Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Texas Quorn Chili with Spinach Recipe

Texas Quorn Chili with Spinach

Recently I received a bag of Quorn mince to try. Quorn is a meat substitute. According to the Quorn website, “Quorn products main ingredient is Mycoprotein which is a nutritionally healthy protein source. Mycoprotein is produced by a process of fermentation similar to that used in the fermentation of yeast in bread.” This didn’t make too much sense to me, so I consulted Wiki. Here’s wiki’s explanation:

“Quorn is made from the soil mould Fusarium venenatum strain PTA-2684. The fungus is grown in continually oxygenated water in large, otherwise sterile fermentation tanks. Glucose and fixed nitrogen are added as a food for the fungus, as are vitamins and minerals to improve the food value of the product. The resulting mycoprotein is then extracted and heat-treated to remove excess levels of RNA. The product is dried and mixed with 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 chicken breasts, meatballs, and turkey roasts; or chunks resembling diced chicken breast.”

So Quorn is produced by growing fungus in water, then it is mixed with egg whites. I suppose Quorn is quite different from laboratory grown beef.

I decided to use the fungus and egg white mixture (aka Quorn) to make Texas chili. It turned out OK. The Quorn was too soft. It felt slightly mushy but held together, if that makes sense. Quorn definitely looked like minced meat, but didn’t really feel or taste like it. However strong sauces will mask the taste, so you won’t know whether you are eating Quorn or meat.

Quorn, or other meat substitutes, don't necessarily have to taste or feel like meat, as long as it tastes delicious on its own. For example, tofu's texture is nice (debatable). Unfortunately Quorn's texture was not appealing to me, I would rather eat tofu, other vege or meat.

Adopted from

300 g Quorn mince
1 carrot, diced
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons olive oil
200 g crushed tomato
100 grams spinach, chopped
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon soya sauce
2 tablespoons honey
1-2 tablespoon vegetable fond
1 tablespoon Hickory liquid smoke
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon chili spice mix
0,5 lime (juice)
Salt and pepper

1.      Heat olive oil in a casserole over medium heat
2.      Add all vegetables, except spinach, and cook until softened
3.      Add the rest of the ingredients, except the Quorn and spinach, and cook covered for 10 - 20 min.
4.      Add Quorn, reduce heat and simmer for maximum 20 minutes. In the last 5 minutes, add spinach. Add water if it looks too dry. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Texas Quorn Chili with Spinach


  1. I must say when I discovered quorn it didn't tempt me at all... (especially when I read about its production and learnt what it was...) and it still doesn't even though your dish looks extremely appetising! Quorn is very expensive here, so I don't think I'll ever buy it. I do love tofu though!

    1. I wouldn't buy it either, its more expensive than meat mince, or tofu. Tofu and vegetables are what they are. Tofu does not pretend its meat. Quorn pretends its meat, there is Quorn fillet (like chicken fillet) etc. I think if Quorn was presented as what it was and not pretend meat, it could be little more appealing.


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