First TVP Experience

For new or non veggies, TVP stands forTextured Vegetable Protein and is used to stand in for or supplement meats like ground beef (apparently some fast food places use TVP to stretch their meat supply).  The kind I used is made by Bob’s Redmill and comes in dry flakes that have to be reconstituted by adding water (or a combination of water and veggie broth or soy sauce).  I think I’ve cooked with the kind that comes already prepared and frozen like the “Meatless Crumbles,” but only recently found out about this kind (thanks to my mom!).

Since it can be used in place of ground beef in recipes, I decided to start off easy and just add it to pasta sauce.  So I cooked up some elbows while I made the TVP into “meat” and added it to the jarred pasta sauce I had simering on the stove.  I also like to add some spices and stuff to the jarred sauce while it simmers.  It makes it taste fresher I think.  So along with the TVP I added some diced onions, tomatoes garlic powder and oregano.  Then I just poured it over the pasta and mixed it in with what I thought was vegan mozerella cheese (Veggie Shreds), but turns out isn’t vegan because it contains casein.  Oopsie.  I was really trying too!  Those sneaky bastards!  It’s hard enough for me to give up cheese, never mind giving up a cheese-like product I thought was going to be a good substitute. Bah!  Oh well.  I’ve decided to keep the Veggie Shred since the damage of buying them is already done and I don’t like to waste food.  I also think it might be a good way to transition between eating real cheese and eating vegan cheese.  Live and learn right?

Anyway, the pasta was good and I really didn’t miss the ground beef.  My mom tried some too and was impressed.

Here is a picture of my culinary masterpiece (keep in mind that food presentation is not my forte):

(Almost) vegan pasta with “meat”sauce.
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~ by Allison on June 22, 2008.

6 Responses to “First TVP Experience”

  1. What kind of a Natural Food Store do you have in your area?

    When I first went vegan I got so sick of coming home and going “AAARURUGGGHHH!!!!” when I re-read the ingredients on something. 😀

    For vegan cheeses I’m in love with Sheese and Cheezly. I hear Teese is really good too, but none of those are all that easy to find locally. Follow Your Heart cheeses are the ones that seem to be easiest to come across, not as good, but you can make it melt with a little bit of effort 😀

    • We have a Whole Foods, Trader Joes (my lover) and some locally owned smaller places. I’m pretty fortunate to live in a liberal area that has a lot of people who are in to being veggies, caring for the environment, local farming, etc.

      I’ve never tried Sheese and Cheezly (though I’m pretty sure their name is awesome) or Teese. I’ll have to see if I can find them on my next Whole Foods trip. Follow Your Heart isn’t bad and like you said it melts.

      Thanks for the suggestions!

      • Lucky! No Whole Foods here, we have a Trader Joes but they aren’t too keen on anything vegetarian.

        Central California isn’t exactly a great place for vegans. Home to lots of conservative meat eaters and beef & dairy farms. Woopie!

        • That sucks. You’ll just have to move yourself to New England! There are also a lot of dairy farmers here but they are balanced out in some areas by tree-hugging hippies. 🙂 We also have a lot of colleges, which have a tendency to bring about a more socially-aware public.

          • 😀 I used to live in Connecticut. I was there for about 6 years or so. I certainly miss being near West Hartford and having a Wild Oats, Whole Foods, and various other places. I went up to Northampton a few times. I really miss it out there, it’s so green! Its just brown here. 😛

            My family is from here in the armpit of California, so I ended up back here. Woopie. I’m hoping to head to the North West soon. Seattle or Portland. <3 Thank goodness.

            • Cool! I live in Easthampton (right next to Northampton). Born and raised. It’s a nice area, although I’m looking to go back to Boston or NYC as soon as I can find a job.

              I’ve never been to the northern part of California. I did live in L.A. one summer and I really liked it there. I hear that the San Fran area of Cali is similar to New England though.

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