Round 6 of the Great Ape Cook-Off is sponsored by Field Roast who generously donated a variety of vegan sausages for the chefs to cook up for the chimps. Using grains as the foundation of vegetarian “meat” has a long history in many Asian cultures. Field Roast has added European flavors to these traditional foods, thus changing the vegan food market! Will the chimps be impressed?
What did you make?
Jen: You would probably not expect a vegan to say they feel like having sausage pizza for dinner…but thanks to Field Roast, think again! This innovative veg-friendly company crafts super delicious grain based meats using vital wheat gluten, vegetables, and a blend of spices. They are surprisingly high in protein, easy to work with, and are the best vegan faux meat products I’ve come across. I decided to use the “smoked apple sage” sausage and pair it with canned pumpkin as my sauce. I figured the apple and pumpkin would complement each other nicely for a crisp autumn flavor (even though it’s winter!) I topped it off with some fresh cherry tomatoes and red onion slices. We also just a received a donation from Trader Joe’s that included vegan whole wheat pizza dough, so I used that as my crust.
Kaleigh: As soon as we decided we were doing a vegan sausage challenge I knew exactly what I would make. Growing up in an Italian family, sausage and peppers was a classic go-to meal. Every memory of eating this dish includes a cacophony of loud stories and laughter, as it was always a social event. Field Roast’s “Italian” flavor with eggplant and fennel was the perfect base for this dish. My dish was simple- I browned the sausages in a bit of olive oil, then sautéed garlic, bell peppers, onions, and sliced fennel in the salt-free “Cantanzaro” herb blend (Garlic, lemon peel, marjoram, European basil, Mediterranean thyme, rosemary and Greek oregano) donated from Savory Spice Shop in Bend. I served it all over a whole wheat sourdough roll.
What did the chimps think?
Jen: Emma and Jackson smelled the unique smoky sweet scent wafting from the kitchen and anxiously waited for me to provide them a tantalizing taste test of the extra sausage while the pizza baked in the oven. I’ve never seen picky Emma wolf down something so exotic before! YAY! When it came to the actual pizza, she delicately used her pink lips to pluck off all the sausage pieces first and then the juicy cherry tomatoes. Jackson excitedly helped himself to seconds, meanwhile CJ snarfed down every bite of sausage off the pizza she could find! She carefully avoided the pumpkin and crust at first, but eventually went in for a complete bite. She made sure to let us know she approved by following us around with an empty cup begging for more! The vegan sausages were definitely a crowd pleaser and I think Field Roast will be happy to know their products satisfy the taste buds of both people and chimps alike!
Kaleigh: The chimps were certainly getting impatient, watching the food getting served onto the plates. We already knew that CJ was a big fan of these vegan sausages so she was first in line for lunch, after spending half an hour watching and waiting in the kitchen window. CJ picked the sausage up with her hands and ate it first. Of course, she was quick to ask for seconds when she was finished. Emma was a little overwhelmed by the excitement and had to run a few laps around the indoor Playhouse before settling in to take her lunch. Each of the chimps came over to get a peek at what their lunch would be, then waited their turn behind the feed door to receive it. Each of the chimps went straight for the Field Roast sausage before eating anything else. The sanctuary was filled with happy grunts that day.
And the winner of Round 6 of The Great Ape Cook-Off is….
Field Roast! The chimps loved both meals but their favorite part was definitely the sausages themselves. Thank you so much for your generous donation. The chimps have found a new favorite.