Thursday, September 26, 2013

Vegan MoFo Day 26 - Tidy-up Thursdays - TVP for Caribbean patties and "bacon" bits


TVP has been cluttering my pantry for years and although it may not be the strangest pantry ingredient for a vegan to hoard I've included it in Tidy-up Thursdays as I rarely cook with it these days. By the time I came to the decision that TVP wasn't the most exciting ingredient, I had accumulated a few bags of the stuff which I've slowly been working my way through. The final remaining bag of TVP has a best before of December 2012 which doesn't deter me from using it as I don't believe this stuff can go off anyway. 


A handful of TVP recipes were spotted in my exciting new cookbook Caribbean Vegan and following the success of the first meal sampled from the book, I was very keen to give another recipe a try. I picked out some patties (filled pastries) filled with a spicy TVP mince and used frozen puff pastry sheets rather than the home made pastry in the book to shorten the preparation time. The filling was flavoured with a jerk seasoning, onions, garlic, green capsicum, curry powder, Vegemite (yay for an Aussie ingredient) and habanero chillies. I sampled the filling prior to constructing these patties and it almost blew my head off! I'm not shy about spicy food but this was right up there amongst the hottest meals I've made. We still loved the patties even those our noses were running madly but I'll be a lot more cautious when using habaneros in the future.


Another TVP based recipe which has been on my mind to try for ages is TVP "bacon" bits. I spotted this recipe in Vegan Diner where it is credited to Joni Newman, the recipe is also posted on her blog . The TVP granules are rehydrated with liquid smoke, water, salt and optional food colouring (I used beetroot powder) before being pan fried on a low heat until they are totally dried out. The "bacon" bits are very smoky and not quite salty enough for me so I would probably increase the salt next time and possibly add a touch of sweetener as well. I haven't used the "bacon" bits in a recipe yet but have plans for them in the next couple of days.

That's it for Tidy-up Thursdays! I'm not sure that my overflowing pantry has benefited much from these four posts but it was a fun exercise to find new recipes for a handful of neglected ingredients.


12 comments:

  1. Vegan Diner is one of my favorite cookbooks, yet somehow I've managed to overlook this recipe the 300 times I've cracked it open. I've never worked with TVP before, but this looks like the perfect excuse to experiment with it. It would be great to have a jar of these bacon bits at the ready to throw into salads, soups or baked potatoes.

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    1. Thanks Bobbie, Vegan Diner is fairly new to my collection but this was one of the recipes that stood out to me when I first flicked through and I've been meaning to make it since. I've used some of the bacon bits in a split pea soup which worked really well, salads and baked spuds sound like a great idea too.

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  2. I have never bought tvp because it just seemed like the veg minced meat that I sampled in freezer meals and never really liked - the bacon bits looks really interesting but the habenero chillis sound like my nemesis and unlikely to come into my kitchen if they almost blow your head off :-)

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    1. Thanks Johanna, the bacon bits are a more interesting way of using TVP than as a stand in for mince meat which is how it is more commonly used. I think you should steer clear of habanero's as they are one of the hottest chillies in the world ;)

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  3. Those pastries look good but I bet I'd have to tone down the chilli, too!

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    1. Thanks Mandee, they were pretty hot!

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  4. When good chillis go bad! I love chillis, but you know if your nose is running, something's gone awry. I used to love those bacony bits, but can never find a vegan version (they always seem to have carmine or something in) but I'd like to give this a go.

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    1. Thanks Joey, I don't mind clearing out the sinuses with some chilli and even though these were smoking hot I still enjoyed them! I'm a sucker for spicy food. The recipe for bacon bits is really simple, the main ingredients are the dried TVP and liquid smoke!

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  5. TVP bacon bits is genius! Definitely have to do that! I love TVP but almost never use it, it's so weird that I don't cook with it more.

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    1. Thanks Jes, it's a great recipe you should give it a try.

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  6. I have actually never bought or cooked with TVP - it has always seemed a bit scary! Good to see it can be put to good use and if you found your filling spicy then I hate to think how I'd have fared - badly, I suspect :P

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    1. Thanks Kari, I can understand TVP being a bit scary and it's not to everyone's tastes. You may want to skip this recipe or tone down the chilli if you check the book out from the library again ;)

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