An old dog learned a new (to me) trick.
In general I resist the super-processed ickiness of faux meats, and find the price of things like commercial plant-based ‘ground round’ an affront to my sense of cost-worthiness.
But TVP is something else.
It’s made from what’s left of soybeans after they have been used for making soybean oil. The de-fatted beans are crushed and dehydrated and broken up to form a lightweight crumble. When rehydrated, the crumble has a texture remarkably similar to ground beef.
TVP is a processed soy product, and not something that should form a huge part of your diet, but once in a while it’s okay and is a great resource to have on hand when you stuck for meal ideas.
If you prefer not to use TVP in this recipe, you can substitute crumbled extra-firm tofu, or homemade Veggie Ground Round.
There is a lot of internet discussion about the pros and cons of TVP, and like much online health information, there is a striking lack of referenced research to back up strongly made claims.
Just to let you know, I don’t tend to believe in super foods or magic foods. Or demon foods. You’ll notice on the blog that I don’t use a lot of processed foods, but I try not to be doctrinaire about it.
Here’s the thing. The vast majority of people on this planet are not dying because they eat too much soy, or not enough quinoa. They are dying from lack of access to food at all, while we obsess over every detail of our laden plates.
I’m not saying that we shouldn’t mitigate lifestyle risks through a healthful diet, nor do all we can to maintain our health.
But maybe we could all just lighten up a little?
-End of rant
In Canada, you can find TVP at the Bulk Barn. You can also purchase it at similar bulk or health foods stores.
I purchased the dehydrated product at Bulk Barn for $2.40 lb / $5.29 kg, which is an amazing price considering that one pound / .45 kg equals about 7 cups, and one cup of rehydrated TVP is the equivalent of about 1 lb / .45 kg of ground beef.
That’s less than 40 cents per rehydrated cup of TVP. That’s a huge price difference when the cheapest that you could buy a pound of ground beef for here (on sale) would be $2.88 lb / $5.01 kg.
Plus it rehydrates and is ready to use in minutes.
Since TVP is relatively flavorless, you can add seasonings while soaking it.
For each cup of TVP granules, I add:
1 tablespoon / 15 ml soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon / 1.25 ml garlic powder
1-1/2 teaspoons / 7.5 ml dried onion flakes
Mix the TVP with the seasonings, then pour 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons / 187.5 ml boiling water over. Stir and let the mixture sit for 5-10 minutes before using in a recipe.
These Hoisin Sloppy Joes can be served on bread or rolls with a side of slaw like a traditional joe, or over rice or noodles for a complete change.
- 1 cup / 250 ml dehydrated TVP (textured vegetable protein)
- 1 tablespoon / 15 ml soy sauce
- ¼ teaspoon / 1.25 ml garlic powder
- 1-1/2 teaspoons / 3.75 ml dried onion
- ¾ cup + 2 tablespoons / 187.5 ml boiling water
- ¼ cup / 60 ml hoisin sauce
- ¼ cup / 60 ml ketchup or tomato paste
- ½ cup / 125 ml vegetable stock or water
- 1-1/2 teaspoons / 7.5 ml soy sauce
- 1-1/2 teaspoons / 7.5 ml Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon / 15 ml sesame oil
- ½ teaspoon / 2.5 ml ground pepper
- 1 tablespoon / 15 ml sweet Thai chili sauce
- ¾ teaspoon / 3.75 ml five spice powder (optional - see note)
- 1 tablespoon / 15 ml vegetable oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup / 250 ml)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- In small bowl, combine TVP, 1 tablespoon / 15 ml soy sauce, garlic powder and dried onion. Mix and pour boiling water over all. Stir and let sit for 5-10 minutes while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
- In separate bowl, stir together the hoisin sauce, ketchup, vegetable stock, 1-1/2 / 7.5 ml soy sauce, mustard, sesame oil, ground pepper, chili sauce, and five spice powder (if using). Set sauce aside.
- Heat a pan over medium heat. When the pan is heated, add the oil and swirl to coat pan. Add onions and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until onions begin to soften. Add garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes longer. Do not let vegetables brown. If they start to brown, turn down the heat.
- While onions and garlic are cooking,
- Add rehydrated TVP and stir to coat with garlic and onions.
- Add hoisin sauce mixture and stir to combine. Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes.
- Serve over rolls, rice or noodles.
Photo from USDA, used and adapted according to Creative Commons licence.