“What the heck is TVP?” Direct quote from my mother. Yes, it sounds more like an ingredient in fixing car engines and less like a vegan protein source. The only ingredient listed on the package (I use Bob’s Red Mill) is “defatted soy flour.” The jury is out on whether this is a healthy product or not. I like it because of its high protein, fiber content, and chewy texture. Some argue that it is highly processed, lacks nutritional value, and should be left alone. I’ll let you make up your own mind. If you’re interested in learning more, Google it. For now, I’ll treat it as a processed product that I’m ok eating now and then as an easy meat substitute.
Ok that being said… Let’s get down to this chili! I was inspired by the recipe on the bag of TVP and decided to give it a few tweaks and try it out!
After prepping and chopping all my veggies and gathering ingredients, it was time to play with this new ingredient. In order to use the TVP, you have to rehydrate it. It comes in dry, hard little pellets that smelled a bit like a grain or flour, a bit nutty, a bit sweet. Rehydrating is where the flavor infusion occurs. I threw it in a bowl, dolloped some ketchup on top, and poured boiling water overtop per the bag instruction. Immediately, it started to soak up and disappear into the TVP and it almost resembled the cooking of quick oats. After letting it soak, the spices go in- I included a picture of this step because it looks like a LOT. You’re going to think you’re overdoing it, but consider that this is where all of the spices for the entire pot of soup come from. Don’t be shy about really dumping it in. Once that’s been seasoned and fluffed with a fork, this looks a lot like you run-of-the-mill chili recipe.
Get the veggies sautéing in a large pot or dutch oven to cook them down. Once the onions are translucent, just dump everything else in! Then pop the lid on and simmer it for about 30-45 minutes. Stir in the frozen corn and cook for about 15 minutes more or until the corn is cooked through. That’s it! This makes about 16 cups of chili which is TON, so I recommend freezing half if you don’t think you can eat it all in a week. I somehow managed to devour all of it. But you might not be a crazy soup fanatic like myself.
TVP may not be a perfectly whole, unprocessed food but in my opinion, it beats ground beef in the health department any day! Plus it’s delicious, chewy, and easy to work with! Win win win!
- 2 cups TVP (Bob’s Red Mill)
- 2 Tbs ketchup
- 2 cups boiling water
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 1 green pepper, diced
- 1 jalepeño, seeds and ribs removed, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 Tbs chili powder
- 2 Tbs cumin
- 2 Tbs ground oregano
- 1/2 Tbs Adobo seasoning, optional
- 1 Tbs olive oil
- 1 15oz can dark red kidney beans, not drained
- 1 15oz can low sodium black beans, not drained
- 4 14.5oz can petite diced tomatoes
- 2 cups frozen corn
- 1-2 cups water, depending on desired consistency
- Add TVP and ketchup to a bowl and pour two cups of boiling water over. Let soak 5-10 minutes then fluff with a fork.
- Add spices to TVP mixture and mix well.
- Meanwhile, heat oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat and add onion, peppers, and garlic. Stir for about 4-5 minutes, until onions are mostly cooked.
- Add TVP mixture to pot and cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Add beans, tomatoes, and water and simmer covered for 45 minutes.
- Add corn and stir, then simmer another 15 minutes until corn is heated through.
- Serve in bowl with chips or crackers. Enjoy!
Thanks for reading! Enjoy!