Yes, we get insanely happy when we find unusual vegan foods in the regular Egyptian market place. Or maybe it’s just me.
Anyway, a few months ago, we posted about the Healthy Life Center where you could find some familiar foods made with plant products. One of those products was textured vegetable protein, which can be exactly in the same way ground meat is used.
But wait, what is textured vegetable protein?
Textured vegetable protein, or TVP as we affectionately call it, is basically flour made from soy beans after the soybean oil has been removed. Or think of it another way: it’s a high protein food that has NO FAT!!! WHOO HOO!!
But wait, how can I cook with it?
Well, when you buy TVP it will appear to be dried chunks. By pouring on equal (or almost equal) amounts of water, you reconstitute it, making it ready for cooking. Similar to meat, TVP doesn’t have much taste on its own. So, you will need to flavor it just like you do ground meat before you add it to any recipes. You might add salt, pepper, soy sauce, hot pepper, fry with onions…the options are really endless! And for those of you who are transitioning into vegetarianism or just trying to decrease your cholesterol, TVP provides that familiar taste and texture of ground meat that you might be craving without all the negatives!
But wait, where can I get it in Egypt?
Well, here’s the big news! Not only is it available at the Healthy Life Center we posted about in November, but it is also available at some spice shops (attar). We found some in a marketplace nearby and were really happy!!! Here’s a picture:
So, here are a few things we are going to try to make with TVP…
- Egyptian Meat Pie (Rou’ak)
- Egyptian Meatloaf sandwich (Hawowshi)
- Use it in the filling for macaroni with béchamel sauce
- Sloppy Joes
- Tacos / Tortillas / Burritos or other Mexican goodies
Can you think of any other dishes we can try with TVP?