Textured vegetable protein is an underrated ingredient. If you’ve never heard of it before, TVP is dehydrated soy protein that has a texture exactly like ground beef when rehydrated. Some vegans argue that it is overly processed, or that soy is bad for you, but TVP is actually a very healthy food. Just because a food does not “natural” does not mean it is unhealthy. I would actually argue that TVP is far healthier than meat, because it provides just as much protein without the high levels of saturated fat and cholesterol. As far as the argument against soy, that is not based on solid evidence. Growing up in a Japanese household, I ate an enormous amount of tofu, miso soup, natto, and other soy products. Soy is a staple of many Asian diets, yet Asian countries have a lower incidence of breast cancer than Western countries.
Anyways, now that I’ve covered some of the reasons you should consider including TVP in your diet, you may be wondering what the heck you’re even supposed to do with it. One of my favorite meals to cook using this ingredient is something I’m sure you’re all familiar with: tacos! As I mentioned earlier, the consistency of rehydrated TVP is a dead ringer for ground beef. Add some seasonings, and I swear it tastes exactly like the taco meat from your childhood!
Not only are these tacos vegan, but they’re also super high-protein, as well as easily made gluten-free. If you’re avoiding gluten, just be sure to use tamari instead of soy sauce, and reach for the corn tortillas, not the flour ones!
High Protein TVP Tacos (Vegan)
Textured vegetable protein is a high-protein, low-fat alternative to meat that has a texture just like ground beef. Use it in tacos for a healthier vegan version of a childhood favorite!
- 1 2/3 cup textured vegetable protein 125g
- 3 cups hot water
- 1 medium yellow onion diced
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1 tbsp pure maple syrup
- 3 tbsp soy sauce use tamari for gluten free
- 2 tbsp ketchup
- 6 tortillas or taco shells use corn for gluten free
- 1 tomato diced
- 3 tbsp cilantro chopped
Combine TVP and hot water in a bowl. Set aside to rehydrate.
Preheat oven to warm setting and warm up the tortillas or taco shells.
Heat vegetable oil in a skillet over medium-high heat and sauté onion until browned, about 5-10 minutes.
Add garlic, chili powder, cumin, maple syrup, soy sauce (or tamari), and ketchup. Stir to combine.
Mix in the rehydrated textured vegetable protein with the water it was soaking in.
Cook until water has evaporated, about 10 minutes.
Spoon filling into prepared tortillas or taco shells. Top with diced tomato and garnish with cilantro.