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kaplods 03-22-2011 11:38 PM

Protein for the month, for about 35 cents per (3-4 ounce) serving
I've talked about my tvp mixture alot in this forum, but today I actually calculated the cost per serving, and found a simpler and faster method for making the meat mixture.

I made two batches (and the equivalent of 10 pounds of meat). One with tvp/ground beef/ground pork, and one with tvp/italian sausage.

I used 4 ( one pound) packages of meat, 20 ounces of dry tvp, a medium chopped onion, a few stalks of chopped celery, and some seasonings (garlic powder, italian seasoning, salt, and pepper).

The ground beef and ground pork were 2.49 and 1.99 respectively on sale. The italian sausages were only 99 cents on sale. The tvp was $7.00 (I had to buy it at Walmart at 3.49 per 10 oz package. When I can find it in bulk, I pay less than $3 per pound usually closer to $2.50).

At any rate, I paid less than $15 for all of the ingredients, including the 2-gallon ziploc stype bags I bought at the dollar store (6 bags for a dollar, and I used two) and made 40 1/2 cup servings of meat.

That brings the cost per serving to about 35 cents.

To compare with ground beef. A lb of raw ground beef yields 4 cooked servings of 3 ounces. If you paid 3.00 per pound, that would be more than 75 cents per serving (you'd still have to pay for the seasoning veggies and such).

The meat alone costs me $12 (30 cents per serving if you don't count the seasonings). The sausage was on sale for 99 cents per pound, and the ground pork and ground beef were each about $2.50 per pound.

My Simpler Recipe

any combination of diced seasoning veggies such as onion, garlic scallion, celery, carrot, bell pepper, hot pepper, mushroom (today I used only onion and celery)


ground meat, any kind

any additional seasonings of your choice (or none - I used garlic powder and italian seasoning for the sausage batch, and garlic and worcestershire sauce in the second batch - beef/pork ).

In a large dutch oven (or deep skillet if you're making a small batch of less than 2 lbs).

Saute seasoning veggies on medium-high heat. Chop and saute any one or combination of seasoning veggies, in a very small amount of oil.

Add meat.

Add water equal to volume of dry tvp, plus an additional 1/2 cup of water per pound of meat. You can add seasonings now, or after the meat is cooked (or both). When the water/meat mixture starts bubbling, you don't want a hard boil, you want a slow bubbling simmer.

The water amount isn't all that important, because you can simmer until the water is gone, or you can even drain any excess liquid (which will also drain off some fat with it). You want enough water to make it easy to break the meat up with a spoon or a potato masher as it simmers. (I used a teflon-coated potato masher).

Once the meat is cooked (no longer pink), reduce heat and simmer off extra liquid, or drain the meat in a fine mesh colander (you can use a regular colander, but you might lose a few of the smaller pieces of meat through the holes. Not a big deal).

Pour into a bowl or return to the dutch oven and move to a cool burner. Allow meat mixture to cool a few minutes before putting meat into a freezer container (I like ziploc freezer bags).

Fill freezer bags and place in freezer. Every 20 to 30 minutes, smoosh the bag around, so that the mixture freezes in scoopable crumbles.

Once the mixture is completely frozen. Open the bag, push out as much air as you can and reseal the bags (or transfer them to a freezer container with a tight-fitting lid).

Scoop out what you need as you need it. If using a freezer bag, always squeeze out as much air as you can. Use in any recipe that calls for browned ground beef. Two cups of crumbles is equivalent to 1 lb of browned and drained ground beef.

To make two batches, the equivalent of 10 lbs of ground meat - it took me only about 90 minutes (even including the veggie chopping).

2 kb

sacha 04-23-2011 12:29 PM

I know this is a bit older but thank you!!!!

Deblynn 07-30-2011 01:26 PM

Wow! Love this!! Thank you for posting Kaplods!!

Mrsralphie 07-07-2012 01:23 AM

I am so sorry but what is it TVP? Tofu?

kaplods 07-07-2012 02:34 AM


Originally Posted by Mrsralphie (Post 4396657)
I am so sorry but what is it TVP? Tofu?

