My older sister loves throwing summer barbecues at her house. Events where she can make different picnic salads, drink cold craft beers, and cook on her grill are perhaps some of her favorite parties to throw. As she and a majority of her friends are vegan, the cook-outs themselves are usually 100% vegan too. There's usually veggie hamburgers, tofu hot dogs, and these seitan-and-bean based Italian sausages - they're amazing and made from scratch! Personally, I love these sausages in a bun and loaded with stone-ground mustard and sauerkraut, and my sister likes stacking sauteed onions and peppers on hers, but they are also perfect in soups, stews, and even as a hearty brunch side. Your family won't believe they're vegan! --------------------------------------------------- Vegan Italian Sausages 1/2 cup cooked white beans (great northern or navy), rinsed and drained 1 cup vegetable broth 1 tablespoon olive oil (or 1 tablespoon tomato paste) 2 tablespoons soy sauce 1 1/4 cups vital wheat gluten 1/4 cup nutritional yeast 1 teaspoon granulated garlic (or 2 cloves fresh garlic, finely grated) 1 1/2 teaspoons fennel seed, crushed (or 1 teaspoon ground fennel seed) 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes 1 teaspoon sweet paprika 1 teaspoon dried oregano 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme Several dashes fresh black pepper 1. Before mixing your ingredients, get your steaming station ready, bringing water to a full boil. 2. Prepare four square sheets of tin foil. In a large bowl, mash the 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 4 even parts (an easy way to do this: split the dough in half and then into quarters). 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. 3. Place wrapped sausages in steamer and steam for 40 minutes. You can unwrap and enjoy immediately or refrigerate until ready to use. You can also throw them onto the grill for a delicious roasted flavor!