Tag Archives: TVP

Spaghetti Bolognese

This week I was craving a nice, comforting bowl of pasta.  I turned to an old favorite recipe for vegan bolognese sauce:


The secret weapon here is textured vegetable protein (TVP).  It provides a remarkably meaty texture and soaks up whatever flavored liquids you use to re-constitute it.  The soy sauce here gives it a dark color and meaty depth of flavor.  Best of all, TVP is a CHEAP source of protein.  It doubles in size when re-constituted, and a cup of dry TVP, at just over a dollar, is certainly cheaper than a pound of ground beef (and I seriously doubt that your family would notice the difference).

This time around I added a stalk of celery along with the other veggies; I used one tablespoon of Italian seasoning in place of the herbs listed; and I subbed a can of Trader Joe’s Marinara sauce for the crushed tomatoes + tomato paste.  Mushrooms would be a good addition.

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil: $0.05
  • 1 onion: $0.25
  • 1 carrot: $0.08
  • 1 stalk celery: $0.12
  • 2 garlic cloves: $0.10
  • Italian seasoning: $0.15
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes: $0.05
  • 1 cup textured vegetable protein: $1.08
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce: $0.18
  • 1 cup vegetable stock: free (homemade)
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast: $0.30
  • 1 (28 ounce) can marinara: $1.79
  • ½ cup fresh parsley: $0.59
  • 1 lb whole wheat spaghetti: $1.39

=$6.13/6 generous servings


Can you imagine how much you would pay for this big plate of pasta in a restaurant?

Enjoy with a glass of red wine.  It pairs well with a cheap merlot, like 2-Buck Chuck from Trader Joe’s

Also, here’s an old photo from when I first made this a couple of years ago:

It’s a photographic dish, and it tastes even better than it looks!  Buon appetito!

Mushroom Shepherd’s Pie

This might be one of the heartiest recipes I’ve ever made.  Yum!

I got the idea to make this:


…when it was on the front page of Food.com the other day as part of a feature on vegetarian meals.

That said, I had to convert the recipe from metric measurements, plus I scaled it down a bit and changed a few things (cut everything small instead of putting it in the food processor; added margarine, soy milk, soy sauce, etc.), so here is my version of gourmandelle’s lovely vegetarian shepherd pie:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Boil for about 20 minutes:

  • 4 medium Russet potatoes (peeled and quartered)

Mash with:

  • 2 tablespoons margarine
  • 1/4 cup plain soymilk
  • salt and pepper to taste

While potatoes are boiling, sautee:

  • 1 onion, diced finely
  • 1 carrot, diced finely
  • 1 red pepper, diced finely
  • 1 pound cremini or portabello mushrooms, diced finely
  • 1/4 cup Textured Vegetable Protein (aka TVP.  This is dehydrated soy.  It has a meaty texture, soaks up any flavor, and is super cheap.  It’s available in the bulk section of most health-food stores or with Bob’s Red Mill products)
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast (also available in bulk section)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika (use the good stuff)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

After about 10 minutes, stir in:

  • 1/2 bunch fresh dill, chopped
  • 1/2 bunch fresh parsley, chopped

Spray a baking pan with cooking oil or line it with parchment (I used a loaf pan, and it ended up being a good size).  Spread half the mashed potatoes in the pan.  Top with the veggie mixture.  Spread the remaining potatoes on top.  Bake for about 30 minutes.  Let sit for at least 10 minutes.  The recipe said 30 minutes, but I couldn’t wait that long, and it was fine.  Slice and serve.

I looked at gourmandelle’s profile on Food.com, which led me to her blog:


I love her blog!  Her tastebuds seem remarkably similar to my own.  I can’t wait to try her “Stuffed Button Mushrooms with Garlicky Rice Noodles” or “Stuffed Aubergines with Garlic Sauce.”  Who doesn’t love a good stuffed vegetable?  And garlic? Her pictures are lovely too.  Check it out.

  • 4 medium Russet potatoes: $0.95
  • 2 tablespoons margarine: $0.26
  • 1/4 cup plain soymilk: $0.05
  • 1 onion: $0.25
  • 1 carroty: $0.16
  • 1 red pepper: $1.26
  • 1 pound cremini mushrooms: $3.98
  • 1/4 cup Textured Vegetable Protein: $0.27
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce: $0.18
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast: $0.30
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika: $0.05
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme: $0.01
  • 1/2 bunch fresh dill, chopped: $0.99
  • 1/2 bunch fresh parsley, chopped: $0.85

=$9.83/6 servings


for a vegan “meat-and-potatoes” dinner!