Vegetarian sausage rolls make a great change from their meaty cousins, and are ideal for tucking into the kid’s lunchboxes. They freeze well, taste fantastic hot or cold, and can be used as an emergency canape in a pinch.
The Princess returns to school next week, and the only downside to this for me is making her lunch. After many years of happily making her own (nothing more complicated than a simple sandwich or wrap mind you), she has recently started to compare her lunchbox with those of her friends, and found hers to be wanting. Apparently something fancier than a wrap is now required. Combine this with her already busy schedule, and somehow the lunch making reins have been handed back to me.
If I am to be completely honest, lunchboxes strike fear in my heart. In theory I would love to pack a fantastic lunch that would make her the envy of her peers, yet in practice I really just want to make something she will eat. Add into the equation that lunch has to be something that can be easily packed as she dashes for the door, and I am sure you can begin to understand my angst.
The theme for this month’s Recipe Redux, which centres on new ideas for packing lunch, really couldn’t have come at a better time for me. I am looking forward to some great alternatives for The Princess’s lunch, and am offering up these vegetarian sausage rolls as my contribution. Sausage rolls are ideal for lunchboxes. They can easily be made in advance, freeze well, and are just as good cold as they are hot.
I have used pre-cooked quinoa to pull these sausage rolls together quickly. I always cook more grain than I require for an individual recipe. Leftover grain is extremely handy for making quick salads, for adding bulk to fritters and burgers, or for turning into quick pan fried meals (think fried rice). Excess grain also freezes well should you have no immediate use for it. If you don’t have quinoa on hand, cook up a large pot and use the remainder for other meals. You could also substitute the quinoa for other cooked grains, such as brown rice, millet or even bulgur wheat.
Puff pastry sheets, made with butter rather than margarine, are a staple in my freezer. Sheets of puff pastry are handy for quick mini quiches, simple tarts and even emergency desserts. Tempeh, the other key ingredient in these sausage rolls, is now available in most supermarkets. It freezes well, and is handy to keep on hand for quick meals. I love it in stir fries, or for adding bulk to burger patties. If you can’t find tempeh, substitute an equal amount of drained tinned beans into the mixture.#Lunch just got better. #Vegetarian Sausage Rolls - fantastic hot or cold. #TheRecipeReDux Click To Tweet
I try to keep a batch of these vegetarian sausage rolls on hand in the freezer, which has helped me out of more than one emergency situation. I know I am not the only parent who discovers they are required to supply food for the class party … tomorrow. The cooked sausage rolls also freeze well, ready for quickly tucking into the morning’s lunchbox. Maybe if I add a simple side salad and a small pot of tomato sauce, The Princess’s lunchbox will be the envy of the playground. I can but hope.
So tell me, what is your favourite lunch item for packing in the kid’s (or your own) lunchboxes?
Vegetarian Sausage Rolls | The Recipe Redux
These vegetarian sausage rolls can be prepared ahead and frozen. To cook from frozen, add a few extra minutes to the cooking time to ensure they are heated through.
Use a gluten free pastry to make these gluten free.
Cooked sausage rolls will keep in the fridge for up to three days.
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion chopped
- 2 cloves garlic crushed
- 1 medium carrot grated
- 300 g plain tempeh
- 90 g cooked quinoa 1/2 cup
- 2 Tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
- 1 Tablespoon chopped parsley
- 1 Tablespoon chopped sage
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds crushed
- Salt & pepper
- 2 sheets puff pastry
- 1 egg beaten
- poppy seeds optional
- Pre-heat the oven to 200C (180C fan forced).
- Line a baking tray and set aside.
To make the filling
- Heat the olive oil in a fry pan over a medium heat.
- Add the onion to the pan. Cook for 5 minutes, or until browned.
- Add the carrot to the pan, and cook for a further 3 minutes, or until the carrot has wilted.
- Add the garlic and fry for 1 minute.
- Remove the fry pan from the heat, and allow the onion mixture to cool slightly.
- Place the onion mixture into a food processor.
- Add the tempeh, quinoa, tamari, herbs and seasoning to the food processor.
- Blitz until well combined.
To assemble the sausage rolls
- Divide the puff pastry sheets in half. My sheets measure 12cm x 24cm once divided.
- Working one sheet at a time, take a quarter of the filling and mound it in a line lengthways down the centre of the pastry. The filling is slightly tacky, so I use a spoon to position the filling.
- Brush the beaten egg (egg wash) down one side of the pastry.
- Starting from the side opposite the egg wash, gently roll the pastry up over the filling to encase it.
- Tuck the pastry edge under the roll.
- Cut the sausage rolls into the desired size with a serrated knife, and place on the baking tray.
- Brush the top of the sausage roll with the egg wash.
- Sprinkle the poppy seeds over the top of the rolls if desired.
- Repeat with the remaining pastry and mixture.
- Bake the sausage rolls for 20 - 25 minutes, until the pastry is puffed and golden.
To freeze the sausage rolls.
- Assemble the sausage rolls as detailed above.
- Place the uncut sausage rolls onto a lined tray, or cut to the desired size and place on a tray.
- Freeze until solid.
- Store in zip lock bags until required.
- To bake, proceed as detailed above, adding an additional 5 minutes to the cooking time.
- The sausage rolls can also be cooked before freezing if desired. Defrost in the fridge overnight.
Looking for further lunchbox inspiration? Check out the great ideas below from other Recipe Redux members.
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