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TVP: a Primer…

I may, from time to time, post recipes with TVP, or textured vegetable protein, so I thought I’d give a short primer on what it is, how it is used, etc.

TVP is a soy product. It can be bought in bulk at places like Whole Foods and some company’s (namely Bob’s Red Mill) sell it pre-packaged. Some important information about TVP:
  1. It comes dry. You may need to rehydrate it depending on what you are using it for. You basically mix it 1:1 with water
  2. It tastes like…absolutely nothing…until you mix something in. Well that’s not true. It does have a taste but it is very bland in and of itself
  3. If you want any kind of “flavored” TVP…you should mix said flavoring into the water you will use to rehydrate it. That is the best way. I speak this from experience
  4. TVP will add bulk to your recipes so tread carefully. I once used too much in a tuna casserole and I STILL have portions of that SOB in my freezer!

Nutritional info:
Generally 1/4 c. of TVP has about 80 calories, 12g of protein. A 1/4 c. will yield about 1/2 of a hydrated cup (about…not exactly…). Very few carbs.

So what to use it for?

  • I mix it with oatmeal for hot cereal (I’ll post about that someday when I get a pic)
  • I use it in place of ground meat
  • I use it in place of rice
  • I put it in stews
  • I put it on top of things almost like granola (like yogurt and such)

(I do not like them in a box, I do not like them with a fox, I do not like Green Eggs and Ham, I do not like them Sam I Am!!!–sorry…repetitive phrasing calls to mind Seuss…moving on…)

The possibilities are truly endless. One of my latest uses was in this Spicy Black Bean burger that I made for a vegetarian friend of mine. It’s basically a black bean falafel..and it was pretty damn tasty!

Ingredients:
1 can frijoles negros (getting my Spanish on y’all!)
1/4 c. TVP
2 tbsp unflavored, non-fat Greek yogurt
1/2 red onion, chopped
Onion powder, garlic powder, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes
Directions:

  1. Dump beans in a collander and rinse them (thereby removing any unnecessary sodium from canning). Dump them in a bowl.
  2. With a wooden spoon, mash the hell outta them suckers!
  3. Add Greek yogurt, TVP, red onion and spices (to taste) and let it sit for a minute or two to dry out just a little (not too much or they won’t stay together. If you’re not interested in the vegetarian thing you can add an egg white to help them hold together even better)
  4. Form into patties. Place them on a sprayed cookie sheet and bake in a 350 pre-heated oven about 10 minutes

I eat these in a whole wheat, low carb tortilla with more greek yogurt and salsa. Do what you feel is right. They are nice because they are filling but not overfilling.
Anyhoo…that’s my word on TVP. Note that any info request on TVP will revert back to this post. 🙂

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One comment

  1. Nikki girl, you are my hero. I want to be your BFF so you'll share your food with me. Any woman who knows where you can buy TVP in bulk AND who can make fake Zatarains? Friend for life. You rock. I love the way you write, think, and COOK! I am so glad I found you at the RNY forum.

    Devotedly,

    Sharon P.