Cupboard scrounging: spiced TVP

We haven’t been grocery shopping in a while (work during the day + renovations / cleaning at night doesn’t leave a lot of time!) so I’ve been having to get more creative with meals!

Today I had a ‘crunchy noodle salad’ from Woolies / Aldi – half a packet for breakfast, half for lunch. It is essentially cabbage (vit C, vit K, folate, antioxidants, anti-inflammatories, glucosinolates and fibre), carrot (vit A, vit C, vit K, vit B6, vit B1 and fibre), spring onions (vit K, vit C, vit A and folate)* with noodles and dressing, and relatively low in calories (high in sodium though!) so for dinner I thought I should focus on protein. After scrounging my increasingly bare cupboards, I came up with this winner:

  • Nearly 1 cup dried texturised vegetable protein (TVP)**
  • About 1 1/2 cups boiling water
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp tumeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp Dutch cinnamon powder (note: not cinnamon sugar!!!)
  • 1/2 tsp coriander power
  • A couple of granules of pink Himalyan salt

I just re-hydrated the TVP with boiling water in a bowl, added the other ingredients, covered the bowl with a plate and waited for about 5 mins. By this stage the TVP had expanded and there was no excess water. I transferred the mix to a oven tray (oven was pre-heated on low heat) and popped it in there for baking and crisping up. I had it in there for about 15 mins, taking it out to stir about every 5 mins or so.

I love TVP but hubby in particular isn’t a fan of it’s texture, so this was a way to improve that (it was most definitely more crispy!).  I’m happy to say this was a success – though a trip to the grocery store really needs to be in our immediate future!


My hubby, who hates TVP (seriously – I’m not overusing the word!) – asked for one mouthful, then another, and another, and eventually suggested we visit Grandma’s Pantry tomorrow to stock up and make it again 🙂 Win! He wants to try making ‘spaghetti bolognaise’ with it – stay tuned!

* I should note that cabbage, carrot and spring onions – like most vegetables – are also relatively rich in minerals, though of course the impact depends on the amount you eat. For the sake of brevity, I didn’t mention these – but they are important!

** I acknowledge that TVP is a processed product and therefore not ideal. That said, I buy it from a wonderful local specialist store ( so am able to buy the organic and most healthy version I can find. It’s also very high in protein (50 – 70% of the product, depending on what you buy), low in calories, high in fibre and a good source of some minerals (magnesium, phosphorus, iron, etc.). It’s a compromise I’m ok with making, especially considering how cheap it is to buy they way I do, and considering the “easy” unhealthy but cheap alternatives to become creative with my cupboard (several “take-away” meals jump to mind!).

Oh – and I am seriously in love with Dutch cinnamon – where has it been all my life?!

Namaste xo


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