What is TVP?
TVP stands for textured vegetable protein. It’s also known as textured soy protein, soy curls, soy meat, or soya chunks. It’s a defatted soy flour, and is a by-product of extracting soybean oil.
Sounds kind of weird when I put it that way, I know.
TVP is often used as a meat substitute & when rehydrated it has a texture most similar to ground beef.
TVP can be found in 4 different shapes. I can usually only find a mixture of granules and strips/curls. They all taste the same, but work well for different recipes. The slices are the only ones I haven’t found or tried yet.
Invented in the 1960’s, TVP took a while to become more “mainstream”. People didn’t like it at first, it got a bad wrap for being bland.
However, when cooked correctly, tvp is flavorful and tastes amazing when made into tacos, chili, gravy, sloppy joes and more!
I love TVP because:
-It has a long shelf-life. It can be stored at room temperature for pretty much forever. Plus it’s dry and has a low bacteria count, unlike actual meat, which always runs the risk of giving the consumer salmonella or E. Coli
-TVP is one of the cheapest meat substitutes, especially when bought in bulk. I can usually find TVP in bulk at Winco for less than $2 per pound.
-It’s also highly nutritious. 1/4 of a cup of dry TVP has 80 calories, 12 grams of protein, 15% daily value in iron, and no fat!
-TVP doubles in size when rehydrated, so 1 cup dry turns into 2 cups prepared. A little bit of TVP goes a long way!
How to prepare:
These are the general instructions my TVP came with.
As you can see from my pictures, TVP must be rehydrated before cooking. Using a 1:1 ratio of water (or veggie broth) and TVP is ideal. The TVP will double in size once it’s soaked up the water, so keep that in mind too. 1 cup of dry TVP turns into 2 cups when prepared.
I like to sauté TVP in oil and spice it moderately. I use black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, basil, oregano, etc to bring out its flavors. How you season it is up to you.
Once the TVP is seasoned and sautéed to your liking, it can be added to pretty much anything that you’d normally add ground meat to.
Ways to enjoy TVP:
1. In chili!
Okay, so this first one might be cheating since it isn’t a recipe, but vegetarian chili often uses TVP as meat crumbles. You could also make your own chili and add TVP!
2. In Gravy
I wish I had some better pictures, but this is my favorite way to enjoy TVP.
I make a regular white gravy using this recipe: https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/65104/moms-country-gravy/
But instead of butter and milk, I just use dairy-free butter and unsweetened almond milk. The gravy turns out the same, and as long as you use *unsweetened* plant milk, there shouldn’t be a difference in taste either. 🌱
Once the gravy is done, I stir in my already sautéed and seasoned TVP, and we’re done!
3. TVP tacos!
This picture is from The Buddhist Chef, he has a delicious looking recipe: https://www.thebuddhistchef.com/recipe/tvp-tacos-2/
I also have my own taco recipe here: https://autumnsvegankitchen.com/2019/02/16/tvp-taco-meat-crumbles/
I like to add TVP to my pasta sauces for added protein.
You could also make TVP meatballs instead! Recipe here: https://autumnsvegankitchen.com/2019/02/09/vegan-tvp-meatballs/
5. Smoky Bacon Bits, recipe here: https://autumnsvegankitchen.com/2019/11/23/bacon-bits/
6. TVP Seitan Burgers, recipe here: https://autumnsvegankitchen.com/2019/03/27/tvp-burgers/
I also like to add TVP to mac n cheese, soups, etc. Like I said, you can add TVP to pretty much anything you’d use ground meat for.
I’ve also heard of TVP being used to make veggie burgers, which I have yet to try.
(Nutrition facts source)