Saturday, April 2, 2011

The Hungry Vegan's Chili & Gimme Lean® Beef review

I have been working on this chili recipe for a long time. I experimented with different beans and additions and found out that simplicity was the key in this case. I added crumbled up Gimme Lean® Beef to the recipe for more authentic flavor and to make it more nutritious and filling. However, you can make it without, or add your favorite seitan, TVP or corn. I like to serve the chili with vegan sour cream and fresh cilantro if I have it. Enjoy!

The hungry vegan's chili

2 Tbs olive or canola oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 15-oz can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 15-oz cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 28-oz can diced tomatoes in juice
1 cup vegetable broth (I use Not-Beef bouillon cubes dissolved in hot water for "beefy" flavor)
1-2 Tbs chili powder
pinch cayenne pepper (optional)
salt and pepper to taste

Mash half of the beans in a bowl with a fork, set aside.
Heat 1 Tbs oil in nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add crumbled Gimme Lean® Beef and cook until browned 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally and breaking it into smaller pieces with a wooden spoon. Set aside.
Heat 1 Tbs oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onions, and cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir chili powder and optional cayenne pepper into the onions, cook 1 minute stirring. Add broth and simmer 10 minutes. Add tomatoes with their juice, whole and mashed beans and heat to boiling on high. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the cooked "beef", stir and cook for 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm with bread, vegan sour cream and fresh cilantro if desired.

Gimme Lean® Beef from Lightlife company is a wonderful, versatile ground beef alternative. This stuff is seriously amazing. It is fat free and it can be shaped into almost anything, from burgers, sausages to breakfast patties. It can be crumbled up into tacos, chilies, stews and many other dishes. It sticks together nicely so you don't need any binder, eggs or starches to keep it together and it will not fall apart on you when you make burgers or sausages. Because it is very sticky I like to wet my hands first before shaping it. I figured out a way to make crumbled "beef" out of it as well. It takes a bit of effort and time to do that but the results are worth it. Break little pieces off the large log and throw them into a skillet with some hot oil and break them into smaller pieces with a wooden spoon while cooking it.

I veganized one of my childhood favorite school lunches with a funny name "čevapčiči" (chevabchichi). It is basically a sausage shaped burger with special seasonings, that is fried and served with boiled potatoes and a side of mustard and raw onions. I tried to make it with TVP and tofu before, but it was never that good. When I made it with Gimme Lean® Beef it came out close to perfection. The taste and shape was very authentic and tasty.

I made taco salad with Gimme Lean® Beef. I sauteed some onions and garlic with crumbled up "beef". I seasoned that with salt, pepper and some chili powder and cooked that with a bit of water for about 10 minutes. I served that on a bed of iceberg lettuce, crushed up tortilla chips and salsa. Yummy!


  1. That brand is very good.. :)

  2. I've got to find out more about this chevabchichi! Love the look of that entire plate, onions included :)

  3. @foodfeud I am working on the recipe

  4. I jut made tacos with Gimme Lean in the tube and all I could taste was plastic. I was really disappointed.

  5. Thanks for this recipe! You are spot on with the simplicity... all the other vegan chili recipes I came across were too complicated, and, not that I mind some work, yours is perfect! This was yummy, and, being new to veganism, I did not miss the meat one bit. I use their sausage as well, and it is equally delicious. I have never detected a plastic taste, "anonymous", wondering if you got a batch that wasn't stored properly? Worth another try, I think. My only struggle now is with the sodium issue that a lot of soy "meat" products contain, any thoughts on that? One battle at a time, I guess! -Lisa G.

  6. Your dinners look absolutely delicious. I have heard a lot of good things about gimme lean. I can't wait to try it.