Steal This Recipe: How to Make TVP Act Like Ground Meat

First, grab your 1tsp (15ml) and 1/2 cup (120ml) measurements, and make your Instaburger sauce:

1 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup soy sauce
1tsp garlic powder
1tsp cumin
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp paprika

Ballpark it. Heap your tablespoons. The minor ingredients are getting WAY diluted by the oil and soy sauce, so don’t waste a lot of time on super-precision.

Now, your Instaburger goes like this:

1 cup TVP
1 cup water
1/4 cup Instaburger sauce

Gives you roughly a pound of ground meat. Here’s the trifecta: when making soups, hamburger helper, etc, TVP works like a dry ingredient. So you can mix your dry ingredients (taco powder, seasoning packets, etc) together to get greater consistency, and mix the wet ingredients all together as well (milk, margarine, water, etc).

– The TVP rehydration and cook time are concurrent, with no thawing or browning of meat. (Advantage: Speed)
– As long as the rest of your recipe is meat-free, TVP will do a GREAT job of being a vegetarian alternative without the saturated fat, steroids, ammonia (yes, they add ammonia), or antibiotics of real meat. (Advantage: Health).
– Rehydrated TVP by the pound costs somewhere in the ballpark of $0.30 to $0.45 a pound versus the going rate for ground meat. Ground-beef grain-fed organic extra-lean top sirloin (decently healthy versus TVP) is in the $4/pound ballpark. (Advantage: Cost)
– TVP requires no refrigerator space or energy, no freezer space or energy, can be bought in bulk, and stored alongside the rest of your disaster readiness supplies. Fewer trips to the grocery saves gas. In terms of actual TCO (total cost of ownership), TVP goes for roughly $0.40 a pound, with ground meat going for ten times that. (Advantage: Cost, Preparedness)

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “Steal This Recipe: How to Make TVP Act Like Ground Meat

  1. Jenni

    For us naive aussies – what the heck is TVP??

    • labrant

      Great description of it. It’s actually the stuff they make bacon bits out of. It’s super-easy to cook with (think hamburger without the thawing or frying or stirring), super-cheap (something like 1/10 the price per rehydrated pound of ground beef), and it’s even vegetarian (no steroids like cattle). It’s my new best friend in the kitchen.

  2. It’s Textured Vegetable Protein, if you’re wondering about the acronym, Jenni.

    Have you gone veg on me, bro?

  3. Pam

    I will write this recipe by hand. I am afraid to print it because the back ground is black it will use all my ink. Can you do it on a light background so everyone can print it. Thank you for the recipe it sounds great .

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