Sometimes as a vegetarian you crave something hearty, heavy, warm, and satisfying. I tend to shy away from vegetarian "meats" and things of that nature. My system can't hand heavily processed foods, and some of the mystery ingredients give me the creeps. To save the day, however, is Twin Oaks. A company just a couple of hours up the road that crafts amazingly delicious and beautiful tofu. In addition to your standard tofu varieties, firm, extra firm, soft, they have a variety of herb infused options. One of those being a vegetarian sausage, Sweet and Spicy Chorizo. For this recipe I used a full block. The ingredients are straight-forward enough that I could compose this very same thing on my own. But for now, I'm taking the simple route and supporting Twin Oaks while I do so.
I love roasted vegetables no matter what the season. The smell of thyme warming in the oven takes me straight to Thanksgiving. Roasted vegetables are staple for our thanksgiving feast. And while I realize it's spring already, the week before last was a cold and wet reminder that a warm meal is still necessary with chilly evening temperatures. I guess some part of me instinctively craves warm and hearty when it's cold out. For this meal I roasted carrots, red potatoes, shallot, and garlic in the oven until soft and beautifully bright. Tossed in thyme, the smell pouring through the house took me straight back to November, surrounded by family and in love with the moment. Spring or not, that's a memory I don't mind returning to.
Tahini, in my opinion, is an underused and underrated pantry must-have. It makes for a beautiful and creamy addition to any sauce. Balancing the bitter with sweet is key. For this recipe I balance the bitter with a bit of wildflower honey and marjoram. Marjoram is quite similar to Oregano, but is a bit on the sweeter side. It compliments the Tahini perfectly. This sauce, when combined with potatoes, is unlike any flavor you'll get with anything else. I've made this sauce in a variety of ways, including adding turmeric, which makes for a bright addition to any meal.
Our work week was a long one, and as is typical at our house our refrigerator was nearing empty by Thursday. This recipe is a result of creativity with limited ingredients. It's amazing what you can come up with when you're pushed to think outside of the norm. I love a dinner challenge, and this was one of the better. I wanted warm and hearty, and got just that. Not too mention we had lunch for the following day as well. It's super easy to see a barren refrigerator, give up and call in a take out order. I would encourage you, at least once, to try to develop something out of nothing. The outcome can only go two ways, wonderful or horrible. Well, maybe "just alright" could happen too. Regardless, it's deeply rewarding and satisfying to know you can make a meal from just about anything you've got around you. Who knows, maybe it will end up in the favorite section of your recipe binder?
Vegetarian Chorizo with Roasted Vegetables and Creamy Tahini Sauce
- 4-5 Red potatoes, diced into medium sized chunks
- 3 Carrots, cut into matchsticks
- 1 small Shallot, sliced
- 3 large garlic cloves
- Olive Oil, to coat
- 1 tsp Thyme
- 1 tsp Parsley
- 1 tsp Garlic Powder
- Sea salt and ground pepper to taste
- 1 T Tahini
- 1 T Bragg's Apple Cider Vinegar with Mother
- 1 tsp Wildflower Honey
- 1 tsp Marjoram
- Small dash of Cayenne
- 1/2 cup Coconut Milk (full fat)
- Pressed garlic cloves (use what is roasted with vegetables)
- Sea salt and ground pepper to taste
- 1 pack Twin Oaks Vegetarian Sausage - Chorizo
- 1 cup spring peas (frozen or fresh, but go organic for best flavor)
- Preheat oven to 400°
- Place parchment paper on cooking sheet
- Combine carrots, potatoes, and shallot in large bowl
- Toss with olive oil, thyme, parsley, garlic powder, salt, and pepper
- Place on prepared cooking sheet. Add garlic cloves, whole with skin.
- Cook for 30 minutes or until lightly browned and soft
- Meanwhile, place Twin Oaks chorizo in pan on the stove over medium heat, add peas and a small amount of olive oil. Press into chorizo block and encourage crumbling. Cook over medium heat until browned and slightly crisp.
- While everything is cooking prepare the sauce. In a small mixing bowl, press roasted garlic into bowl and combine all sauce ingredients listed above. Whisk thoroughly with fork.
- To serve: place chorizo and peas on plate, top with roasted vegetables and drizzle tahini sauce over top. Serve warm and kindly.