the taste space

TVP Sloppy Joes Stuffed Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Posted in Mains (Vegetarian) by Janet M on January 29, 2013

One of the things I liked about Vegan For Life is that there are recommendations supported by science. Two servings of fruit are good and just 2 tsp of oil a day is a good idea. And that whacky TVP? It isn’t as scary as you may think. It may be a processed soy product, but it is basically defatted soy flour that is high in protein. A varied diet is more important. Everything in moderation is ok.

This may or may not have given me the nudge to use up the last of my TVP that had been languishing in my pantry. I bought it planning to make Cara’s Pumpkin Gingerbread Protein Bars, and then bookmarked Laura’s Squash Breakfast TVP and Maple TVP Oatmeal but happy I eventually settled on making these TVP Sloppy Joes.

Not that I grew up eating Sloppy Joe’s. I don’t think I have ever eaten the real thing, but I know this tasted good. A sweet tomato sauce accentuated with Worcestershire sauce, mustard and liquid smoke. A bit sweet for me with the added sweetener, so I suggest not adding it until the end to see if it needs it. The TVP confers a granular hamburger meat texture. I am thinking mashed lentils could be a good substitute next time.

Instead of the standard bun, I piled the sloppiness overtop a roasted baked potato. Paired wonderfully.

What do you think of TVP?

Here are my other meals with TVP:

Pumpkin Chili
Brazilian Black Bean Stew with Portobello Mushrooms (Portobello Feijoada)
Beefy Portobello Mushroom and Cranberry Stew

This is my submission to this month’s Bookmarked Recipes.

TVP Sloppy Joes Stuffed Roasted Sweet Potatoes
Adapted from Tasty Yummies via Forks & Beans

2-4 sweet potatoes, scrubbed
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup red bell pepper, diced
1.5 cups TVP
3 cups crushed tomatoes (0r a 28-oz can)
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce (make sure it is vegan)
1/2 tsp Aleppo chile flakes
1 tsp liquid smoke
1 tbsp yellow stone-ground mustard (the prepared stuff)
1 tsp agave, (optional, or to taste)
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
vegetable broth, to thin
1/2 tsp salt
Salt and pepper, to taste

1. Roast sweet potato at 400F, wrapped in foil, for 45-60 minutes, until cooked through. Set aside to cool.

2. Meanwhile, in a large saute pan over medium heat, heat oil. Once warm, add onion and bell pepper and saute until softened, around 5-7 minutes. Add garlic and stir until fragrant, 2 minutes more.

3. Add the TVP, tomatoes, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, chile flakes, liquid smoke, mustard, agave (if using), nutritional yeast, 3/4 cup water, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 40-45 minutes, until it becomes nice and thick. Stir occasionally and add water/broth if it becomes too thick.

4. Serve overtop baked sweet potatoes.

Serves 4.

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27 Responses

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  1. Cathy @ What Would Cathy Eat said, on January 29, 2013 at 6:05 AM

    Sounds good. But I keep reading that soy protein isolate (as found in TVP) is not the best choice, health-wise. What are your thoughts on this? Here is one article I read: http://www.wellandgoodnyc.com/2012/09/27/should-you-avoid-soy-protein-isolate/ Thanks!

    • janet @ the taste space said, on January 29, 2013 at 7:10 PM

      Hey Cathy, It may not be the best choice but there are a lot worse options out there. I think they summarized it nicely when they said it was best to eat whole unprocessed foods, which is what I do most of the time. I also have protein powder every morning… which is also processed, but I feel like it is worth it.

      • Cathy said, on January 29, 2013 at 7:27 PM

        Thanks. Yes, I agree you have to put these things in perspective. I think I prefer the taste of tempeh, so I should probably let that guide me more than these issues anyway. I am about to jump on the protein powder bandwagon myself!

      • janet @ the taste space said, on January 29, 2013 at 7:33 PM

        Ah yes, crumbled tempeh!! I forgot about that. That would be a perfect sub! (I actually don’t plan to replenish my TVP in the foreseeable future, although it may be easy to find than tempeh). Let me know how you enjoy the protein powder. I had to rotate through a few brands before finding one I liked… and I kind of learned the hard way I just don’t like anything sweetened with stevia!

  2. Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table said, on January 29, 2013 at 12:24 PM

    You know I love TVP! Thanks for linking my oatmeal recipes! I have never had a sloppy joe before… This looks like the perfect one to try!

