You’d be hard pressed to find a vegetarian who wouldn’t confess to at least a mild nostalgia for certain types of meat from his or her omnivorous past. While the grocery markets stocked with a dizzying array of meat substitute options are a testament to this truth, sometimes it’s tough to swallow the fact that the fake stuff doesn’t quite compare to the real thing. Especially when it comes to meat like chorizo, it can be hard to capture quite the same sort of richness, complexity and spice in fake-meat form. And when you consider all the GMO’s and odd, synthetic ingredients that comprise fake meat, you might decide you’re better off forgoing the processed morsels altogether. Not to mention, these types of brands can be pricey.
So what’s a chorizo-craving veg-head to do? While you’ll find plenty of recipes for homemade veggie chorizo, many of them call for specialty ingredients you’ll only find in health food stores, or have convoluted directions and hard-to-work-with ingredients like soy or tempeh. Thankfully, there’s a way to channel chorizo’s same complex spiciness and decadent flavor using simple ingredients you probably have in your kitchen right now: a sweet potato, an egg, olive oil and a slew of spices. It’s healthy, easy, cheap and makes for a great addition to those dishes that just seem to be missing something. Give a try next time you’re pondering the merits of abandoning your abolition of meat — sometimes mock meat is even better than the real deal.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30-40 minutes
Total Time: 40-50 minutes
1 sweet potato
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon salt
6 cloves crushed garlic
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon marjoram
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
¼ teaspoon ground coriander
¼ teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1. Using a fork, poke a few holes in the sweet potato, then wrap it in damp paper towels and microwave on high for 10 minutes, flipping potato halfway through.
2. Peel off the skin and mash the cooked potato in a large bowl.
3. Add egg, garlic and all spices, and mash together until well-combined.
4. Heat oil in medium skillet. Meanwhile, form mixture into small, sausage-sized links.
5. When oil is hot, place links in the skillet, cooking over medium-high heat until evenly browned and slightly crispy.
6. Serve as a side dish, add in to pasta or rice dishes, or enjoy as the main dish with your condiments of choice.