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How to cook Gimme Lean and Smart Ground

Have you ever picked up a package of Lightlife’s Gimme Lean Sausage® and not known what to do with it? How about our Smart Ground®?

If you’re new to vegetarianism, trying to cook without meat for the first time, or a long time veg who has never tried Lightlife products before; these two products may be uncharted territory for you, but not for much longer!

Gimme Lean and Smart Ground – I have to say – are my two favorite ingredient-based products to cook with. No special handling needed and almost no fuss – these two items should allow you to look at your favorite recipes and say hey I can still make that! Or if your favorite recipes are already sans-meat, you might be saying hey what a great way to add more protein to my meal! 😉

Both Gimme Lean Sausage and Gimme Lean Beef are great replacements for ground meat. They can be formed into breakfast patties, burgers, meatballs, you name it. Because of its texture, you can make it into whatever shape your heart desires.


For some, its sticky texture can be intimidating at first, but I find the easiest way to handle it is to get your hands a little dirty. You can’t be shy around Gimme Lean – dive right in and I’m telling you, your hands on approach will be well worth it.

TIP: put some water on your palms and fingers before shaping, and it’s stickiness is a thing of the past!

Unless I’m baking Gimme Lean in a specific dish, like Veggie Meatloaf ,my go-to cooking method is to brown it in a tiny bit of olive oil just long enough so that it’s heated through and a little crispy on the outside. A couple of minutes or so on each side does the trick.


Smart Ground Original is another product that can be looked at as a replacement for ground meat; however it doesn’t have the sticky quality of Gimme Lean. When should you use one over the other you ask? Since Smart Ground is relatively formless, I tend to use it when I’m adding it to other ingredients. For example, one of my favorite dishes to make is Smart Ground meat sauce over pasta. I literally throw my sauce, veggies, and a package of Smart Ground in a pot to cook – and there you have it – vegan meat sauce!

I also often brown Smart Ground in a skillet – similarly to how I cook Gimme Lean – before using it in Chili, Tacos, or pot stickers.

The key to success with these two products is to use them how you would use ground meats, but with less cooking time. Remember, they may come pretty close to replacing meat, but you can cut your cooking time in half, not to mention cutting the intake of cholesterol, saturated fats and calories. The possibilities are endless…

What do you like to cook with Gimme Lean or Smart Ground? Do you like one over the other? Or do they serve different purposes for you?


Lightlife Team Member

About Blogitarian

Lightlife's resident blogger and veggie enthusiast, Rachael, gives you an insight into the vegetarian world as well as a peek at what’s new in Turners Falls.



  1. Pingback: Gimme lean | Grabadive - April 1, 2012

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