Thursday, July 31, 2008

What The Heck Is TVP?

One of the things that is really important in my grocery shopping is to make sure we have enough protein in our meals. Since my meat purchases usually are reserved for sales or spontaneous bargains, I want to make sure I’ve got plenty of options for those weeks when I don’t find any good meat bargains.

So I’ve been open to other alternatives.

Let me just start by saying I’m not against tofu but it has to be pretty well disguised for me to get past the gelatinous mass it started out as. The other drawback is that it’s as expensive if not more expensive than the meat. So that really doesn’t work very well for me.

We do eat a lot of beans and eggs in our diet because those are cheap protein sources as well.

But I have found one option that beats them all as far as price, plus it’s easy to disguise as hamburger. It’s called Textured Vegetable Protein.

Here’s some information I got at…..

What is TVP?

Textured vegetable protein – sometimes referred to as textured soy protein – is a meat substitute made from soy flour. It is sold in both flavored and unflavored varieties, and comes in a variety of product sizes – chunks, flakes, etc. – making it easy to work with and incredibly versatile.

Since TVP is sold in dehydrated form, it must be rehydrated before use. This can be acheived by soaking it in water for 5-10 minutes or through the cooking process (when used in soups, sauces and other liquids).

TVP is considerably cheaper than meat, and goes a lot further too. Expect to get the equivalent of three pounds of meat out of one pound of TVP.

Benefits of Cooking with TVP:
· inexpensive
· has a long shelf life
· doesn't have to be thawed before use
· low-fat
· cholesterol-free
· good source of protein
· good source of fiber

So on grocery shopping day this week, I hit the bulk food bins in search of TVP and found that it sold for $1.43 per pound. And if one pound of TVP is equivalent to 3 lbs of hamburger then the equivalent in hamburger at $1.80 per pound is $5.40.

I’m willing to give THAT a try!

So, I figured the best way to sneak it to my kids is to make it look like tacos. I mean, to a kid doesn’t everything taste good if it has taco seasoning in it?

I used this recipe…

Ten Minute TVP Taco’s

Not only did I earn major Mommy Points for making tacos for lunch but to make a long story short…..I fooled them all!

Mwahahahahahahaha! (head thrown back in evil laughter)

So TVP is going to become a new part of my menu planning. Stay tuned for more recipes.


Emily said...

you're totally rocking on this blog. love the new ideas. Way to think out of the box. I think spaghetti and tacos would hide the 'flavor' best. Or even cheeseburger soup.

Me said...

I have some TVP in my cupboard and I suppose I should use it up! Maybe you could have a Mister Linky for other people to add their TVP recipes? I'd like to use it more but I'd rather use recipes that call for it.

Sarah said...

Thanks for this post! My husband has been bugging me for a while about TVP and how his mom used to buy it all the time and how much he loved it. So I am going to have to go get some and give it try. Thanks again for the info! Oh and I think I finally found a grocery outlet type of store called NPS.

happy little momma said...

Just a thought! Here's a couple of articles I came across, after reading your post, I wondered if soy is really that good for you....
You may want to check them out, as I found some of the info helpful

Anonymous said...

Just found you blog...and love it.
Thanks for posting about TVP. I've been curious to try it, but hesitant at the same time. You have given me the courage to go ahead and jump I just to find it in my neck of the woods. The journey begins!!

Mom of 2 kids and 1 overgrown kid (Husband)

Kelli said...

I, too have heard about TVP but unwilling to try it without a "real person opinion" I'm planning my monthly menus now and think i will try to track down some TVP! How is the texture, say for sloppy joes?

MamaFeelgood said...

My husband used to make chili and sloppy joes with TVP. We haven't used it in years but I think I'll be breaking it back out now.

Anonymous said...

Another healthy way to stretch ground beef is to add some cooked wheat berries or cooked cracked wheat. You can crack wheat berries in your blender. To cook the wheat berries or cracked wheat, add wheat, a little salt, and at least twice as much water as wheat to a pan and boil for 30-40 minutes. You can also cook on low in the crockpot for about 8 hours. I also like making tacos by adding 1 can kidney beans to 1/2 lb ground beef and taco seasoning.

Heather said...

Thank you! you provided my family with dinner last night. I made the half batch (and doubled the amount of salsa called for in the recipe), it was really good.

bring on more TVP recipes

EEEEMommy said...

Interesting. I hadn't heard about TVP before, but like a commenter above, I recently read about soy and how it's not really the health food marketers claim it is. Mainly because of estrogenic compounds. There's a lot of conflicting information, but you might want to research it.
There are foods that you can eat that counter the excess estrogen (cruciferous veggies, citrus,...). Google it and you'll learn more than you ever wanted to about soy...

MommaofMany said...

Here's another site about the health benefits of soy:

Mary Ellen (Carolina Momma) said...

Thanks for the recipe link! It may very well show up on our menu plan for next week as meat sales are pretty scarce around these parts this week LOL!

CC said...

Hadn't ever heard of TVP until this post. I have know tried it in Taco Soup and you Ten Minute TVP Tacos. Both were great!! Thanks so much!

Vegetarian said...

I'm glad you enjoyed this recipe! I love it too - it's so quick and easy to make!

trucksr4gurls said...

here in middle america there is a dearth of options when it comes to locating tvp. it is either the health food store or the health food store. wish i could find it easier.