Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Kitchen Alchemy With TVP

TVP, or textured vegetable protein, is a pretty miraculous invention.

Some call TVP vegan delight.

Normally, I have no need for militant, dogmatic vegetarians and vegans because they are so judgmentally intolerant that I just want to scream.

I’m OK with them thinking Porky Pig should not be eaten—but I like bacon and it’s a free country at least as of this writing—and the revelation that I love bacon makes the tiny brains of militant, dogmatic vegetarians and vegans explode.

Nevertheless, I can learn from anyone and I have borrowed a vegan page.

I like TVP.

Yesterday, I had a big amount of cilantro, shredded carrots, and diced tomatoes left over from a build-it-yourself salad enjoyed by friends the previous night.

I am frugal.

I do not waste food if I can help it.

Thus, I got some ultra-lean ground turkey, green onions, and some sliced mushrooms at the supermarket.

Back at home, I browned the turkey with the green onions and a generous portion of  diced garlic, poultry seasoning (salt free), and Italian herb seasoning (salt free).

I then threw in the cilantro, tomatoes, shredded carrots, and mushrooms letting them sweat for a few minutes.

Finally, I added no-salt-added chicken stock and made a soup.

I have tried to eliminate as much sodium from my diet as possible because as a nation we consume way too much.

The soup was delicious, but I had leftovers.

Today, I nuked the soup in the microwave for seven minutes to get it brutally hot.

Then I stirred in a cup of TVP, which I estimated would soak up most of the soup’s liquid—and flavor.

I dumped the thick mixture into a baking tin and threw it in a 350-degree oven for an hour.

What resulted was an amazing, moist casserole that tasted fresh made. The TVP amped up the protein and it had the texture of meat. I felt like I was having a meat fest.

Do you get that I made a meal from leftovers and then made a meal from the leftover leftovers?

I’ve always done kitchen alchemy and people have asked for my recipes, but I literally never use a recipe for my “mainstream” cooking.

I see what’s fresh.

I know what’s in my pantry.

I create based on what is at hand, which is much more frugal than going to a store with a recipe in hand.

It’s also more delicious.

I have thought of cooking for the week ahead, but that means a week of leftovers.

I much prefer kitchen alchemy.

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