This is an easy vegan bolognese recipe. If you’re looking to add more protein to your pasta dishes, this is a simple inexpensive way to do so. It’s another way to use TVP.
1 (12–16 oz.) package pasta, regular or gluten-free
1 (28-oz.) can crushed tomatoes or whole tomatoes, blended
1 tbs. extra virgin olive oil
2 tbs. minced garlic
Pinch of crushed red pepper, optional
1 tsp. salt
1-2 tsp. coconut sugar, or other unrefined natural sweetener
Pinch of black pepper
½ cup dry TVP (textured vegetable protein)
1-2 tbs. fresh chopped basil
Heat olive oil in a medium-size saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and sauté briefly. Add crushed red pepper, if using. Add crushed or blended tomatoes, salt, sugar and pepper. Cook for about 10 minutes then add tvp. Continue to cook the sauce over medium heat for about 30 minutes to allow the flavors to mingle. When done, stir in fresh basil. Cook pasta according to the directions on the package. Do not overcook. Drain, return to pot, then toss with a little olive oil. Serve with Bolognese sauce.
Health Benefits of TVP (Textured Vegetable Protein)
Textured vegetable protein (TVP) is a soybean-based, high-protein alternative to meat, commonly used by vegetarians and health-conscious individuals. It is sold in bags and comes in the form of a caramel-colored, dried, crumbly, almost pebble-like consistency. TVP does not need to be refrigerated until after it is cooked. Although TVP is not widely used in restaurants or by the majority of Americans, it is nutritious and tasty and can be used in a variety of recipes.
- Carbohydrates and Fiber: TVP serves as a rich source of carbohydrates: 1 serving contains 26 grams. The carbs in a serving of TVP break down to provide energy to keep your body functioning as it should, and the nutrient plays a role in the health of your brain, muscles and kidneys. You require 130 grams of carbs per day for best health. Not all carbohydrates get processed into energy, however; fiber is a carb that stays solid to influence bowel and digestive processes. A serving of TVP contains 12 grams of fiber, a significant portion of the recommended 25 to 38 grams per day.
- Protein: One serving of TVP provides you with 32 grams of protein, making it an excellent source of this macronutrient and a good choice for vegetarians. Your diet needs 46 to 56 grams of protein daily. The protein in TVP is important for your immune system, as well as building muscles, repairing cells and tissues and producing enzymes.
- Vitamins and Minerals: Including TVP in your diet gives you access to a rich source of potassium. One serving contains 81 percent of the daily recommended intake. This essential electrolyte is vital to the function of your heart and muscles. You will also get 35 percent of the iron you need each day in a serving of TVP. Additionally, a serving of TVP provides 16 percent of the calcium and 1 percent of the vitamin A you require daily. Calcium and iron play important roles in helping to maintain energy levels and bone health.
- Fat: One benefit that textured vegetable protein has over meat is that it has no saturated fat. CalorieKing.com explains that TVP has no total fat or cholesterol either, since it’s made from purely vegetable sources.