Food Talk And Fabulous Finds - TVP question

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01-26-2011, 03:48 PM
I'm not vegetarian and I probably never will be, but I am trying to go more meat light. I bought some TVP granules from whole foods. I wanted to use them for the first time tonight. When I look up the nutrition values and such it says a serving is 1/4 cup dry. My question is, how much liquid do I add to that 1/4 cup and how much food will that create? How much does it swell?

01-26-2011, 03:59 PM
it will probably double when you add liquid to it. What are you using it for? I don't use tvp very often but I'll either overdo the liquid and drain or add the liquid from the recipe or what not.

01-26-2011, 05:09 PM
It kinda depends on your TVP brand, but it's usually either 1:1 or 1:2 TVP to water.

If your TVP is small granules like Bob's Red Mill, go 1:1. If you've got some of the stuff that's in bigger chunks, go 1:2.

Good luck! It takes a little trial and error to get the right consistency, and it's much better incorporated into a recipe than it is standing alone. Don't be afraid to experiment!

01-26-2011, 05:20 PM
I figured to experiment. That's how we are with most new things we try. We do the plainest version possible and then decide where to go from there. However, that wouldn't work if I didn't have basic direction which I seemed unable to find. We bought it from the bulk bins at whole foods, so there is no box with directions on it. The granules are large, I guess. So I'll go with 1/2 cup liquid for each 1/4 cup TVP and see how it goes. Thanks

01-26-2011, 06:46 PM
If the tvp looks like grapenuts or gravel, those are the granules (1:1). That's what I use, and 1/4c dry makes about 1/3 to 1/2 cup reconstituted (a mounded 1/3 cup or a scant 1/2 cup).

If they're half to one and a half inch pieces (looks a bit like dog kibble) those are the chunks (I'm not a fan of the chunks, the texture is a bit too spongey to me).

Reconstituted with water, they have almost no flavor at all. You really have to either use a flavorful broth to constitute or add them to a strongly flavored sauce (like spaghetti sauce or chili). No matter how I season the tvp meatlessly, hubby hates the flavor and texture of tvp alone, even in chili he can tell the texture is too different from meat for him to enjoy. However, he enjoys dishes made with tvp/meat blend.

I found the basic recipe (adding tvp to ground beef) in the book The Tightwad Gazette, a thrifty living tip book. But I never brown ground beef without seasoning it, so I just adapted my normal ground beef recipe to the tvp/mix.

I brown ground beef with tvp granules (dry, I add the liquid only after the meat is browned) with tvp and seasoning veggies (onion, celery, bell pepper, mushrooms...). Once the meat is browned I will slowly add water or stock until it won't absorb any more. I then freeze the mixture in ziploc bags and smoosh the bags every 20 minutes or so until the mixture freezes in crumbles, so I can scoop out what I need for recipes (or even single servings), to use for sloppy joes, tacos, spaghetti sauces, casseroles...

I started with 1/2 cup of dry tvp to 1 pound of ground beef, and about 1/2 cup of broth (added after the meat is browned), and every time I made it I kept adding more and more tvp.

I can use inexpensive ground beef and because tvp is virtually fat free, by adjusting how much tvp I use, I can end up with a mixture that's the equivalent in fat/calorie content to expensive extra lean ground beef/chicken/turkye for less than the price of the cheapest ground beef. The most I've paid for dry tvp is $3 per pound (which is equivalent to about 4 lbs of ground beef).

Sure tvp alone would be only 75 cents for the equivalent of a pound of ground beef, and maybe if I keep reducing the amount of beef and increasing the amount of tvp hubby will eventually eat plain tvp. For now, with about 1 pound of tvp to 1 pound of ground beef, it usually averages around the equivalent of $1.25 per pound.

01-26-2011, 07:21 PM
Oh yeah, I'd never eat TVP plain. You can google for various recipes. I've had TVP 'chicken' salad which is quite good but it wasn't with granules, it was with chunks.

Here are some interesting recipes I found that sound promising:

The last one is interesting in using it in oatmeal. Although oatmeal is quite cheap already.

I have a lot of vegetarian cookbooks but for some reason, TVP isn't a common ingredient in them.

01-26-2011, 10:29 PM
I ended up using water with a little bit of beef bouillon powder and a touch of garlic powder. We liked it. We mixed it in our bowls with whole wheat pasta and peas and carrots. We will continue to experiment. I'm going to try mixing it in with ground deer meat for one thing. We will definitely be trying it in all the various ground meats we use and also trying it plain in some recipes like chili, tacos, spaghetti. Hubby wants to try it with some alfredo.

Kaplods - it was actually reading about you mixing it with your meat that made me buy it in the first place. I'm definitely going to be trying this smooshing and making frozen crumbles idea.

01-26-2011, 10:40 PM
If you want to do an alfredo type thing, I'd recommend looking for the chunks. They are a bit bigger and tend to go well in place of things where chicken would go well.