I’m not sure what possessed me to pick up TVP the other day, other than that it seemed like it might be an inexpensive and healthy way to get a bit more protein into our diets. Once I dumped the TVP out into a canister at home, however, I realized I had no idea what to do with it. It’s pretty strange stuff – a soy protein extruded, in the words of Wikipedia, into “a fibrous spongy matrix that is similar in texture to meat”. Weird.
Anyway, tonight I decided to give it a go. TVP is notoriously short on flavor, but I suspected that rehydrating it while also rehydrating a dried chipotle pepper might give it a subtle kick – which mostly worked, though the TVP still had a ways to go before being palatable. Using the same basic recipe as our tempeh tacos, I sauteed the TVP in some vegetable oil with a finely diced onion, a chili or two, cumin, coriander, and a fair amount of salt and pepper. When the TVP was cooked through and starting to brown, I pulled it out of the skillet, then quickly stir-fried up a couple of cups of mushrooms in the skillet’s residual spices. We rolled the TVP, mushrooms, and a cubed roasted butternut squash up into vegan burritos. All in all, not outstanding, but a reasonably good first effort at using TVP.