TVP is Texturized Vegetable Protein
I was a vegetarian for three years back in high school. Despite being a vegetarian (still eating cheese and eggs) all that time, I had never heard of TVP.
I learned about it only recently at a dinner party with friends. They had made these yummy enchiladas with tvp. The tvp almost tasted like chicken, which is quite a feat. They are skilled vegetarians - and I think had been vegan at some point.
I went out on a limb yesterday and made veggie chili with tvp. I used veggie broth to reconstitute the tvp. The texture was more like ground beef (in the chili) than chicken. I'm sure that skill comes with practice.
While tvp might have been hard to find at some point, I found it at my local grocery store in the pasta/grain aisle (next to the corn meal).
The result tasted great! I took the chili to a gathering where there was also regular chili - lots of people could not tell the difference. In fact, my veggie chili was originally mis-labeled as the beef chili. I sincerely hope no one's diet has been thrown off.
Sadly, I do not have a photo of my veggie chili - it is all gone.
I doubt tvp is terribly local - as it is a processed food of sorts. But otherwise, it's not terribly expensive and very filling. And, since it's made with soy - very good for you.
PS. Usually beer (Guinness) is a great base for chili - but for this chili we used veggie broth instead.
Here were my ingredients for an extra large crock pot:
2 cans of tomatoes
2 cans of black beans
2 cans of kidney beans
2 cups of tvp -texturized vegetable protein, reconstituted
1 box/can of veggie broth
2 green peppers
olive oil (to saute onion and green pepper)
crushed corn chips (if needed to thicken)
dried jalepeno flakes
cayenne pepper (to taste)
Basically, I chopped up the onion and green pepper and sauteed them in olive oil. Then I put all the spices in with the onion and green pepper until the onion was clear and the green pepper was cooked. I put all the cans of ingredients in the crock pot with the onions and green peppers (and spices). Then, I reconstituted the tvp with two cups of boiling veggie broth. There are instructions on the bags of tvp. I then added the tvp to the chili and let it simmer overnight. I did have to add crushed corn chips to thicken the chili - probably around two handfuls of corn chips.