A VJ Reader Sings the Praises of TVP

Love your magazine. Every time I get an issue, I always think that the next issue can't possibly be any better, but it always is.

I'm writing this letter to let you know that I'm wondering why most information about vegetarian food doesn't include the virtues of textured vegetable protein (TVP). Every food magazine for vegetarians includes recipes for tofu, but TVP is seldom mentioned. When I have seen recipes with it, the recipes usually require more time than I want to spend.

TVP is so good for quick, simple meals. Why deal with messy, time-sensitive tofu when we have TVP? Commercially prepared vegan foods are too expensive for me. With TVP, beans, and nuts, I seldom buy commercial vegan food or tofu.

Here are some quick, simple meals I use always-handy TVP to make:

  1. Sprinkle a lot of TVP on a salad for protein, and I have a complete meal.
  2. Baked potato topped with TVP and maybe other items. With salad, another vegetable, or fruit, I have a complete meal.
  3. Casseroles. In a casserole dish, mix vegetarian spaghetti sauce, partially-cooked pasta, and TVP. Bake awhile and I have a main dish. (TVP swells, so don't put in too much.)
  4. Sandwiches. Mix TVP with vegan mayonnaise and onion powder and put on toasted bread for sandwiches. Could use pita bread also. Could mix other things with it, such as pimento, sweet relish, etc.
  5. Dip. The above sandwich mixture can be used as dip as well.
  6. Stir-fry. At end of stir-fry, add TVP. (Don't add too early or it burns.)
  7. TVP on anything adds protein for complete meal.

If you like to cook, time-consuming recipes are fine. Personally, I like simple, quick meals, and I imagine other vegetarians prefer quick meals also. Why don't you print an issue on TVP and its use for quick, simple meals?

Dixie K.
Dallas, TX

Editor's Note: You can search for recipes using TVP on VRG's website at www.vrg.org or order The TVP Cookbook ($13 with postage) by Dorothy R. Bates from VRG.

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Vegetarian Journal,
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