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Textured Veg Protein: Help a meat eater!
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todd h
(funnymoney) - MLife

Locale: SE
Textured Veg Protein: Help a meat eater! on 11/29/2009 20:48:08 MST Print View

I hate veggies. There, I said it.

I don't really dislike all of them, a bit of an exaggeration.

Carrying foil packs of tuna, chicken, etc gets heavy for a week's worth of FBC meals and I want to reduce that weight.

Of course everything is subjective, but for those of you who aren't vegetarians (Not picking on vegetarians--just hoping to find out what those who like meat think), do you like the taste of TVP? For chicken or beef dishes will I throw my meal in the campfire due to tastebud boredom?

For Vegans & Carnivores: any seasonings work better/worse than others in recipes? Is the texture like meat or is it bean-like (a little pasty)?

Thanks for your time.


Joseph Reeves

Locale: Southeast Alaska
TVP=No taste on 11/29/2009 20:59:45 MST Print View

We use TVP in a lot of our meals to pimp out some extra calories and, of course, protein. It really doesn't have a taste, simply absorbs that of the other, or primary, ingredients. We add 1/3 c per person to each of the pre-portioned soup mixtures I make , but you could just use the pantry approach and add it to whatever you are cooking.

Kimberly Wersal
(kwersal) - MLife

Locale: Western Colorado
Re: TVP=No taste on 11/29/2009 21:20:56 MST Print View

Not real excited about TVP. I'm a carnivore. I dehydrate hamburger, or foil pouch chicken or shredded beef. The 7 ounce meat pouches dry down to about 2 or 2.5 ounces. The beef rehydrates better than the chicken, but the chicken does okay. I found buying a dehydrator a worthwhile investment.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Textured Veg Protein: Help a meat eater! on 11/29/2009 21:22:22 MST Print View

Use flavored TVP! - the "beef" flavor tastes same as hamburger and the texture is good. "Ham" is decent, chicken not so great.

As well, consider freeze dried meats!

Joe Clement
(skinewmexico) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
Textured Veg Protein: Help a meat eater on 11/29/2009 21:45:49 MST Print View

Unlike Sarbar, I didn't find any of the TVP from Harmony particularly tasty, but like I always tell our Scouts, "it's just calories".

Jim W.
(jimqpublic) - MLife

Locale: So-Cal
TVP was developed as an industrial glue on 11/29/2009 22:29:43 MST Print View

I try to avoid TVP, Soy Protein Isolate, and other synthetic food-like substances that use caustic alkali and acids in their production. Powdered milk and cheese, legumes, nuts, dried tofu, chocolate, and a bit of beef jerky provide plenty of protein.

Brian Lewis
(brianle) - F

Locale: Pacific NW
TVP on 11/30/2009 02:36:53 MST Print View

I've read that (negatives about too much soy) too, but for backpacking trips I'm willing --- I just don't use TVP in normal life meals (!).

I also agree that real meat just tastes better, substantially better. But TVP doesn't taste bad, for me it's better than just leaving the meat out and it does get me my protein. I'll stay away from the arguments that I frankly know too little about in terms of the right mix of proteins, the right type(s) of proteins, etc ... I solve that (hopefully) by getting different protein sources in different ways (peanut butter, refried beans, meat in some meals, jerky, protein shake, built into some processed foods ...).

The bottom line reason why I'm starting to use TVP is just that it's so much easier than buying, cooking, drying, shrink-wrapping beef, or the same with cans of chicken (sans the cooking part). I like real meat better, but not *that* much better!

Hart -
(backpackerchick) - MLife

Locale: Planet Earth
Texture on 11/30/2009 03:56:16 MST Print View

In response to the question about texture, it is "textured" to be meat like. It is tough. You may know it from vegetarian chili.

Here is a TVP primer from Wiki.

Soy is a more complete protein than most animal flesh.

