My Blog on WCCO-TV: Bite of Minnesota

Wednesday, August 9, 2006

No Sheep Shepherd's Pie

Since we are recovering from camping and eating leftovers and I have a backlog of posts, I'll share something that we ate last week. This recipe was from Very Vegetarian and we have wanted to try it for awhile. Although this isn't something that I'd typically crave on a hot sunny day, it used up some of our veggies that have been sitting around for awhile.

The filling was TVP, onion, garlic, celery, carrots, eggplant, mushrooms, diced tomatoes, rosemary and thyme, and some veggie stock. It was all put in a dish and topped with mashed potaotes and brushed with olive oil.

It was so good and filling! What a great use for the ingredients and it felt like a comfort food meal. I think this will be a hit on those cold fall and winter days. It could also be a hit with non-veggies as the TVP's texture is very similar to ground beef and rice...oooh, I should try stuffed peppers with some TVP. I wonder how that will turn out.


  1. Yum! I want some.

    Love You,


  2. TVP = Textured Vegetable Protein. It's like little flakes/clumps of stuff and is used as a filler or as a ground beef substitute.


  3. I made a dish like this from one of Bryanna Clark Grogan's cookbooks. We loved it. Here's a bit about TVP from a booklet I write for a class I taught a few years ago:

    Link to tvp info:

    Myths and misunderstandings run VERY high about TVP® (Texturized Vegetable Protein). During the last few years lots of things have changed regarding TVP®. This stuff sure "ain't what it used to be!!!" TVP® is a food product made from soybeans. It is produced from soy flour after the soybean oil has been extracted, then cooked under pressure, extruded, and dried. TVP® has a long shelf life if stored properly and is an excellent source of protein and fiber. Many public schools use TVP® as a food source in the breakfast and lunch programs. It meets standards of nutrition but is economical as well. Plain TVP® has zero cholesterol. However, some flavor variations do have partially hydrolyzed oil in them for flavor and texture changes. Hydrolyzing the fat extends the shelf life as compared to using vegetable oil. However, even though the fat content is increased in some of the flavored varieties, with such a high fiber content, the balance is still very much on the healthy side -- especially if you are making a comparison to ground beef or sausage. For example, Sausage TVP® is 17% fat, but it has an incredible 11% fiber! It is a good source of the essential amino acids, and also contributes calcium and magnesium to one's diet. It can be fortified with vitamins, including Vitamin B12. It is very high in potassium, is a good source of the essential amino acids, and also contributes calcium and magnesium to one's diet. TVP® is dry and has a very low bacterial count. On the other hand, meat products can be easily contaminated with bacteria such as E. Coli and Salmonella. TVP® contains absolutely no meat or meat byproducts -- so those who are on strict vegetarian diets can use this to supplement their protein. TVP® products are also Kosher approved. Storage is a breeze -- TVP® can sit in a cupboard in a sealed container for at least a year. If sealed airtight (without oxygen), the shelf life is greatly extended (although, with its great taste and ease of preparation, you won't leave it hiding anywhere for very long!) As always, for the longest storage life it should be kept in a cool, dry place. Due to the moisture in many varieties of TVP®, storage after opening is better in a dry place away from excessive heat.

    Price wise, it is very economical and makes an excellent meat substitute in many dishes. After all, you are buying a dry product, and the weight greatly increases with the addition of water. For example, 1 pound of beef dehydrates down to 4 oz of jerky. You are paying for 12 ounces of water per pound of meat when you purchase fresh beef! For another example, a pound of sausage in the grocery store runs between $1.50 to $2.50 depending on how good the sale is. A pound of DRY sausage runs about $1.20, and rehydrated, that would come to a cost of $0.40 per pound. Lean hamburger on the absolute best sales I've found ran $0.99/lb. Beef TVP® runs $1.55/lb DRY -- making it about $0.45 per pound rehydrated. That's an incredible savings -- and no thawing or browning time is required -- just throw it in the dish! One oz of TVP® is approximately equivalent to 3 oz. of meat.

