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
Recipe:
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. 

Comments:
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! 

Taste:    
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.     
Accessibility:    
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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