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Love is a fruit in season at all times, and within reach of every hand - Mother Teresa

VEGAN SAUSAGE & PLUM SALAD

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At the market, it’s hard to not see bin after bin of plums arrayed like fruit jewels in shades of deep violet and purple, yellow and green. Like autumn leaves, plums bid late summer goodbye and welcome the early days of autumn. At home, while hubby favours classic blood plums, I play the field, trying as many varieties as are available. This season, I found a small oblong-shaped sugar plum that I’d not previously tasted and discovered it confectionary sweet in flavour. Found it originated from Italy and is used to create prunes. For hubby’s said blood plums, I place the violet orbs in a bowl on the bench for at least a week until he declares they’re ready to eat; acquiring the perfect balance between sweet and tart.

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This salad’s success depends on your choices of flavour; you need to select your favourite vegan sausage and your favourite plum. I used a slightly spicy thick vegan sausage and hubby’s favourite plums. The plums should be just ripe as the process of roasting will bring out the flavour. If in a hurry, use prepackaged grains that require a 90 second heating in the microwave, and this salad can be whipped together in less than ½ hour; perfect for busy cooks.

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Health benefits:

·       The health benefits of plums include relief from indigestion, influenza infections, and anxiety-related problems. The antioxidant power of these fruits helps in treating osteoporosis, macular degeneration, cancer, diabetes and obesity. They also help in maintaining a healthy heart by reducing cholesterol levels.

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VEGAN SAUSAGE & PLUM SALAD

V, GF

250 grams quinoa and brown rice, cooked

1 red onion, sliced finely

4 vegan sausages, sliced

5 plums, deseeded and quartered

handful parsley

Preheat oven to 200’C/390’F/Gas Mark 6. Place quartered plums on a baking tray covered with baking paper, and roast in the oven for 20-25 minutes until the fruit is cooked without it's shape collapsing. Cook quinoa and brown rice separately. Use a 1/3 cup of quinoa with 150 ml water, bring to boil and allow to simmer until water is absorbed, if grains are tender, let sit for 5 minutes covered, then fluff with a fork. Repeat for 1/3 cup of brown rice. Alternatively, buy pre-cooked grains, and follow directions on the packet. Saute the red onion until translucent, about 5 minutes. Pull the onions to the side of the frypan, and toss in the cut sausages. Fry until lightly browned.

Layer ingredients on a serving platter in this order: mixed quinoa and brown rice grains, red onion, vegan sausages, roasted plums and roughly chopped fresh parsley. Serve with roasted vegetables. Enjoy!