Wednesday, January 11, 2012

TVP Sloppy Joes

Rachel and I made TVP Sloppy Joes tonight.  TVP--textured vegetable protein--is a high protein, low fat, inexpensive protein source that looks a little bit like large bread crumbs.  While the name "textured vegetable protein" certainly doesn't get anyone excited about eating TVP, it's a great addition to any cook's repertoire.  If you don't believe me, just try out these sloppy joes! 

sloppy goodness
TVP Sloppy Joes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 green or red bell pepper, diced
  • 1- 29 ounce can of tomato sauce
  • 3 ounces (about 1/3 cup) water
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon celery salt
  • 1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
  • a few dashes of hot sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1.5 cups TVP
  • black pepper to taste
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the onion and bell pepper and sauté until the onions become soft (about five minutes).  Lower the heat to medium-low, add the remaining ingredients, and simmer for about 15 minutes.  All of the liquid should be absorbed by the TVP.  

Serve on whole wheat hamburger buns.  Yields approximately 6 servings. 

I've made these sloppy joes many times before, but I tweaked the recipe a bit this time.  Rachel and I agree that this new recipe is better than the old one--success! 

These TVP Sloppy Joes are a solid dish.  They have good, saucy flavor--the TVP takes on the flavor of the seasonings and sauces in the dish when it rehydrates--and the texture is pleasantly substantive.  It's not the most impressive or inventive dish in the world, but they taste great as far as sloppy foods go.     
This is an incredibly inexpensive recipe.  TVP is less expensive than the ground beef used in non-vegan sloppy joes as well as refrigerated soy crumbles that other vegan recipes might call for.  Unfortunately, TVP is often only located in health food stores or higher-end grocery stores.  
Ease of Preparation:   
This was a refreshingly quick and easy recipe.  It probably took about 30 minutes, start to finish.  Plus, there is minimal chopping involved.  
Non-vegan friendliness:  
Simon noted that non-vegan sloppy joes have "a little bit more of a heft to them"--they are heavier and denser.  The TVP isn't mushy but it isn't dense.  At the same time, the flavor is good and Simon, Rachel, and I all enjoyed eating these Joes for dinner.  

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