4 cup cashews
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
optional 1 teaspoon agave
1/2 teaspoon salt

1. For best results, soak the cashews in the water before blending for as little as a few minutes or as long as 8 hours.

2. In a blender or food processor, combine all the ingredients on a low setting. Increase the speed to the highest setting after 20 seconds then blend for another 2 minutes or so, until smooth. This will thicken in the fridge and is best made in advance for the käsekrainer.

Makes 1.25 cups.

  1. I think my favorite vegan protein is the entire legume family. I adore beans and lentils. Probably my favorite thing to do with them is make them into some sort of curry or other Indian-inspired dish and serve them with brown basmati rice!

  2. Goodness Janet they look wonderful, fab that they are moist and bright in colour x

  3. I remember when I was running a vegetarian factory and we where testing products like this, about 4-5 years ago. We made all sorts of sausages injected with things and they tasked great. So I can imagine these do as well.

  4. I eat a very high protein vegan diet – about 30% of my daily macronutrient intake! and I’ve found that supports my training and recovery the best. I probably get the most from soy and nuts, but I enjoy garbanzo beans the most!

  5. I get most of my protein through beans and grains. I do like tempeh as well.

  6. Yay for sauerkraut success! Glad the recipe worked for you!

  7. Miamm !!! This dish looks delicious 🙂

    Thanks again for this wonderful giveaway Janet 🙂

    Heuuu…my favorite vegan protein is probably the lentils and the tempeh. The lentils, I use them everywhere; salad, soup, casserole, etc. I like my tempeh, marinated, and just grilled. I eat it with a salad or other vegetables. Miummm !!!

  8. Brilliant recipe! I love making seitan sausages, I never thought to stuff them before. A friend once said that the thing she loves about me is that I put lentils in everything (it’s pretty much true), so I have to say without a doubt my favourite protein is lentils. I particularly love split red lentils in a curry or soup, they break down into a thick, satisfying texture.

  9. These look so good! Actually my current favorite vegan protein is probably homemade sausages – we call them wheatwurst.

  10. My new favourite vegan protein is quinoa. I like to cook it with stock, lemon, garlic and bay leaves, with toss the cooked quinoa with sweetcorn kernels and olives.

  11. Love this post 🙂 Me and my husband have long believed that ensuring enough quality protein is really important- easy enough with vegan foods, but you have to watch the protein to carbs ratio. We are both middle aged, but go for a run most days and work full time, do gardening, etc. We could not be this active without plenty of protein foods. And thank you for the link to the soy article, as I was starting to feel guilty about all the tofu I consume! Okay, so… much as I adore tofu, my fave protein food at the moment has to be seitan. I make it from ordinary plain white flour and I love the whole process of rinsing and kneading the starch away, leaving the gluten. Simmered in stock for an hour, I then slice it and bake it in a soy sauce, star anise and orange sauce. Yum! I’ve made frankfurters out of seitan too, mashing it up in the food processor with smoked paprika, salt and chickpea flour- so Hilda’s recipe will definitely be one I want to try.

  12. Reblogged this on veggiewitch and commented:
    This sounds great! ❤

  13. TVP is my most common protein because it’s cheap, but my favourite would be delicious salt fake meats like the Trader Joe’s sausageless sausage I’m eating right now.

  14. I love black eyed peas! My favorite is in soup with kale and sweet potato

  15. My favorite vegan protein is tofu. I love eating bbq tofu

  16. Wow, that looks so yummy!!!

  17. Yum! I like tempeh. I enjoy making panko crusted buffalo tempeh wings!

  18. I do like organic soy milk. Putting it in smoothies….or a latte and calling it a protein breakfast! 🙂

  19. I still like good old tofu. I like a stir-fry of veggies and tofu.

  20. Looks very tasty! Baked tofu will forever be my favorite veggie protein though 🙂

  21. I really love nut butters. Pecans are my favorite, though I’ve never tried pecan butter before. Should probably rectify that immediately.

