This morning, I happily figured out how to make texturized vegetable protein (TVP) taste like oatmeal. Mostly. Enough so that if you’re looking for more protein or less carbs in your life and don’t want to give up your hot cereal, you’ll be happy you found this one.
Chef’s Note: Loyal readers will remember that the one exception I make to the rule of “available at ALDI/Save-A-Lot” on this blog is the use of texturized vegetable protein, because it’s just so handy and really helpful for families stretching the grocery dollar and low-carb dieters trying to regulate their carbohydrate allowance while enjoying regular foods. I really can’t say enough good things about TVP.
Anytime I do low-carb programs like the South Beach Diet, I get all excited when I hit Phase 2 and am finally allowed small portions of fruit or cereal. But if you’re like me and enjoy fruit in your cereal, it doesn’t take much to blow your carb allowance for the day before you’ve even gotten to work.
Alternatively, if you substitute TVP for the actual oats, or even cut your regular oatmeal in halfsies with TVP for that matter, you can stretch that carb count a little further and benefit from additional protein at the same time. (Cutting your kids’ oatmeal with some TVP will also assure they’re getting some extra protein at the beginning of the day, as well.)
This recipe is for the “full-on” TVP faux-cereal treatment, but you can just as easily keep half of it real oatmeal if you want to for various reasons. This recipe makes one big bowl of hot “cereal.”
In a small saucepan, combine 1-1/4 cups water or milk with 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and 1/2 cup dry TVP granules over MEDIUM burner heat.
Sprinkle in 1 tsp cinnamon (or nutmeg, allspice or any other flavoring you like) and a dash of salt and bring to a simmer.
Allow mixture to simmer uncovered for 10-15 minutes, or until most of the liquid is absorbed. (I like my oatmeal a little bit “wet” so it doesn’t turn into a lump, but you can adjust this according to tastes.)
Meanwhile, prepare a bowl with a small amount of margarine and sweetner (brown sugar, sugar substitute, or whatever else you prefer).
When mixture comes off of the heat, pour immediately into the bowl and stir well. (If you use honey or maple syrup as your sweetener, you’ll just drizzle it on at this point.)
Garnish as desired. I like mine with chopped apples and ALDI’s Fit & Active dried cherries. They’re scrumptious.