Mrs. Minty suggested we have a barbecue today because the weather feels almost spring-like. As we had already gone grocery shopping and had not the Yves Italian Sausage we usually like, I offered to make some veggie dogs from scratch.

Veggie dog and salad

A grilled veggie dog and salad is a great springtime dinner!

This recipe is via Vegan Dad, and we’ve made it a few times with success. Like many gluten-based recipes, it’s forgiving and flexible – change the beans, change the spices, change the liquid. I could see someone making “beer brats” by using a cube of mock beef bouillon in a cup of flat beer, instead of a cup of vegetable broth, plus appropriate spices.

These veggie dogs are durable enough to stay intact on a grill, and are significantly cheaper than store-bought ones: 88c for the beans (of which I only used 1/4), 50c for the V-8, and less than $2 for the gluten flour. Six wieners = about 60c each, as opposed to $1.20 each from the store!

And, since I mentioned that I’m trying to watch calories, each wiener is just under 100 calories each.


– 1/2 cup pinto beans, (or other beans with thin-ish skins… I used Fava, and navy or black-eyed would work as well)
– 1 cup cold vegetable broth (I used 2/3 c V-8 and 1/3 c Knorr veg broth)
– 1 tablespoon olive oil
– 2 tablespoons soy sauce

– 1 tsp salt
– 2 cloves garlic, grated (with a microplane, or very finely minced)
– 1 1/4 cups vital wheat gluten
– 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
– 1 1/2 teaspoons fennel seed, crushed (I omitted because we didn’t have any)
– 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
– 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
– 1 teaspoon dried oregano
– Several dashes fresh black pepper

1. Before mixing your ingredients, get your steaming apparatus ready, bring water to a full boil. The rest of the recipe comes together very quickly.
2. Have ready 6 sheets of tin foil. In a large bowl, mash the pinto beans until no whole ones are left. Throw all the other ingredients together in the order listed and mix with a fork. Divide dough into 6 even parts. Place one part of dough into tin foil and mold into about a 5 inch log. Wrap dough in tin foil, like a tootsie roll. Don’t worry too much about shaping it, it will snap into shape while it’s steaming because this recipe is awesome.

Uncooked dough on tinfoil

Yes, I know what it looks like….

And it gets wrapped up ready for steaming.

And it gets wrapped up ready for steaming.



Unwrapping the weiners after steaming

Unwrapping the wieners after they have cooled.

3. Place wrapped sausages in steamer and steam for 40 minutes.

Sausages can be frozen. To cook, grill for 10 minutes or slice and pan-fry.

3 thoughts on “Barbecue

    • Thanks!

      I buy wheat gluten from Bulk Barn here in Canada, as it is considerably cheaper than from grocery stores.
      It is also available in 500g packages in the organic/natural aisles of big grocery stores – Bob’s Red Mill brand is good, and so is the Planet Organic store brand. There are online vegetarian food suppliers, too, but I have never purchased anything from them so I don’t know if they’re reliable.
      You could also ask a local bakery – often bakers add gluten to some bread flours to increase its elasticity.

      Have fun experimenting with it once you buy some… it is extremely versatile and can be used to make all kinds of “mock meats.” I hope to post more of those kinds of recipes soon!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s