  22. I really like Butler Soy Curls.

  23. Lentils. I love them in soups, patties, pilafs and just about anything else.

  24. I love all kinds of vegan proteins, but I think lentils and beans are my favorite: there are so many varieties, and so many things we can do with them, that there’s no way to get bored. I love them in soups, or turned into hummus, or in curries, or…
    I like that these sausages contain beans and chickpea flour in addition to gluten. Just reading the recipe, I know I’d love them. And I have a feeling I’ll give this cashew cheese a try even before I get around to making the sausages: you really make it sound amazing!
    Isn’t homemade sauerkraut delicious? I’ve made my first batch a few months ago, and I fell in love! Try adding some grated ginger to your next batch: it gave a little je-ne-sais-quoi to my sauerkraut that I really loved.

  25. Favorite vegan protein is kale it has 4grams

  26. What an amazingly creative, filling and satisfying meal! The cashew cheese sounds so creamy and delicious and stuffing it into the center of those rich, savory sausages is simply heavenly! I know my hubby will love this dish. I might just trick him! I’m so glad I found your blog at Healthy Vegan Fridays!

  27. I love chickpeas especially in curry

  28. What a fascinating recipe! Sounds like something my omnivore relatives might be willing to try. Thanks for doing the giveaway!

  29. I am not a big “high protein” guy but my family does get plenty because we, especially my wife, cooks with a lot of beans. I do so as well but my favorite Vegan protein is Tofu. I love it in stir fries, noodle dishes, and backed. I love making bi bim bap, probably my favorite.

  30. My favorite high-protein vegan food is tempeh. I get cravings for it sometimes. But I actually eat a lot more tofu than tempeh since it’s affordable and so versatile.

  31. I too have always made an effort to get adequate protein – my faves are chickpeas and tempeh and nuts!

  32. My favorite vegan protein is cashews! Love making a salad dressing with activated cashews blended with pineapple chunks and some other secret ingredients

  33. We eat tons of quinoa, usually in a bowl with beans and greens, smothered in a yummy sauce. Those sausages look fab!

  34. Looks like a very inventive cookbook. A current fav of mine is/are black chickpeas aka kala channa, thanks to Susan V @ FatFreeVegan. They cook up very chewy & make great roasted chickpeas.

  35. Käsekrainer were the ‘special’ every-now-and-then surprise sausages when we had BBQs in my childhood. Now that I’ve been vegetarian for more than ten years I obviously didn’t have any in ages but this recipe is intriguing. Especially since I recently got to discover the amazingness of cashew cream for the first time so I bet cashew cheese is just as good.
    My favourite vegan protein are hands down beans. Or peas because chickpeas make a daily appearance in my meals and snacks.

  36. I love beans of all sorts, and pretty much eat them every day. Tofu & tempeh are yummy, but beans are my go-to protein source. I have GOT to make these sausages though!

    Thanks for the chance to win this book. My hubs is reluctantly vegan at home and feels protein deprived. This collection of recipes would definitely help with that.

  37. I love chickpeas in hummus or soups!

  38. This looks like an interesting book. For convenience, I usually add beans, even though they are more of a protein/carb addition. And hummus can’t be beat! I’m also fond of tempeh, especially steamed and then marinated in soy sauce and balsamic.

  39. zowie that’s a boatload of protein…thanks for sharing the recipe! My favorite protein is definitely a skyscraper-high burger stack with bean or chickpea patties and hummus and lots of fresh veggies…yumza!

  40. […] The winner of High Protein Vegan is Miss Polkadot. […]

  41. […] sadly did not make an appearance because we ate it all before the party (you can see it pictured here with my vegan cheese-stuffed sausage and sauerkraut, […]

  42. […] originally spotted this recipe in High Protein Vegan (see my review earlier) but it had me scurrying to a new-to-me blog The Stone Soup. Jules focuses on meals with minimal […]

  43. Interesting. I am fascinated by high protein vegan food. Think i’m going to have to give these a try. Look tasty too

  44. […] thankfully helped use up some odds-and-ends lingering in the kitchen. Reminiscent of my previous (vegan) cheese-stuffed sausage, these sausages are stuffed with kimchi. Kimchi is also incorporated into the batter making for a […]

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