After my previous attempt at “healthy” chilli –Turkey mince chilli– I was a bit skeptical about trying another variation on the healthy alternative theme.
Despite my best efforts the turkey chilli, even with all the extra spices added, still tasted like turkey chilli. It was edible sure, but it was not a screaming success.
Now here’s the important bit.
My first introduction to the product was when my daughter Meg was in high school and in a cookery class. Her teacher had insisted that her class make a pizza with this ham substitute called Quorn.
I did not like it. The texture was funny and even though it did taste faintly of ham the texture of it didn’t match the taste. Fortunately they’ve improved on their imitation meat textures. Improved enough for me to give it a second chance.
Since my heart attack and the resultant surgery I’ve had to completely restructure my diet as well as my lifestyle. I’ve been trying to share each new recipe as I try them.
For the record we’ve tried the winter vegetable lasagna:
And the turkey Chilli Con Carne:
In my blog post For ‘Every Beat of My Heart’ Thanks I mentioned Quorn but had decided that it was too expensive. The packet of mince I’d seen in the store was priced at £1.85 for 300 grams. I had decided that I would need at least 2 packets to make chilli con carne.
That would have made it pretty expensive so I gave it a miss. Actually the reverse was true. It was extremely cost effective. Cost effective because you only need one 300g packet to make chilli.
The recipe is simple and just like making regular chilli –the meaty type– and it tastes delicious. If you’re interested, I’ll pass the recipe on before the end of the post.
But first I’d like to tell you what Quorn is made of. According to Wikipedia Quorn is made of fungi:
Quorn is made from the soil mould Fusarium venenatum strain PTA-2684 (previously misidentified as the parasitic mold Fusarium graminearum ). The fungus is grown in continually oxygenated water in large, otherwise sterile fermentation tanks. During the growth phase, glucose is added as a food for the fungus, as are various vitamins and minerals (to improve the food value of the resulting product). The resulting mycoprotein is then extracted and heat-treated to remove excess levels of RNA. Previous attempts to produce such fermented protein foodstuffs were thwarted by excessive levels of DNA or RNA; without the heat treatment, purine, found in nucleic acids, is metabolised by humans, producing uric acid, which can lead to gout.
The product is dried and mixed with chicken egg albumen, which acts as a binder. It is then textured, giving it some of the grained character of meat, and pressed either into a mince (resembling ground beef), forms resembling breasts, meatballs, turkey roasts, or into chunks (resembling diced chicken breast). In these forms, Quorn has a varying colour and a mild flavour resembling the imitated meat product, and is suitable for use as a replacement for meat in many dishes, such as stews and casseroles. The final Quorn product is high in protein and dietary fibre and is low in saturated fat and salt. It contains less dietary iron than do most meats.
The different tastes and forms of Quorn are results of industrial processing of the raw fungus.
Okay, boring science class over. I just felt that you ought to know what this tasty stuff is made of. It doesn’t bother me, because it tastes brilliant and is better for my heart than my lifetime favorite of meat.
- 300g pack of Quorn Mince
- 1 onion diced
- 3 large flat mushrooms diced
- 2 tsp of chilli powder
- 1 red pepper diced
- 400g can of kidney beans
- 400g can of chopped tomatoes
- garlic powder approximately 1/4 tsp
- 1/4 tsp white pepper
- lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp unrefined sugar
- 1 tsp of mixed herbs
Cook the above ingredients for approximately 15 minutes while you boil up a cup of rice –you can use wild rice– and grate a bit of light mature cheese for a topping.
This will feed four or if you are a family of two it will stretch for two meals.
This recipe is actually cheaper than making it with traditional beef mince (hamburger).
If you can get Quorn where you live, give it a try and let me know what you think of it!
- For ‘Every Beat of My Heart’ Thanks (mikesfilmtalk.com)
- Quorn Veggie Burgers and Home-Made Buns (frenchleave.wordpress.com)
- Chilli Con Carne (cupcakesandwanderlust.wordpress.com)
- 7 High-Protein Meat Substitutes for Fall (news.health.com)
- Midweek Low FODMAP special veggie chilli – A warming meal for chilly nights! (clinicalalimentary.wordpress.com)
- Vegetarian “Chili con Carne” Surprise Recipe (foodiecitymom.com)
- 4 Easy To Cook Mexican Dishes (dangerouslee.biz)