Tempeh and White Bean Sausage Patties
I love the combination of white beans and tempeh. The beans have a naturally smoky flavor, and the tempeh and herbs give these patties the savory taste I crave upon rolling out of bed on a Sunday morning or (let's be honest) afternoon. They have a softer texture than store-bought vegetarian sausage patties, but a much better flavor. You can prepare the mix up to two days in advance so that all you have to do the day of serving is form the patties and cook.
1 pound tempeh, crumbled into bite-sized pieces
4 teaspoons Bragg Liquid Aminos or 4 teaspoons tamari (or soy sauce for that matter)
1 cup cooked white beans
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon fennel seed
1 heaping tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1 heaping teaspoon chopped fresh sage
pinch ground cayenne pepper
pinch ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/4 cup plain bread crumbs
dash of salt
a few dashes fresh black pepper
Place the tempeh into a saucepan and just barely cover with water (it's okay, even preferable, if some of the tempeh is peeking out of the water). Add 1 teaspoon of Bragg, cover and bring to a boil. Simmer for about 15 minutes, or until most of the water is absorbed. Drain any remaining water and transfer the tempeh to a large bowl. Add the white beans, give a quick stir, and set aside. This will heat the beans just a bit for easier mashing and cool the tempeh down just a bit for easier handling.
Give the saucepan a quick rinse and dry. Sauté the garlic and fennel seed in 1 tablespoon olive oil over low heat, just until fragrant (about 1 minute). Add the remainder of the spices and stir constantly for 30 seconds. Add to the tempeh mixture along with the tomato paste and remaining tablespoon of Bragg.
Mash everything together with a potato masher or strong fork, until it's just a bit chunky and there are no whole beans left (you don't want it puréed, you should still be able to see the beans). Add the bread crumbs and combine well with a fork. Taste for salt and spices and adjust to your liking. Let sit for about 15 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.
Form into patties, using about 3 tablespoons' worth of the mix (you can use a quarter-cup measuring cup filled three-quarters full to make the patties consistent in size). Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Cook the patties until brown, about 3 minutes each side. You may need to add a little more oil when you flip them over.