TVP burgers take me back to the Eighties

Once upon a time as a younger girl, perhaps around my teens if I remember correctly, my mum and I used to shop in a fabulous UK store called Holland and Barrett. I used to (and still do) love the shop as they had a wonderful array of vegetarian and alternative foods. I used to love the experimentation of trying out new things. My mum stumbled on this bizarre food called TVP (textured vegetable protein) which – when mixed with hot water – made a brilliant mince replacement for things like bolognese. However, it was bland, pretty unexciting and served really only as a backup for specific dishes as a meat replacement for me. I used it through my teens, at uni as a quick and cheap meal and then sort of forgot all about it.

5285303632_72c747614aIt was only when I purchased this amazing book recently that it was once again brought to mind. This book is brilliant for any new or even longer-term vegans as it literally runs through alternatives for everything; sugar, honey, butter, cream, eggs, milk, meat and so on.

The first recipe that tempted me, however, was a TVP creation for steaks. I thought, what the, let’s give that a go.

And so I did. I made a few little alterations as there’s quite a few calories in the ingredients and I only actually wanted to attempt my own burgers as opposed to steaks.

2015-10-31 18.43.32Its great that I have found something I can make as a replacement burger as, with my love of (but sadly intolerance to) chickpeas and other pulses, I struggle to make the standard replacement burgers which are all filled with pulses and which generally leave me happy with the taste but unhappy with how they affect me.

So here’s the recipe (with my twist):

TVP Burgers – makes about 8 burgers at about 250 calories a burger:

  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • 1 cup TVP granules
  • 3 tablespoons tamari
  • 1 cup vital wheat gluten flour
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • half teaspoon paprika
  • a couple of drops of liquid smoke
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • Third of a cup of olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

20151030_162834In a microwaveable bowl mix the stock, TVP and tamari and cover with clingfilm / cling wrap and microwave for 5 minutes. Take it out and give it a stir, re cover it and then leave it to cool down substantially.

Whilst this is cooling prep all your other ingredients and then mix into the TVP mixture. Use your hands and mix gently to avoid crushing all the ingredients together. It should start coming together when you press it and doesn’t crumble. Don’t shape it at this point just be certain you are happy with the consistency. I then walked away and left it for an hour so that the gluten developed.

20151030_165317Once time has passed, come back and shape them. Into whatever you want…burgers, steaks, sausages, meatballs…and then cook! I BBQ’d mine and served with watermelon and mixed salad.

They were seriously yummy. Quite possibly the best burgers I have had in years. They were juicy from the oil, they got a nice colour, they had a lovely texture in the mouth and they tasted awesome. Super happy with this recipe and with the book overally!

I absolutely recommend a purchase:

Thanks Vegan Substitutions…I look forward to cooking more of your recipes!


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