Friday, December 28, 2007

TVP: CHUNKS VS. GRANULES (they both win)

My soy sensitivity has gotten better now that I have not been eating soy, namely tofu, as much as I use to. I have been slowly adding soy products such as soymilk, tofu and TVP back in to my diet over the past few months. Tofu still gives me problems, but everything else, including TVP has been okay. I have been experimenting with TVP the past few days and fell back in love.
I have used TVP chunks in soups and stews but my favorite use of TVP chunks is to make TVP Teriyaki Jerky. This was one of the first things I made when I first became vegan because I loved the jerky at the store, but it is so expensive for what little amount you got. I discovered why it was so pricy . . . it takes TIME to make your own. I have done different versions and I have yet to come up with a set recipe but my favorite kind has about a cup of tropical juice blend, about a cup of pineapple juice, couple splashes of soy sauce, couple squirts of agave nectar, a couple tablespoons of natural sugar, a couple large peeled pieces of fresh ginger and about five large fresh garlic cloves (kept whole). In a saucepan, I combine these ingredients and heat until everything is dissolved and has had some time to thicken a bit. In the mean time, I rehydrate the TVP chunks (about a cup or so) with boiling water. I placed the drained, rehydrated TVP in the cooking liquid and cooked it down until it was syrupy. I drained the marinated TVP, placed it on a cookie sheet and into my oven at 175 degrees for about an hour (tossing it a few time through out). What results is a mighty fine homemade version of TVP jerky. If you've never made homemade TVP jerky, give it a shot one lazy afternoon. It tastes great on it's own as a snack or chopped into small pieces and used in place of baco-bits like in salads, on baked potatoes or in twice baked potatoes.
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TVP granules are excellent as taco fillers but my favorite use of the granules are in chili. I make this batch of chili mostly when I'd like some leftovers around for chili dawgs. So, tonight's dinner (and chili dawgs tomorrow!) was my Cincinnati style chili. I sautéed a sweet onion in canola oil until they were translucent (probably my favorite culinary word) and added some TVP granules in with the cooked onion for a minute or two so that the TVP gets a nice coating of oil so it won't be too mushy. I then added in agave nectar, garlic salt, black pepper, chili powder, chipotle powder, cumin, cinnamon and cocoa powder along with a can of diced tomatoes, a can of tomato sauce, a can of pinto beans and a can of dark red kidney beans. Once everything was heated through, I blended most of it with my immersion blender until it looked mostly ground up. I do like to keep some of the chili with whole beans so you can see what kind of beans are in it. I added a few crunched up corn chips on top to make it extra tasty.
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13 comments:

Pink Theory said...

wow, I'm impressed! Those look better than the store bought ones!

Courtney said...

Oh wow--thanks so much for posting the jerky recipe! I have never made it before (or had vegan jerky before), but I have some TVP in my cupboard, and I know what I will be making tomorrow...

Courtney

Jenny Wren said...

I've been pondering what to make with some tvp chunks in my cabinet. I have a three day weekend, so this just might be the thing! Also, chili is one of my all time favorite foods, so now you've got me craving that...oh, I'm Jenny, by the way. I enjoy all your tasty posts!

VeggieGirl said...

that's great that the TVP isn't troublesome for you - and hey, now you can DEFINITELY enjoy that scrumptious-looking chili!! :0)

Melisser; the Urban Housewife said...

Thanks for the ideas! I have both of these items in my cupboard & was trying to think of uses for them.

Vegan_Noodle said...

Your tvp jerky looks so tasty! Definitely much cheaper to make your own. I'm not sure I've seen tvp chunks at the whole foods near me, just granules. Must look harder because this sounds like a fun treat!

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mle said...

LOVE your Teriyaki TVP recipe. I am going to make this after my next grocery trip next week where I collect the ingredients. It's a little late now to post this, but my friends taught me how to lessen your sensitivity to the TVP: after you boil it, drain it well, then squeeze it well, rinse, squeeze, rinse, squeeze, until the liquid comes out clear!!

HeatherCurleeNovak said...

FABULOUS. The first bite I thought....mmm this is GREAT! Then...Ehhh, maybe not all that good. Then I had another nugget. And another. As soon as you expect it it is FABULOUS. Do you store in fridge or cupboard, air tight or not, and for how long do ya think?

the mouse said...

Sounds yummy! I've got a bottle of teryaki marinate in my cupboard so may try using that.

canadasue said...

today is my rainy jerky making afternoon... I'll be putting up a variation on my blog... thank you for giving me a starting place...
http://canadasue.xanga.com/

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