A Word About TVP
"TVP, textured vegetable protein. What the heck is it? Your new best friend, that’s what it is. TVP is actually a brand name for “hydrolized vegetable protein,” which you see on ingredients lists for many foods. It is produced from soy flour after the soybean oil has been extracted, then cooked under pressure, extruded and dried. Why is it your new best friend? Because it is the easiest meat substitute to use, it is super low in fat, super high in protein and fiber and can be used anywhere that a recipe calls for ground beef with very little effort. Oh, and it tastes great too. Okay, on it’s own, it tastes kinda gross, but when spiced properly, damn. To use TVP, it must be reconstituted. The standard for reconstituting TVP is 1 cup granules to 7/8 cup boiling water. BORING! I always suggest adding a little something to the mix. Even if its just adding a veggie bouillon cube to the water. I usually use veggie stock to reconstitute my TVP, and sometimes I will add a little Bragg or Tamari too, depending on the recipe. TVP makes great veggie burgers, meetballs, tacos and meetloaf, and tastes great added to sauces and chilis. It really is the easiest way to make fake meat. It is sold in many forms from small granules, to cutlet sized chunks. And I will admit, that the larger chunks kind of freak me out, so for the purposes of this book, buy the small granules. And once again, if you can find it in the bulk bins, get it there, way cheaper." --originally published on page 59 in Cozy Inside, 2007
That was five years ago. And for the most part, I pretty much stand by that statement. The only things I would change are:
- The larger chunks no longer freak me out (Hello, Soy Curls?)
- There are lots of brands that make or distribute TVP now.
- I no longer use words like "meetballs" or "meetloaf" (or "cheeze" or "creem")
And since we already traveling back in time to the good old days of Cozy Inside, here are two recipes from the book using TVP as an ingredient. (I reprinted these here in almost their exact form as they appear in the book. It's so funny to see the difference in my writing style over the years.)
|Spicy 3 Bean TVP Chili and Sweet Skillet Cornbread|
Spicy 3 Bean TVP Chili
Originally appeared in Cozy Inside, page 30
Nothing warms my belly like a big bowl of spicy chili. Add a big ol’ piece of sweet skillet cornbread, smothered in Earth Balance and I am a happy, happy girl. This chili is so full of flavor that there is absolutely no reason why the omnivores in your life won’t also love this meal.
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 medium yellow onions, diced
1 whole head, or 8 to 10 cloves of garlic, minced
2 (15 oz) cans of diced tomatoes with the juice (No salt added)
1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained
1 (15 oz) can pinto beans, drained
1 (15 oz) can kidney beans, drained
1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
3 tablespoons hot chili powder
3 teaspoons cumin powder
1 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoons ground black pepper
1 cup TVP granules
1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
Put oil in a large pot. On medium-high heat, add onions and garlic. Heat until onions are translucent and garlic is fragrant. Add all cans, stir well. Add spices, stir well. Add TVP granules, stir well. Reduce heat to medium-low and cover. Simmer for 1 hour, stirring every once in a while. Top with a dollop of easy nondairy sour creem.
Yield: 8 servings
|Old Fashioned Meetloaf|
Old Fashioned Meetloaf
Originally appeared in Cozy Inside page 49
The first time i made this, the smells wafting through the kitchen made my mouth water and my heart go pitter-pat. When it was done, and I took my first bite, i actually said, out loud, “Oh my f#@!, This is one of the best things iIve ever put in my mouth!”
3 cups TVP granules
2 ½ cups vegetable broth, or water
2 tablespoons Bragg, Tamari or Soy sauce
1 large yellow onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon ground black pepper, plus extra pepper to taste
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
½ teaspoon cumin
1 cup ketchup, plus extra ketchup for basting
1 ½ cups vital wheat gluten
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Reconstitute TVP granules in veggie broth & Bragg by mixing it together in a large microwave safe bowl, covered tightly with plastic wrap and microwave on high for 6 minutes. Set aside. In a skillet, heat the olive oil and sauté the onion and garlic until translucent and just beginning to brown, about 7 to 10 minutes.
Mix all ingredients into the reconstituted TVP, except the extra ketchup and pepper. Mix well. Use your hands and knead the mixture together. Make sure everything is well incorporated. At this point you can proceed, as is, or take half of the mixture and place it in the food processor and process until it is the consistency of paste. Then mix the two portions back together, very well, with your hands. The point of this step is to get your meatloaf to stick together better when you slice it. TVP is crumbly and when you slice your loaf, if you want perfect slices, use this method. If you don’t mind crumbly meetloaf, you can skip this step. It tastes the same either way and I have done it both ways with great results.
Press the “dough” into a well oiled loaf pan very tightly. As tightly as you can pack it in. Seriously. Push hard. Harder. Okay, now bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Remove and brush a thin layer of ketchup onto the top. Return to the oven and bake an additional 25 minutes. Remove from oven, let stand about 10 minutes and turn onto a serving dish. Serve with garlic smashed potatoes (page 35) and of course garnish with, you guessed it, more ketchup!
Makes: 2 small loaves, depending on the size of your loaf pan