Meatless TVP Stew

TVP stew. It tastes much better than it sounds.
I made this for a party once, and it was a hit. It was originally done with seitan, but seitan costs more than a good rib-eye. To be able to make it more often, I substituted "Nutrela" (a brand of TVP, which stands for "textured vegetable protein"). It costs $1.19 a box, in my area (if you don't find it at your traditional grocer, you should find Nutrela at an Indian grocery, or TVP can be found at a health food store).

It seems that many people in the West don't know what Nutrela is, even among vegetarians. It's a high protein dehydrated food with the texture of cereal (uncooked), but made from defatted soya (100%). As such, it does not need to be kept in the fridge, so you can always stock it as a pantry staple. It comes in various sizes. From small granules (which makes a good substitute for ground meat, such as in chili), to larger chunks (which makes a good substitute for meat in pieces, such as a stew like this). Many who have tried it may be put off by the texture or taste, particularly meatsters (meat eaters). But that's usually because they haven't had it served or cooked properly. If you're one of those, this recipe is sure to change your mind.

With little flavour of its own, TVP absorbs the flavours you feed it, and has not just meat-like texture but more than twice its protein content. With less than 1g of fat per serving, 3-4g of fiber, 533mg of calcium, 21mg iron and 35g of carbs, you can't go wrong here.

This recipe is intended to resemble a beef stew, but of the meatless variety. It does use a lot of oil, so be forewarned, it is on the "rich" side. Consider this comfort food for vegetarians. You can reduce the oil, but it won't come out as good. Try serving it without telling anyone what's in it. Tell 'em "it's chicken!". You can probably fool a lot of meat eaters with this one, because the soya chunks, prepared properly, have a texture and look resembling chicken.

As always, you can substitute the vegetables if you have other preferences. Whatever might work in a wintry stew; parsnips, turnips, sweet potatoes, button mushrooms....


1/2 cup oil
1/4 cup soya sauce (or tamari, if preferred)
2 cloves garlic, crushed
6 potatoes
4 carrots
2 onions
ground pepper
1 cup TVP (aka "Nutrela", aka "Textured Vegetable Protein", aka "soya chunks"). Chunk sizes, not tiny granules.


Mix oil, soya (or tamari) sauce and garlic to make a marinade. Marinate the soya chunks in sauce for 1 hr. In pot or large pan, fry the Nutrela in some of the marinade (about 5 minutes). Add a bit more marinade to the pan and fry the carrots 5m, then onion, potatoes and the rest of the marinade. Cook on low, covered for 20-30 minutes, until vegetables are tender.
Yields: 2-4


Neha Malhotra said...

Thanks for sharing. It was interesting read. Nutrela has been offering healthy and nutritious foods.You have shared delicious recipe. Please keep posting such interesting blogs.

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