I’m getting a little tired of summer salad-like dishes, so I’m starting to toy with more cool weather meal ideas. (Bring on the mac ‘n cheeze!). While I’m looking forward to trying some new faux-meat products (e.g Beyond Meat and Harmony Valley) I haven’t dabbled very far into the faux realm. My gut says that these types of dishes can be super tasty, but require a healthy dose of seasoning and a satisfying texture in order to make a great recipe. But I came up with a great option for both vegans and omnivores in this vegan sausage chili with pinto beans. It’s spicy, savory and dare I say, football-friendly. (not sure what that means). But anyway, I’ll be sharing some other faux meat delights in the coming months.
I used the Lightlife Gimme Lean ground sausage style product which is made from textured soy protein and widely available. It’s fat free but does have sodium so I actually didn’t need to add any salt to this recipe, but you may if it suits your taste. The Harmony Valley sausage style mix would work great too, as would other sausage substitutes.
- 2 T olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, medium dice (about 1½ c)
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ t fennel seed
- 1 t dried oregano
- 1 t crushed red pepper (or ½ t)
- 1 T tomato paste
- 1 14 oz package of Gimme Lean (ground sausage-style), diced in small pieces, or 1 lb of another vegan ground faux meat product
- 2 c or 1 15-oz can cooked pinto beans
- 1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes
- salt (to taste)
- optional garnishes: chopped scallion, daiya cheese, plain soy yogurt, avocado slices
- In a large pot, heat olive oil. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 2 minutes. Stir in fennel seed, oregano and crushed red pepper. Add tomato paste and stir until it melts, coating other ingredients, about 2 minutes.
- Stir in sausage and cook about 5 minutes until sausage begins to brown. Add crushed tomatoes and stir. Lower heat and cover. Cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- If you can, cool the chili and let it sit at least 4 hours. It will taste even better and will be great the next day. Garnish as you wish.