Trail Food: TVP

Whether you’re a vegetarian or just looking for an alternative to tuna/salmon/sardines/freeze dried beef stroganoff, you may (or may not?) want to try Textured Vegetable Protein the next time you’re on the trail. Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP) is made from defatted soy flour that’s been cooked under pressure and then dried. It’s high in protein (12 grams per 1/4 cup serving) and, because it’s soy-based, takes on the tofu-like characteristics of tasting like whatever your season it with. But unlike tofu, it’s got the texture of ground meat and doesn’t need to be drained. All you have to do is quickly rehydrate it, making it a perfect camping companion. And the kicker? It’s wildly inexpensive. If you can’t find it at your local grocery store, you can buy it here for around $2.50 a bag.

*Recipe for Curried Sloppy Joes after the jump…

Ingredients (Makes 2 sandwiches):
-1 cup of TVP
-A little less than a cup of boiling water
-2 pitas
-Chopped cilantro
-Chopped onion
-Small can of tomato sauce
-1 or so tbsp of good curry powder

1) Boil the water
2) Pour the water into a bowl filled with TVP. Cover the bowl and wait 5 minutes.
3) While the TVP is rehydrating, dice the onion and chop the cilantro.
4) When the TVP is ready to go, pour in the tomato sauce and curry powder. Mix.
5) At this point, you can either put the sloppy joe mixture back in the pot/pan with the onions, but, if you’re like me and enjoy raw onions, throw the goods into the pita, top with onions and cilantro and eat dinner.

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9 Responses to Trail Food: TVP

  1. Dan January 30, 2012 at 12:14 pm #

    At first I was like “no way I’m eating that stuff” but your rationale is pretty solid Jeff! I might have to try some of this stuff.

  2. Kyle January 30, 2012 at 12:43 pm #

    I discovered the merits of TVP last summer while doing a bike tour of the pacific coast. One night, while stealth camping in a closed state park outside of Santa Rosa, raccoons got into my bags in the middle of the night and ate a couple pounds of raw TVP (in addition to the rest of my supplies). As annoying as it was, I still feel bad for the little guys… I can’t imagine what that amount of uncooked TVP would do to your stomach.

  3. Carissa January 30, 2012 at 6:59 pm #

    Great inspiration! I’ve consumed TVP before, though never while camping. I think this recipe will come along with me on my next camping trip.

  4. Jared February 1, 2012 at 6:41 am #

    Pro tip: Bring a pouch of taco seasoning, some tvp and some tortillas and you have unlimited campsite burritos.

  5. Jared February 1, 2012 at 6:41 am #

    Oh yeah, gotta bring hot sauce too.

  6. ZJ February 2, 2012 at 5:58 pm #

    I have never actually tried this stuff, but I work a Natural Food Co-op and this stuff sells pretty well. The price is definitely a draw.

  7. CH4Producer February 8, 2012 at 1:47 pm #

    TVP is great fuel for creating gas, too. If you need to have some extra fuel for lighting a fire, eat some of this and wait till your colon starts to blow. Sit close to some tinder and strike a match on cue…

  8. ryan k April 25, 2012 at 9:21 am #

    plan on trying this for lunch today! sounds great, and above all, cheap n’ easy

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