Monday, July 16, 2012

Recipe: TVP Taco Salad

Here's another meatless Monday new creation! I've walked by and picked up Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP) at the grocery store a few times but couldn't get over the name. Textured Vegetable Protein sounds a lot like extruded dog kibble. Adding texture where there was no texture before? It was the labeling as a meat substitute sounded the most fishy along with the concept of making a product for the purpose of pretending to be meat (a'la turkey shaped blobs of tofu) is something I find entirely unappetizing.

Where's the Beef? TVP Taco Salad
After going home and researching the product (What is TVP?), I went back to the aisle with an array of Bob's Red Mill products and in the spirit of trying something new every Monday I purchased a bag of TVP.

Now, what to do with this 'stuff'. The possibilities seemed endless - anything you would make with ground meat right? OK, let's start simple with a taco salad.

I made my own taco seasoning so that I could control the ingredients and skip the preservatives.

Taco Seasoning:
1 tablespoon. chili powder
1/2 tablespoon onion powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon powdered oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt

The above recipe makes about 3 tablespoons of taco mix, enough for 4 (1/2 cup) servings of  taco 'meat'.

TVP Taco Filling
1 cup TVP (dry)
1.5 cups water
3 tablespoons taco seasoning
Fresh or pickled jalapenos to taste

Combine all of the above and cook over medium heat until most of the water is adsorbed. Check out the picture at left - it really does look like scrambled meat!

I made a pretty simple salad with fresh CSA leaf lettuce, cucumbers and sharp shredded cheddar cheese (When I can't get to the farmer's market Cabot Seriously Sharp is my favorite available everywhere cheddar cheese). I found feta to be a pretty satisfying alternative to cheddar and a bit less calorically than the same sprinkle of cheddar. I topped the salad with a bit of taco sauce (commercially made) taco salad, though a red wine vinegar dressing is just as tasty.

Other uses for TVP taco mix:
Scrambled eggs and omlettes
As a meat-sauce over pasta (GF pasta of course)
 and Tacos of course

Nutrition per serving:
Saturated Fat0g

Nutrition as shown (salad with 1/3 cup cheese and cucumber):
Saturated Fat0.1g

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