Discovery of the day: TVP Experiment #1

I got brave last night and tried subbing TVP for ground beef in one of my favorite recipes. The results? Well, I learned some very valuable lessons.

Firstly, using TVP for ground beef in a recipe that is primarily ground beef is Not A Good Idea.

Secondly, the info I pulled from a random result of a Google search stated that 1 cup of dry TVP was equivalent to 1 lb of ground beef. Uh, no, unless they meant to say one cup equals half a cup. I used a cup and it just kept expanding and expanding... it was scary. Pale and scary.

Thirdly, reconstituting plain TVP in beef broth does not ground beef make.

As you can guess, the whole mess ended up in the trash.

Lessons learned:
  1. If I really feel the need to up the protein content of a dish, a small amount of TVP in an otherwise heavily-seasoned recipe -- where it would not be seen, tasted, or sensed in any way -- could be useful.
  2. Use beans whenever possible.
  3. When in doubt, see #2.
I ended up mixing a small amount of the resulting... stuff in with some refried beans and it was edible, but certainly not worth the time and ingredients. It's not all the TVP's fault. I suppose using it in a ground beef recipe that I had made and loved many times before was probably not fair. And my bad for not learning a little more about it before leaping into it with both feet.

(Ugh. I think I just threw up a little visualizing that. Sorry.)

My boyfriend suggested I try some of the "meatless" meat substitute products, but I am just plain opposed to going there. To me, those meatless things are processed foods, like 'cheese food' and 'krab' and non-dairy creamer. I'm trying to use real food as much as I can. Other than my precious Splenda, of course.

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