It's not tofu, but like tofu it is a soy food, more precisely it's made from soy flour, It can be made of other vegetable proteins such as corn and wheat, but it's usually made from soy. The initials stand for textured vegetable protein (also called textured soy protein), and it comes in various texture and flavors.

The one I'm talking about is unseasoned and dehydrated (it's reconstituted by adding equal parts hot water to the dry granules which look like grapenuts cereal or beige aquarium gravel).

You can buy it in healthfood stores or many grocery stores (Bob's Redmill is one brand).

There are also "chicken nugget" shaped pieces, but that's not what I'm using.

When you add hot water or broth, or cooked in liquid it can be used as a ground beef (or other ground meat) substitute in recipes.

TVP is quite versatile and much less expensive than meat per serving (however beans are usually cheaper if bought in bulk).

I like using it as a low-carb cereal alternative, using it as a cold or hot cereal, and/or adding it to other cereals to bring the proten level up and the proportion of carbs down.

Mollewogg 07-07-2012 07:00 AM

Where on earth do you buy it? I assume health food stores, but what section of the store would you find it on?

Munchy 07-07-2012 02:04 PM

I buy mine from big lots or the health/organic section of my grocery store. It's typically with the bags of organic dried beans and wild rices. They put all of the bobs red mill products together.

kaplods 07-07-2012 02:24 PM

Even Walmart carries it (locally, the Bob's Redmill products are usually either with the other gluten-free special diet foods, or with the flours, beans, and grains). I've also had great luck at IGA and other privately owned/managed grocery stores - in that if they don't carry it, the managers will special order it for me.

It's one of the few things that is often cheaper in healthfood stores (but only if you can find it in bulk bins).

Apparently you can get a super deal if you buy it in 20 lb bags (my sister checked for me, when I asked her to buy some for me and bring it up when she visited from Illinois from a health food store near her, where I knew it was cheaper), but 20 lbs would be a lifetime supply for us.

pluckypear 01-31-2013 09:38 AM

This is the best tip ever. I have used yves veggie ground for years. I was a vegetarian then vegan for 20 years. I now eat poultry, fish and beef once a month or so. Yves products are expensive. I tried the tvp mixture as shared by kaplods and love it. I also use tvp on it's own in shepherds pie etc. I am used to the texture and it takes on the flavors of the seasonings I use.

But simply switching from yves to tvp is saving me money and is healthier. Yves products are high in sodium.

Thanks Kaplods. :)

gailr42 03-09-2013 07:08 PM

I just made a small batch of this. I didn't measure the meat, but I think it was a little under a pound. I used 1 cup of TVP and about 1 1/3 C water.

I melted down about 2/3 C frozen onions, added salt, pepper and garlic salt,
the meat, water and TVP. I cooked this until the TVP got soft. The TVP adds a lot of volume to the meat. I might have used too much. Regardless, it is delicious. The TVP has a similar texture to bulgur, which I like.

I would have used bell pepper and fresh herbs and garlic, but my DH won't eat any of this and I want him to try it. The mix was tasty enough just "as is" that I kept sampling it. LOL.

Elladorine 09-18-2013 05:37 PM

I've been wanting to try this forever, and just happened to stumble upon a bag of TVP at one of the local Mexican grocery stores. I bought a pound of italian sausage-flavored ground turkey and added it to a cup of the TVP and the water. I also added spinach and a few spices; it just finished simmering and tastes really good! I have to head out soon so I'll be putting it in a container for the fridge once it cools, and I'll probably do the freezing method in a ziploc bag after I get home. :)

It would probably be amazing with a little spaghetti . . .

Elladorine 09-21-2013 01:05 AM

This morning I steamed some spinach and scrambled some eggs with it, then I took some of the turkey sausage/TVP/spinach crumbles and mixed it all together with some seasoning (notably crushed red pepper as I like things spicy these days). I warmed some tortilla shells and made some breakfast burritos with them, adding a bit of shredded cheese and a little hot sauce to each one before rolling them. They turned out pretty good! The extras are stored in ziploc bags and will make good breakfasts for the next few days.

I still have lots of sausage crumbles left, I plan on using some of them for my cauliflower crust pizzas for lunches in the coming days and will find other uses as well. I'll totally be trying this with plain hamburger later as well, and most likely some with taco seasoning. :)

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