How to Prepare Textured Vegetable ProteinBy Mary Curtis
Textured vegetable protein is recognized - by vegetarians and meat eaters alike - as a low-fat, nutritious meat replacement and supplement. Commonly referred to as t.v.p., textured vegetable protein takes only about three minutes to prepare to replace ground beef and other ground meats in most recipes. You can also add the dry dehydrated nuggets directly to ground meat to stretch your grocery dollars without any loss to flavor or protein.
Meat Replacement: Textured vegetable protein (t.v.p.) is dry and not very edible when you bring it home from the store. The reason for this is because it has been dehydrated. In order to make it ready to use to completely replace ground meat, for vegetarian burgers for instance, you will need to rehydrate it by adding hot water.
The process to restore moisture to the t.v.p. is simple and only takes a few minutes. You will then be able to work with the textured vegetable protein in the same way that you do with ground beef or other ground meats. Just follow the easy steps listed at the bottom of this page to prepare t.v.p. as a meat replacement.
Use dry t.v.p. to add to ground meats to stretch your grocery money: If you want to extend your ground meat by adding textured vegetable protein, you won't have to rehydrate the t.v.p. first. Simply add the dry nuggets to the raw ground meat and mix together evenly with your hands or a cooking spoon. To double the amount of your ground meat, use about one part meat to one part t.v.p.; you can adjust these amounts according to your own preferences. What's nice about this method of using t.v.p. to add to ground meat is that you can freeze the mixture just as you would plain hamburger or ground meat. Just place meal-sized batches of the meat mixture into freezer bags or containers and pop them into the freezer. When you're ready to use some, just thaw the bag like you would normally.
|After adding water, cook and stir for a couple of minutes to rehydrate textured vegetable protein.|
After following these easy steps, continue with you favorite recipes as you would for ground meat:
1. Measure a cup or two of t.v.p. and place it into a saucepan. The amount of t.v.p. is equivalent to ground meat so if you are making patties, one cup would be okay; if you are making a faux meatloaf, then 2 cups would be better.
2. Measure approximately the same amount of water in a teapot or another pot and begin heating on high heat. The ratio of t.v.p. to water is about 1 to 1 using just slightly less water than t.v.p. Some resources suggest as much as 2 or 3 cups of water to every 1 cup of t.v.p. but this can make the texture too mushy and unable to hold together for burgers or faux meatballs. I have discovered that the 1 to 1 ratio works well for everything; you can always add more water during the preparation of your recipe if you want to loosen it up a little.
3. The water does not have to be boiling but just very hot with steam coming off of it. When the water is ready, begin pouring it slowing over the t.v.p. while stirring the mixture with a cooking spoon.
4. Over medium heat, stir the water and t.v.p. mixture until all visible water disappears.
5. Remove the t.v.p. to a heat-safe bowl. You can now go ahead and prepare your favorite recipes just as you would for ground meat.
For more ideas about using t.v.p., see The Practical Vegetarian available at Amazon.com.