Monday, January 18, 2010

A Little More for a Whole Lot Less

Hi all! Hope everyone had a relaxing weekend. We spent Saturday getting some things done while the weather was a little kinder. We got our taxes filed and then I went outside to take some of the Christmas lights down off of the house. It's been so cold that I kept putting that chore off. I still have to wait for Mark to get the rest of them down with a ladder but he was busy working on one of our vehicles so that will have to happen another weekend. Sunday was spent just being lazy. So now I have a dirty house that needs cleaned. But I have three little darlings that are off from school today since it's MLK day so I've got help. :o)

Enough of my ramblings now and on to my post topic!

Here's something that I use to help to stretch a pound of ground beef a little farther.

It's TVP or textured vegetable protein.

If you are a vegetarian then you probably already know all about this stuff but if you are not then follow along and I'll tell you a bit about it.

TVP is used alot in vegetarian cooking but it can also be added to many meat dishes.
I use it when I am making sloppy joes, spaghetti,tacos, chili or any other recipe that calls for ground beef.
TVP is a soy product that provides fiber, iron, magnesium & phosphorous. It is a dry granule that you reconstitute in water and when you do this it will puff up a bit. When added to meat dishes it takes on the flavor of the meat and helps to stretch the quantity of the meal without changing the quality of taste. Thus, my picky eaters will eat it and they never notice the difference. (Kind of like sneaking shredded veggies into dishes. They never even know that they are in there.)

I purchase this in the health food section of our Kroger store but there are many places to find it.
You can find similar products in the frozen section. Our store carries Boca & Morningstar Farms flavored crumbles but they are a little more expensive. I prefer to stay on the *cheap* side ($2.99 for a 10 oz. bag) with the dry crumbles. I store them in my freezer and when needed I just toss a handful or two right into the meat that I am cooking.

Let me know what you think if you try this. Just curious if your family even knows it's in there.
Well I'm off to clean house so I'll catch up with you all later!


Carmen C. said...

I have never heard of that but what a great idea, and it probably adds a good dose of "health" to the recipe too, I'll have to look for it:)

Olde Dame Penniwig said...

Oh yes, I'm well-acquainted with the soy "meat" - lol - even way back 30 years ago, the cafeterias at the college I attended used it to stretch the real ground beef...I have gotten away from using it and usually just buy the Morningstar Farm pre-made "Grillers" and the fake sausages for family objects mightily to the addition of the soy crumbles to anything...oh my such sensitive palates!!!

OleCrowsNestJournal_Nan said...

Great money saving idea! Thanks!

Sandra said...

I've never heard of that. I like the heatlh food section at Kroger.

Farmchick said...

I've never used it...I've seen it around though.

A Joyful Chaos said...

I have never used it. Great idea though!