While at Good Earth Natural Foods a few weeks ago, I was walking through their bulk foods room (where, I might add, you can buy Irish oats, granolas, dried fruits, sweeteners, and flours of every variety at a fraction of the cost of boxed brands) when I spied bags of TSP chunks for a mere 96¢ per bag (about 2.5 cups, raw). Of course, being a flexitarian (90% vegetarian), I am on a constant search for cheap, flexible, and useful sources of protein. Tofu is great, as are beans, lentils, and the like, but more options is always better, thus I grabbed a bag. and went to making a pot of TSP and veggie stew.
The chunks, when raw, were about a half inch or so in size, and wad the texture of remarkably hard croutons, and the just discernible flavor of plain soynuts. Actually, if they could make a less dense version, you could probably use it as a high protein substitute for croutons, hmm...but I digress. As I cooked the TSP in the stew, they softened and took on the texture of a sponge. But...after 45 or 50 minutes of cooking, they did indeed firm-up and have a tender, beefy texture. As for flavor, like tofu, TSP tastes like whatever you cook it with, or use to marinate it, so there are a lot of options. You can let your imagination go wild!
HAve you used TSP/TVP before? Any interesting ideas or recipes? Give us a hollar and post 'em up in the comments!
Hearty Vegetable Stew
1 (16 oz.) bag frozen vegetables for stew
1 (14.5 oz.) can vegetable stock
2 (15 oz.) cans whole peeled tomatoes
2 cups water
2 cups textured soy protein chunks
1 Tbs minced dried onion
2 Tbs each of Worcestershire sauce
pepper, salt, oregano and garlic to taste
Combine all ingredients in a dutch oven or stock pot (3 quart size). Stir well and simmer over low heat for 45 minutes, or until textured soy protein chunks are tender.