by Catherine Misener
Have a great Paella recipe you want to try out Want a really satisfying stew to keep your tummy warm this winter? Gimme Lean’s Sausage Style is worth a try…
Gimme Lean Sausage Style is a meat analog (substitute) made from textured and isolate soy proteins and vegetable sources. It is fat and cholesterol-free and has 70 calories per serving. Each 14 oz. package contains 7 servings, which is equivalent to approximately 1 lb of sausage.
As sausage style meat substitutes have a firmer consistency than soy crumbles, they will hold up very well in a variety of dishes. Gimme Lean is especially great in stews, stuffings, and paella. It is mildly flavored with spices and tends to work better in more robust dishes.
We tested Gimme Lean Sausage in the Hearty Bean and Sausage Stew recipe (offered in this newsletter). We also tried it as a topping for pizza.
We first tried the stew recipe provided above, but without some of the seasonings. We thought the Gimme Lean Sausage would provide enough spices in the stew and did not want to overpower the dish. We were initially disappointed with the results. The sausage held up very well (better than we expected), but it was very bland. It did not seem to pick up the flavors from the rest of the stew (which did taste very good).
We decided to try again, but then added the extra seasonings (which are listed in the recipe above). We also sauteed the sausage with the seasonings for 3 minutes. Most companies suggest adding meat substitute products during the final stages of cooking so the soy will hold its shape. However, Gimme Lean held up beautifully even when added at an earlier stage in the recipe. Also, by sauteing the sausage with the herbs for several minutes, the flavors really came through.
With this second try, the results were very satisfying. Does it taste like “real” sausage?? Some wished the sausage was more spicy, like hot Italian sausage. I prefer a more mild flavor and was pleased with the taste. You can consider many soy products a blank slate – they come in varying shapes and textures, you can add the intensity of flavor you desire. However, with Gimme Lean you may want to follow recipes that allow the sausage to cook with other ingredients for at least 20 minutes, to better absorb the flavors. You can also season the sausage prior to cooking, which is what we tried for the next test.
As a pizza topping, we mixed the sausage with garlic salt, onion powder and a tad bit of chili powder. We allowed the mixture to sit for 10 minutes and then broke off chunks to use as the topping for a pizza (messy, yes). While the sausage had a good flavor, we did not care for the texture – as a pizza topping. It was a bit clumpy – soy crumbles seem to work much, much better. The sausage was also a bit dry after baking. It might work better in a calzone or Chicago style pizza – we will try that next time!
Gimme Lean Sausage is very good in hearty dishes. It holds up very well and can absorb the flavors of other ingredients in the dish. It costs approx. $2.49 for 14 oz. Gimme Lean is made by Light-Life, which offers a variety of soy products, including other meat analogs, hot dogs and Smart Bacon.
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