Tuesday, January 11, 2011

'Sausage' & Pepper Frittata

Tonight was a new adventure for us.  With a vast variety of meat-replacement products that are in the market right now, I decided it may be a good idea to start trying some of these items early on in our vegetarian / pescetarian diet plan so we can get an idea of how they taste, how they work and how we like them.  The thought being that once we find items we enjoy and work well with our lifestyle (ie. easy to prepare, store, handle, and understand), the easier it will be to integrate these items into our daily diet.

I started off with a recipe from Every Day with Rachael Ray Magazine for a Sausage-and-Pepper Frittata, which I have prepared before based on the specifics of the recipe.  Well, on Sunday's shopping trip, I decided to pick up a package of Gimme Lean Ground "Sausage", which is soy-based, with the idea to try it and this recipe in mind.

When I first opened the "sausage", I was a little nervous.  I've seen cat food that looks better than that tube of goo did; but I forged ahead with positive (and hopeful) thoughts for the best.  I followed the packaged directions, oh wait, there really wasn't any besides 'good in your favorite recipes', so I decided to just plop it into the frying pan and cook it up just like I would with ground sausage.  The product did not break and crumble the same way the sausage would so it was actually a little more work physically.  I did notice right away that there was no oil or fat coming off as the browning process progressed as you would experience with real sausage, so I added a little bit of olive oil (maybe a teaspoon, it that) just to ensure it didn't burn up on the bottom on my skillet.  So the Gimme Lean browned up nice and, after a little work, it broke up into little pseudo-sausage bits and ya know what? It tasted just like sausage!  Win! 

Once the browning was done, I continued the recipe as listed with just three slight changes made.  I used green onions (scallions) because I still had two left in the refrigerator that were getting close to their time (no waste!).  Using scallions works well for us because Dan isn't the biggest fan of onions and this seems to be an OK medium between our tastes.  Next change I made was to add a little more olive oil to the skillet as the peppers and onions cooked up.  The recipe calls for the veggies to cook in the left over sausage drippings, but since there were none, I needed a little bit of oil in there to get things moving.  Last change made was to use shredded cheddar instead of goat cheese.  This is purely a taste and financial decision.  I don't think I've ever tried goat cheese and I wasn't sure if I would like it, and I wasn't interested in spending an extra $7-$10 to purchase it when I knew I already had some shredded cheddar at home.

The result:  awesome!  I think this came out better than the first time I made it with actual sausage.  I am super impressed with the Gimme Lean sausage and will definitely be trying it, and maybe other Gimme Lean products again.  I also found this review with pretty much the same thoughts as me (but with a lot more experience behind it).  Overall, success!!

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