Thursday, April 16, 2009

Cooking with TVP: Tater Tot Hotdish edition

I know I have been posting a lot about food, but being a vegetarian is fun! There are so many different things to explore. One of those things is TVP (Textured Vegetable Protein). My friend Aisha told me about Vegan Chili with TVP, and I decided to experiment with it. I scoured the Internet for recipes with TVP, but decided to create some hotdishes (or casseroles, depending where you come from). There are some great recipes featured on Bob's Red Mill website (the brand I buy) and I decided to explore on my own and here's one of my creations and old favorites I almost didn't think I could eat again!

Tater Tot Hotdish (with TVP)

1 lb. tater tots
1/2 cup TVP (replace ground beef)
1 can (15 oz) black, chili, or pinto beans with chili spices and cumin or add 1 tsp cumin and 1 tsp chili spices
1 can (15 oz) corn, drained (optional, but substitute with beans)
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese

Oven 450 degrees (or temperature directed on package for tater tots)

1) Add TVP to beans with spices. Let sit for at least fifteen minutes.
2) Put TVP/bean mixture on bottom of casserole dish.
3) Pour drained corn on top and spread evenly.
4) Put tater tots on top and sprinkle with cheddar cheese.

Cook approximately 40 minutes or until tater tots are cooked to appropriate crispiness. Broil if you feel like tater tots extra crispy for they can sometimes turn out soggy (my husband like them that way).

With the pictures shown, I used black beans with the spices already mixed in the can. Usually my mother or I use chili beans with the spices, but use the beans that you prefer (check the ingredients for beef stock, etc). The black beans tasted just as good as the chili beans. And doesn't the TVP almost look like beef? Will anyone know? We brought leftovers into work and people were fooled! The best part, though, is our stomaches didn't ache when we were finished eating. Our tummies were happy!

I hope you enjoy this recipe or have a chance to invent your own! Make sure to check out the Bob's Red Mill website for other uses of TVP.

Also, I know my recipe is confusing. I usually just make stuff up and writng them down is something new! It drives my husband nuts, but he doesn't complain when I feed him

Be sure to check out my other TVP recipes coming soon: Vegan chili and Mexican Hotdish.


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