    It’s hard to top lean protein with a very good amount of fiber for that price. To see what I mean, take 4 oz of dry beef TVP®, rehydrate it and add 15 oz of beans, 8 oz of tomato sauce and your spices. This makes 2.5 lbs of Chili. So, price wise, a 25 lb box of TVP® will make 250 lbs of great tasting, spicy Chili when the beans, sauce and spices are added. And talk about a quick meal, if you get home and are in a rush, you can have tacos or BBQ "beef" on a bun or Sloppy Joes in under 15 minutes. TVP® is truly a healthy time saver. It is great for camping as you only have to boil water and you have a dinner. There are no worries about keeping meat cold until you are ready to serve it. And because it rehydrates so readily, you can quickly rehydrate a bit more if needed. This helps limit waste on a camp outing.

    How much water you use to reconstitute TVP® will largely depend on the size of TVP® you are cooking with. The small granules or bits of TVP® are easy to rehydrate: you can add them straight to soups or pour 7/8 cup boiling water over 1 cup of TVP® and let it stand for 5-10 minutes. Adding a little ketchup, lemon juice, or vinegar (acidity) helps speed up rehydration if you are in a rush. Remember, flexibility is a key component to cooking with TVP®. You can, if you prefer, use less liquid to rehydrate it and get a slightly different feel. You can also partially rehydrate the TVP® and then put it in the recipe you are cooking to absorb "some" of the liquid from the dish, and thus also the flavor. You can also change the texture of the pre-flavored items like the taco or BBQ TVP® by adjusting the amount of liquid you add. This can make it more moist or chewy. TVP® holds it's texture and feel in things like spaghetti sauce and stews and will still be good for leftover use. Caution must be used in caring for TVP® after it is rehydrated. It must be refrigerated and treated like a meat.

  4. Thanks for the information Dori!


  5. I'm glad you had a nice time camping... the food looks great..

    I adore shepherds pie and make it just like you.. it's soo good! Yours looks very good. Definitely stuff peppers with it... you'll love it!

  6. Looks hearty and yummy. I like TVP in this dish, too, but also use mushrooms to make the texture even "meatier" for Omniman.

  7. i love shepherds pie. an di make it a lot in the easy, so delish and yes...soooo comforting.

    welcome home!

  8. wow dori...that was great info too! Thanks!

  9. Great pie, the pic looks groovy. I love all the stuff that it's filled with! While i don't like pie as dessert, this i would totally go for!

    Dori's comment is worth reading! (i like the fact that's TVP® is certifiably Kosher as well.)

    That's great about TVP®. I love the stuff, so i'm kinda prejudiced in its favor!

  10. I've never used TVP - did you find it tough to work with? I'm all for trying out new stuff!

  11. I'm so glad someone else asked first, because I had no idea what TVP was either. Thanks for the enlightenment!

  12. I guess shepherd's pie is a favorite for most, including me! I don't have a recipe. I just make it on the fly. I'll sometimes use lentils instead of TVP or Yves ground round.
    TVP and rice is perfect in stuffed peppers. I make them a few times throughout the winter too. I think you'll really like it.

  13. Great looking pie. I love to make those in the winter and keep them in the fridge, so we can just pop it in the oven when we get home late from work. It's a meal all in one! Sometimes I use sweet potatoes on top.


    Here is my new link. Hope to see you there soon! My old link will still be active. I am going to keep my blogroll there and use it as a back up but my daily updates will take place at the above location. Spread the word!

  15. Dori - that's awesome information, THANKS!

    Melody - I will have to try the stuffed peppers some time in the fall.

    Urban Vegan - I just had 1 mushroom to use in this one, but it would probably be good with some more to "beef" it up a bit.

    Tanya Kristine - yay! It's good to be home and back in a routine...well, somewhat.

    Kleo - I loved looking at all the stuff in the middle. The flavors all went perfectly together.

    Joe - oh so easy! I used the dried stuff (it's the only TVP I know of, but I heard there's others out there). Just let it soak in water to rehydrate and it's ready to go.

    Annie - too funny...waiting for someone else in class to raise their hand :)

    Carrie - those are some great ideas. Lentils would be great too. I'll keep my eyes open for the Yves stuff. I think I just used their pepperoni, so maybe I can just request it from the store.

    Megan - how did I know you'd put sweet potatoes on top?? You should buy stock in sweet potatoes. I'll try that sometime. Thanks for the idea of popping it in the fridge for after work too.

    Harmonia- thanks for letting me know, I'll update my links soon for ya. Good luck with the new site.


  16. oh i really like shepards pie. Mashed potatoes are one of the best foods to me. Mmmm i like starch haha



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...