Meatless Monday! Menu: TVP Tacos

Happy (meatless) Monday!

I’m back this week, as promised, with a super easy dinner (or breakfast…I don’t judge) of delicious tacos, TVP style.

I know after my fabulously informative post about TVP last week, you all rushed to Whole Foods to pick some up in anticipation of this recipe, so I’m going to get right to it!

I’m going to apologize in advance for the lack of photos of the entire process.  I did this while friends were visiting, and I got sort of distracted.  But all of the important stuff is there, even if the amount of perfectly lit, staged photos aren’t.

I was on vacation, man.

 

Because I was making this for four people, and my friend Fern has the ability to rival the consumption of a black hole in one sitting and then politely request dessert, I used roughly 3 cups (dry) of TVP in these photos.  When I’m making these for just my husband and I, I usually use 1 cup, or 1 1/2 if I want leftovers for lunch the next day!

Just keep in mind that the TVP will end up expanding in size from absorbing the liquid, so though 1 cup may not look like much when its dry, it will go a long way!

 

 

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Feel free to use whatever seasonings you usually use for tacos.  I like the Casa Fiesta brand because I’m too lazy to mix my own, and this one isn’t full of a lot of artificial stuff.

TVP Tacos

Ingredients:

Equal Parts dry TVP and Liquid (ex: 1 cup dry TVP and 1 cup Water)

Pre-mixed Taco Seasoning (1 envelope for up to 1 1/2 c of TVP )

Soft or Hard Taco Shells

Taco Fixin’s! ( Lettuce, Tomato, Salsa, etc)

 

Start with equal parts liquid to TVP.  You can always add more if it seems a bit dry, but equal parts usually works perfectly for me. In this case, I’m using 3 cups.

 

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I usually buy my TVP in the bulk bin at Whole Foods, because I use it fairly often, and this is the most cost effective option.  I just transfer it to glass jars and store it  in my pantry. 

 

 

 

Pour your liquid into a saucepan and place over high heat, to boil.

I’m using a no-beef base stock concentrate here, but veggie broth would work perfectly as well.  I happened to be out of vegetable broth, but always have the no-beef base in the fridge for just that occasion!

If you’re using a broth concentrate like I am, now is the time to add it.

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Now here is the first place where it differs from making tacos with ground meat.  I add the taco seasoning to the liquid in the pan first.

Because the TVP absorbs the liquid so quickly once its added, it can be difficult to distribute taco seasoning evenly if you’re adding it to the pan after the TVP, the way you would with ground meat.  Adding the seasoning to the liquid first ensures that it dissolves well, and is absorbed evenly by the TVP.

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Once the taco seasoning is dissolved, and the mixture comes to a boil, turn off the heat, and stir in your TVP.  Its going to suck up the liquid fast, so just stir until its all absorbed.

 

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Then, pop a lid on the pan and let it sit for about 5-10 minutes, so that the TVP has time to fully re-hydrate.

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And that’s it!

 

See?  I told you it was easy! And its even faster than using meat!  Its so fast, in fact, that I usually cut up the lettuce and tomatoes before I even start getting the TVP ready, because you don’t have that extra time that would be necessary for ground meat to cook through.

All you have to do now is assemble the tacos!

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And marvel at how delicious they are, of course.

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If you’re working your way all the way to vegan, or just want to reduce the amount of dairy in your diet, there are great cheese and sour cream substitutes out there!

My favorite brand for both is Follow Your Heart, ( just make sure the cheese shreds are labeled vegan, because they also make some that are lactose free, but still contain milk).  Daiya is another great one, and is usually a bit easier to find, because its well known! ( Fun Fact- you can get a fresh, hot, vegan pizza made with Daiya shreds at Whole Food’s Pizza counter!)

Now that you’ve braved the new world of TVP, come back and tell me what you think! Did the kids like it? Did the husband/wife even notice a difference?  Let me know in the comments!

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