  3. Cara said, on January 29, 2013 at 12:33 PM

    Yup, totally agree with “everything in moderation.” And when it comes to processed foods this is a much less scary one than some others :)

    • janet @ the taste space said, on January 29, 2013 at 2:48 PM

      Absolutely, Cara. My brother likes to remind me that protein powder is processed, too, and I don’t find that too objectionable. :-)

  4. Eileen said, on January 29, 2013 at 3:53 PM

    Sweet potatoes stuffed with delicious savory filling sound like such a good winter dinner. I usually use TVP is chili and nothing else, so I’m intrigued by the thought of making it into a stuffing!

    • janet @ the taste space said, on January 29, 2013 at 7:13 PM

      It definitely fits into wherever ground meat typically goes… chili, hamburger, etc. More of a textural element than taste.

  5. Ellen Lederman said, on January 29, 2013 at 7:32 PM

    So Janet—living on the edge with TVP and a T of coco oil? :) Actually, still the recipe has lots of healthy stuff in it and your overall whole foods, limited/no oil approach is the epitome of healthfulness as well as delicious eating! So thanks for giving me “permission” to dust off that bag of TVP sitting in the pantry.

    is the yellow mustard dry (the spice) or prepared mustard?

    • janet @ the taste space said, on January 29, 2013 at 7:46 PM

      Haha, thanks Ellen! The great thing about TVP is that it stores beautifully. :) I used prepared mustard here. I am being frugal with my mustard seeds, actually, since I am trying hard not to buy new spices before I move… and I am almost out of both black and yellow mustard seeds (I much prefer the yellow seeds). The vinegar from the mustard probably helps with the tang, too.

  6. Allysia Kerney said, on January 29, 2013 at 7:40 PM

    I’ve been contemplating sloppy joes lately! But with green lentils and maybe some weird add-ins…we’ll see if that idea leads anywhere. I don’t really use TVP, though I have nothing against it. And I love the idea of serving it in a sweet tater!

    • janet @ the taste space said, on January 29, 2013 at 7:44 PM

      Ooh, let me know how it goes with lentils. They may sop up the spices, so you may need to increase the flavours. :)

  7. Joanne said, on January 29, 2013 at 9:35 PM

    I’ve maybe had TVP at restaurants before but have never actually used it myself…I don’t have a problem with it though. There are so many worse processed foods in this world that TVP is the least of our problems! This looks WAY better than a sloppy joe. Love the sweet potato base!

  8. Colette said, on January 30, 2013 at 4:37 PM

    My 2 fav things just tied the knot…..

  9. Kristy said, on January 30, 2013 at 7:51 PM

    Could this be any more heavenly?!?! I love everything about this dish! Pinning!

    And I totally agree with you- moderation is always key. :-)

  10. Hannah said, on January 30, 2013 at 8:52 PM

    Sometimes it’s eerie how alike we are in tastes and what we’re cooking! I had never had tvp before moving to Canada, but have been eating it several times a week (though sometimes I just cook it plain, chill it, and then eat it with various flavourings/condiments as a snack :P ) This looks scrumptious.

    • janet @ the taste space said, on January 31, 2013 at 6:20 AM

      It is so true… I first picked it up after my chef talked about it at my cooking class at George Brown, talking about it as a cheap, healthy way to beef up protein. Thank goodness it keeps so well in the pantry. I hope you share your favourite way to eat it. :)

  11. Gabby @ the veggie nook said, on January 31, 2013 at 5:39 AM

    Interesting tidbit about TVP. I have been afraid to use it, hence a large bag of it at my parents went un-used during my stay. I’ll remember this though next time I visit and try and use some up!

    • janet @ the taste space said, on January 31, 2013 at 6:21 AM

      I think it took me over 3 years to finish my TVP! It isn’t so scary… I mean, protein powder is processed, too? Everything in moderation is ok.. there are worse things to worry about. :)

  12. Maggie Muggins said, on January 31, 2013 at 7:36 PM

    Every now and then I’ll get a hankering for sloppy joes but then pass on it because we don’t have any buns. For some reason it never donned on me to have it over potato, which is weird because I eat chili over potato, I must be trapped in a sloppy joe ‘box’ :) I don’t eat TVP too frequently, I’m got now qualms with it though. I’ll tend to use it if it’s called for in a seitan recipe or some other cookbook recipe I’ve picked out for the day.

  13. Johanna GGG said, on February 2, 2013 at 8:35 AM

    I’ve always avoided tvp because it just seems too much like minced meat – quite ironic when I then spend time making other concoctions like veg haggis and ricki’s ground meat that are comforting because they are quite like minced meat (which I had a lot as a kid) – I guess I must dislike the processed part of it too. I never grew up with sloppy joes either but I do love the idea of them

  14. […] I have made Sloppy Joes with TVP, which I served overtop roasted sweet potatoes, I shared Isa’s recipe with Rob. With the […]


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