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Creating a suitable plant-based meat alternative can sometimes be difficult. But this recipe for Vegan Taco Meat is a simpler, quicker, and more affordable option for a meat-free dinner. This easy recipe takes only 10 minutes to cook and makes 4 – 6 servings!
One of the most common plant-based meat alternatives for protein is tofu. Tofu has a lot of advantages when it comes to plant-based cooking. Tofu has been largely accepted by vegans and vegetarians as a staple ingredient.
While tofu is a great option in creating meat alternatives, it also has some clear disadvantages. Cooking with tofu requires some knowledge and experience. Some things you’ll need to consider before cooking with tofu are: firmness, cook time, pressing, marinating, etc.
If you want an ingredient that has a closer texture to meat and requires little to no knowledge or experience in the cooking of that ingredient, then you’ll want to use Textured Vegetable Protein.
What is Textured Vegetable Protein?
Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP) is made by extracting the oil from soy protein, wheat protein, or pea protein. Put simply (and to use the example of soy protein), TVP is made when soybean oil is extracted from soy. The leftover soy flour is processed through high heat and high pressure machinery that cause it to expand. The pressure and heat that cause the soy flour to expand is what gives TVP the similar texture to meat.
The Benefits of Cooking with TVP
- 1/4 cup of dried TVP flakes/crumbles contains 12 – 13 grams of protein.
- TVP is a very affordable meat alternative option. A 12 ounce bag of TVP costs around $4 and contains approximately 4 cups of dried flakes/crumbles. In the recipe below, 1 cup of dried TVP flakes/crumbles makes 4 – 6 servings of Vegan Taco Meat. To compare, tofu costs between $1 and $4 per package, depending on where you live, and makes 1 – 3 servings.
- Cooking with TVP takes far less time when compared to other meat alternatives such as tofu, tempeh, or homemade seitan. For example, the recipe below takes a total of 10 minutes to make.
- TVP has a texture that is much closer to meat than tofu.
- Just like tofu, TVP can take on the flavor of whatever you add to it.
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Want more dinner recipes? Check out my recipe for Sweet & Spicy Tofu!