T-V-P, T-V-P

No, this is not the M-V-P chant you hear at sporting events. This is the way we refer to my favorite sloppy joe recipe. I am not vegan, vegetarian, or have any other dietary label. Give me good, healthy food. I will say that I don’t mind finding meat alternatives when I can. That is where TVP sloppy joes come in. TVP stands for textured vegetable protein. It gives the sloppy joes their meaty texture while providing the hearty protein for the meal. It has all the look of “regular” sloppy joes without the use of hamburger.

Uncooked TVP

This recipe is easy enough that I can make (Yes, my wonderful wife is the chef of the house.) It also lends itself to throwing in what you’ve got. If you don’t follow the recipe perfectly, it still works well. Grab an onion, celery, green pepper, and some tomatoes!

Recipe easy enough for me to follow

Chop one large onion, 4 stalks of celery, and the green pepper. Cook in oil for 10-12 minutes until the onion is translucent. Add two 6-ounce cans of tomato paste, one cup of ketchup, two tablespoons of mustard and brown sugar. Cook for another five minutes. Add in two cups of TVP and 3-4 cups of water (depending on how thick you want it). I usually start with three and a half cups and go from there. Let this cook until the water is completely absorbed, about ten minutes. Finish by adding salt and pepper to taste.


You can serve this dish with hamburger buns. At our house, we tend to go with a simple (i.e. I am doing the cooking) baking powder biscuit. TVP sloppy joes go over well with my children, which is always a plus when making something out of the norm. One thing to watch out for is that TVP is made with soybeans. If those don’t sit well with your stomach, then this may not be the recipe for you. I found that I can do this for one meal, but my stomach does not appreciate the leftovers the next day. One meal is all I need to feel satisfied, especially when it tastes this good…speaking from experience.

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