I have been making this chili for over a decade now, but the other day I decided to change it up. Without telling my husband, I used Gardein beefless ground in place of the ground beef. The end result was a vegetarian chili that looked and tasted like almost exactly like what he was used to. . . chili loaded with ground beef.
Gardein beefless ground works great in chili.
If you go to the health food/organic section in your grocery store you may see Gardein products in the frozen section. The makers of Gardein are REALLY good at taking meaty foods that we love and finding vegetarian ways to imitate their taste, looks, and texture. (Gardein makes chicken nuggets, called “crispy tenders” that magically taste like chicken, but don’t have any chicken in them. They are yummy!) When it comes to smart points, 13 ounces of beefless ground is 9 SP and 13 ounces of 95% lean ground beef is 12 SP, but there are many more health benefits that go “beyond the scale”. To learn about the health benefits of Gardein products (and for questions you might have about the products) you can go here. Update: Substitute beefless ground for lean ground turkey to make this chili ZERO FreeStyle SP per serving! How fun is that?
Let’s talk about my husband for a minute.
Meet my husband, Scott Michael Hughes.
He’s adorable, I know.
One thing I don’t think I have mentioned on here before is that Scott doesn’t mind eating my healthy stuff really. He is such a good sport when it comes to trying all the foods I make, but I am quite certain he would not go through the hassle of finding healthier versions of foods on his own quite the same way I do. His favorite food for as long as I have known him has always been the bacon cheeseburger. He LOVES a good bacon cheeseburger and he would eat one everyday and be perfectly happy. My sweet dear husband likes his meat. This is not out of the ordinary for a man to love meat, right?
So, are you dying to know what he thought of my meatless chili?
I smiled as the scene unfolded, knowing I would be able to share this with you. My husband took a couple of bites of the chili and I asked him, “So, what do you think?” and he said, “The seasonings are different”. I told him I used a different brand of chili seasoning (which was true) but I left out that fact that I used beefless ground that already had seasoning in it. He finished his whole bowl and I said, “Do you want to know what the secret ingredient in the chili was today?” and I held up the empty bag of Gardein beefless ground. We laughed. He had no idea! He thought he was eating ground beef that whole time.
The truth is Gardien beefless ground looks and tastes almost exactly like ground beef! He and I shared a bowl of the leftover chili the next day and he enjoyed it with no complaints. . . even after he knew about the “secret ingredient”.
If you try this chili let us know what you think below. We would love to know what you thought of this vegetarian ground beef substitute.
Here is what you need:
2 cans (15 oz. each) kidney beans
1 can (8 oz.) tomato sauce
1 can (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons chili seasoning (from a chili seasoning packet)
1 pkg. (13.5 oz.) Gardein Beefless Ground
Here is what you do:
Mix kidney beans, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, and chili seasoning in a large stockpot. Allow to cook on medium heat for 5-7 minutes.
Add the beefless ground and cook an additional 5 minutes, or until heated through.
It’s really that easy. Top with whatever you like.
Here are a few things we love with our chili in the Hughes house:
Fritos – 2 SP for 15 chips
Saltine Crackers – 2 SP for 6 crackers
Oyster crackers – 2 SP for 1/3 cup
Reduced-fat shredded cheddar cheese – 3 SP for 1/4 cup
Fat-free sour cream – 1 SP for 4 Tbsp.
Chives – 0 SP
What do you like to eat on your chili? I would love to know. Drop us a comment below!
Makes 8 (1 cup) servings. One serving is 1 WW FreeStyle SP.
- Serves: 8 (1 cup) servings
- Serving size: 1 cup
- Calories: 153
- Fat: 2 g
- Saturated fat: 0 g
- : 0 g
- Trans fat: 0 g
- Carbohydrates: 20 g
- Sugar: 4 g
- Sodium: 561 mg
- Fiber: 7 g
- Protein: 14 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
- 2 cans (15 oz. each) kidney beans
- 1 can (8 oz.) tomato sauce
- 1 can (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons chili seasoning mix from a chili seasoning packet
- 1 pkg. (13.5 oz.) Gardein Beefless Ground
- Mix kidney beans, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, and chili seasoning in a large stockpot. Allow to cook on medium heat for 5-7 minutes.
- Add the beefless ground and cook an additional 5 minutes, or until heated through.
- Top with whatever you like.
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*SmartPoints® calculated by Meal Planning Mommies; Not endorsed by Weight Watchers International, Inc. All recipe ingredients except optional items included in determining nutritional estimates. SmartPoints® values calculated without Weight Watchers Zero Points fruits and vegetables using the WW Recipe Builder.