Textured Away

Not my usual type of blogpost, but… Why not?

Been using dry granular textured vegetable protein (TVP) quite a bit, recently. Versatile, cheap , durable, easy, and quick. Better tasting than I remember. Still not that tasty by itself, of course, but it takes the flavor of whatever you add to it. In other words, it “carries” taste instead of contributing much to it.

Been mixing TVP with different spices and other ingredients. With soy, garlic, and ginger. Or with chili spices and onions. Even with homemade gravy or with store-bought BBQ sauce. Works really well on a tortilla. Easy to use in soups.

Perfect for quick snacks. With my GERD, eating small portions several times a day is very beneficial. My TVP snacks tend to fill me just enough to feel satiated without feeling full.

Since I’m a meat eater, I ‘ll probably start mixing TVP with meat products. My perception is that, with TVP, I can cut on fat a bit while having enough protein to make it feel like a meal. Given my girth, this practice might pave the way to other neat things in my nutrition and health.

At the same time, it’s not like I’ll go full-TVP all the way. I like to vary my diet as much as possible.

Unfortunately, I don’t find TVP in the USDA’s Nutrients Database. No idea why, actually.

Ah, well…

6 thoughts on “Textured Away”

  1. I am trying to do serious livelong changes in my eating habits. My comment is that TVP seems like highly processed food.

    Kashi makes a whole grain Pilaf that I’ve recently found. I find it very similar to what you describe in being able to take on flavors you add (meat or otherwise). I personally have a Cajun Gumbo addiction and it is great with that… or more healthy with just basic seasonings.

    Amazon had this on sale last month for $11.50 for 7.3 pounds! And as a bonus, it doesn’t expire until December 2009. Great for stockpiling.

  2. @RoundSparrow thanks for the comment. I’m pretty sure I tried kashi in the past, but maybe I should try it again. Grains can be pretty versatile too. OTOH, I really don’t mind the “processedness” of TVP. soy sauce, or tofu.

  3. I wouldn’t put tofu in the same category as tvp for being processed!

    Now is there any truth to the story that mixing proteins like tvp, and meat will produce more gas than just eating meat, or just tvp?

    Please let us know!

  4. @owiltshire in terms of “processedness,” TVP may be a bit more processed than tofu, but, in my mind, they’re both in the same range of things which go through mechanical processing after fermentation. I personally have no problem with that.
    As for gas, I’m not sure I’ll be able to report on that.

    What’s funny is that I rarely post things like these yet it seems to be the kind of thing which brings me more comments.
    Ah, well…

  5. Its just easier to comment on than all that academic drivel that monopolizes your blog?

    On the gas thing: I read that its all about mixing dairy with the particular meat / tvp proteins. As a life long vegetarian, I have a lot of experience mixing weird protein foods. I do like tvp, but for most pasta sauces etc I just drop straight tofu in now. Although a few quick searches about tvp show that maybe its not as bad as all the vegan nuts made it out to be.

    In fact, I recently found out you don’t even need to mix proteins anymore as a vegetarian – the body actually stores what it needs, and so you can eat what you want over a couple days and it will store enough to combine with the next days meal. The science has never been very solid aroudn veggie/alternative diets.

    Next post: tofurkey? (try this shit)

  6. @ow Thanks for the “drivel” part of your comment. I’ll remember this. 😉
    Did try tofurkey for Thanksgiving in Massachusetts. Not really my thing. It was tasty enough but, as a meat-eater, I don’t really enjoy “meat imitation” so much. Sure, TVP is meant as a meat alternative. But it’s different enough from meat for me to enjoy working with it. Same think with tofu, actually. But it’s kind of expensive, more difficult to portion, and less shelf-stable than TVP.
    I love nuts, eggplants, cheese, fish, eggs, grains, legumes, meat… Does it mean I’m a protein eater? Wouldn’t be the first anthro to think about the so-called “paleo diet!”

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