1. What is TVP?
Textured vegetable protein is dehydrated soybeans mixed with soy flour. Once dried, it is crushed into small pieces of varying size. The taste of TVP is neutral, similar to that of tofu, which also comes from soy. Eating a meal containing TVP instead of meat will give you your daily recommended protein value.
2. Choose it well
TVP is found in the natural and organic product aisles in some grocery stores and in natural food stores. It can also be purchased in Asian grocery stores. There are different versions of TVP:
- A large grain texture is best to replicate the texture of slightly greasy ground meat or sausage meat.
- Opt for a thinner version for a lean ground meat look.
- Go for a golden blond TVP—without the addition of caramelizing products—for something as neutral as possible.
3. How to cook it
To rehydrate TVP, simply boil one-part TVP in two- to three- parts water or vegetable broth for 10 to 15 minutes. It can also be rehydrated by soaking in lukewarm water for about an hour, without boiling it. For a more saucy preparation, like the spaghetti sauce in our current magazine on newsstands, you don’t need to rehydrate it in advance. Magic!
4. What do you cook with TVP?
Dishes like tacos, chili, macaroni or Asian stir-fry come to mind. Make sure to choose a dish that would have a texture similar to that of minced meat. An item like meatballs, for example, might not hold up.
5. It needs some love
A bit like tofu, you have to infuse TVP with flavour. At the heart of it, the base is neutral and without much taste, so it’s imperative to season it and maximize its flavours with spices and aromatics. To give colour and a touch of caramelization during cooking, you can add soy sauce or even a soy-sugar-spice mixture.