Edited by backpackerchick on 11/30/2009 04:00:30 MST.

j lan
(justaddfuel) - F

Locale: MN
Re: Texture on 11/30/2009 06:38:33 MST Print View

For me the secret with tvp and the like is that you need to have a flavor base going already when you rehydrate it. Sauteing a little onion in the bottom of your pot first or using bouillon cubes to rehydrate or rehydrating in tomato sauce. I think it is pretty tasty, but by far the most incredible meat substitue I have had is walnut loaf. Stuff is incredible.

Also, if you are looking for bang for your buck nutrition wise, Quinoa ( is a complete protein all by itself! You could live almost forever on the stuff. They also make pasta out of it and a flour for baking.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Textured Veg Protein: Help a meat eater! on 11/30/2009 08:44:00 MST Print View

I forgot to add that I don't use a lot of it - about 2 Tablespoons per person. Reason why is that TVP can cause havoc on one's digestive system if not used to it. So if you DO start using it, start slowly and make sure you stay hydrated while eating it. And expect gas......lord!

Kathleen B

Locale: Pacific Northwest
TVP on 11/30/2009 15:10:15 MST Print View

We used to call this stuff Terrible Vegetable Product, and with good reason. But harmonyhousefoods has done an amazing job making something that tastes pretty good.

That said, I still prefer freeze-dried beef and chicken from Pricey, but I use only a few tablespoons per meal. The freeze-dried meat is lighter in weight than dehydrated, too.

todd h
(funnymoney) - MLife

Locale: SE
Re: Textured Veg Protein: Help a meat eater! on 11/30/2009 19:30:06 MST Print View

Many thanks to each of you for all the input!

This community is great!!!!!

Now to try it......

Laurie Ann March
(Laurie_Ann) - F

Locale: Ontario, Canada
meatarianism on 12/02/2009 16:11:09 MST Print View

Todd.... what about something like this for the trail? Real meat made lightweight. TVP is something I am not fond of so we opt for the real thing. I merely dehydrate it and rehydrate/reheat on the trail. Easy peasy.

Hungarian Goulash...

Hungarian Goulash

or a nice meat based Chili...

Chili con Carne

Edited by Laurie_Ann on 12/02/2009 16:12:10 MST.

Jonathan DeYoung
(jdeyoung81) - F

Locale: New England
Re: meatarianism on 12/02/2009 16:18:03 MST Print View

my god... that is amazing looking food. I bet it looks even better after a long day on the trail.

todd h
(funnymoney) - MLife

Locale: SE
Re: meatarianism on 12/02/2009 19:16:53 MST Print View

Wow Laurie!

I wasn't even hungry 'til that!!!!!! I'm ready to eat.

Laurie Ann March
(Laurie_Ann) - F

Locale: Ontario, Canada
thanks on 12/04/2009 04:03:54 MST Print View

I'll try and remember to upload a photo of what it looks when dried. I just have to pull some images off my other computer.

The only drawback with meat is that you need a little patience when it comes to rehydrating it. Things like pork and chicken can take 45 minutes using boiling water and a cozy. I tend to use a Nalgene bottle. I know that's not light but I figure I make up the weight with what I save in food weight. The Nalgene creates a bit of pressure which helps the foods rehydrate better and faster than in a freezer bag.

Hart -
(backpackerchick) - MLife

Locale: Planet Earth
Casein used as industrial glue. on 12/04/2009 10:36:49 MST Print View

Casein accounts for 80% of the protein in cow's milk. It has long been used as a glue in industry. Casein has been linked to a myriad of health problems. Furthermore, soy is a more complete protein than casein

TVP comes in several forms. For more on TVP:

Personally, I don't care for it. Too meat-like.

Edited by backpackerchick on 12/04/2009 10:51:40 MST.

Jim W.
(jimqpublic) - MLife

Locale: So-Cal
Soy Protein Isolate glue vs. Re: Caisen used as industrial glue. on 12/04/2009 10:46:44 MST Print View

I'm not claiming that soybeans, soy flour, or cultured soy such as tofu are unhealthy. Nor would I say that corn is unhealthy.

Roundup Ready soy or corn, processed with alkalis and acids to form Soy Protein Isolate or High Fructose Corn Syrup have only been around a few decades. I would rather avoid them until there's a generation of evidence on whether or not they're healthy.