TVP: A meat substitute even omnivores approve of


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Can we talk meat substitutes? Unlike vegetarians from times of yore — say, 20 years ago or so — today’s vegetarians actually have a decent selection from which to pick. As is to be expected, some meat substitutes are better than others. Some are so good, however, that even meat eaters swear by them and you don’t even have to bait-and-switch them. Textured vegetable protein is one of these substitutes.



Doesn’t sound terribly appetizing, does it? Good old TVP. It comes in flakes, chunks or grounds that you need to rehydrate before cooking with — preferably with a vegetable stock, but meat eaters can use beef or chicken broth.


But what can you make with … dry soy flakes?

Vegetarians and vegans alike can use TVP to make a variety of dishes, including chili, tacos and sloppy joes. As for TVP fans who are staunch lovers of steak wrapped in bacon with a side of bacon, we promise they do exist. Taste is probably not the only motivating factor. TVP offers the added bonus of having lower fat and cholesterol content than ground beef, for instance.


Sloppy joe, anyone?

One brand of TVP available at specialty stores, grocery stores and online is Bob’s Red Mill. And check out this recipe for sloppy joes submitted to their site.

It yields eight sloppy joes, each of which is just 140 calories and 20 calories from fat. Saturated and trans fats? Zip. Zilch. Nada. All the goodness of a sloppy joe with none of the horrible-for-you stuff. How can you go wrong.


Take the challenge

Don't buy it? Chances are you are friends with at least one vegetarian or friends with someone who is friends with one. So tap into that social media, and have one of them make you a sloppy joe using TVP. Let us know what you think?


Tell us in the comments. Have you ever tried TVP? If so, do you think it’s an especially good meat substitute?