Meat is wonderful. It’s also expensive. Some people don’t eat meat for ethical reasons. Some need to avoid it to cut down on their cholesterol.
But people do still have to eat, and if for whatever reason you’re now bringing home less ground chuck, here’s a nutritional hack for putting protein back on the menu.
The stuff is called TVP (textured vegetable protein) which is the most boring 1950’s-era name imaginable for ‘little soy-flour crunchies’. It has a bland flavor on it’s own, but it will take on the flavor of whatever liquid you soak it in, chicken broth for chicken flavor, etc.
TVP is a trade secret of many industrial kitchens, and if you’ve ever eaten school lunches or served in the military, chances are you’ve already had it. It can be mixed into ground meats to make the meat go further, used in exclusively vegetarian dishes, or added to casseroles, but TVP’s finest hour seems to be when it’s used for chili (pictured above), Sloppy Joes, or taco meat.
Is TVP the equal of top sirloin steak? No. What it is, is lower in fat than almost any other source of protein on the market, and less than a dollar a pound when rehydrated.
…Seriously, I just got a 10 oz package like this at the grocery store for $3. College students and the underpaid take note.