Happy WIAW! How's everyone doing this week? Well, today I'm going to share some of my favorite quick, simple, and cheap gluten-free, vegan foods to show that you don't have to break the bank or eat all kinds of crazy, fancy, hard-to-find ingredients to follow a plant-based diet. On top of that, usually by the middle of the week, I'm not in the mood to cook for hours on end when I get home from work, so I'm all about finding quicky and easy meals that are still healthy and delicious. So let's get my food for today going, followed by one of my favorite "quick, easy, and cheap" recipes: "Spaghetti with Meatless Meat Sauce".
|Just woke up snack: Rudi's Multigrain gluten-free toast |
with Earth Balance butter and organic strawberry jelly.
|Breakfast: Chocolate Ice Cream Smoothie Get your fill|
of spinach in this smoothie, guilt-free and full of raw
|Mid-morning snack: Gluten-free, vegan pancakes from|
Cinnamon Quill with Maple Agave Nectar as my syrup,
and a "shot" of orange juice to drink.
|Lunch: "Cleaning out the pantry nachos": organic|
corn tortilla chips, black beans, roasted corn, salsa,
Dayia cheddar cheese. So simple, quick, easy...
and of course, delicious!
|Afternoon snack: 1 organic orange|
|Afternoon Snack #2: Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Larabar|
(aka a "Snickers Bar:" as I call it!).
|Just got home/Playing with Avery Snack: "Peachy Kale Smoothie"|
|Fueling up on her green smoothie before playing.|
|"Oh but this smoothie tastes so much better in your glass straw|
|Dessert: 2 Gluten-free, vegan cookies from Cinnamon Quill.|
Okay so now that you know what I ate today, let me share one of my favorite quick, easy, cheap, and healthy vegan dinners: Spaghetti with Meatless Meat Sauce.
First up, let's talk about it's main ingredient: TVP (or it's real name: Textured Vegetable Protein). Sounds kind of strange right? Don't worry, it's just "defatted soy flour" that has been cooked under pressure and then dried. Still confusing...bear with me! It comes in a granule-type form that looks a bit like oatmeal and when liquid is added to it, the granules "re-hydrate" and take on a texture similar to ground beef.
TVP granules (aka my gluten-free vegan "ground beef")
Ever tried a meat-replacement like a Boca Burger or Morningstar Farms hot dog? Well, you can pretty much bet that one of the main ingredients in those "meats" was TVP. With that in mind, one benefit of using plain TVP is that we're cutting straight to the source!
Instead of pretend "meat crumbles" with a long ingredient list (that usually includes wheat- a "no no" for me) I stick with plain ol' TVP to give me that reminesencet ground beef texture, minus all the extra sodium and preservatives.
Health benefits of TVP: high in protein, virtually no fat, high in fiber, iron, magnesium, and phosphorus.
Other benefits of TVP: it's cheap! A 10 oz. pkg online costs about $3 here or you could find it at your local health food store for pretty close to that price as well. I've even seen it at Wal-Mart! Now by using a 1/2 cup per meal (the amount called for in this recipe) you could get about 6 meals out of that one cheap little bag! That's 50 cents per meal...quite a savings since 1 lb of ground beef or turkey would probably cost you about $1.75 or more. Sweet!
So now that you know what TVP is, why it rocks, and where you can get it, let me tell you how you can cook with it in my recipe for:
Spaghetti with Meatless Meat Sauce
- 1 pkg. pasta (I used Tinkyada gluten-free brown rice spaghetti pasta)
- 1 jar of spaghetti sauce (any brand or flavor, I was feeling this Barilla flavor this time around)
- ½ cup TVP (textured vegetable protein)
- ½ cup boiling water (from spaghetti water)
|All you need:|
TVP, Spaghetti Sauce, Spaghetti
|1. Measure out 1/2 cup TVP into a bowl.|
|2. Bring water to boil in a large stockpot for spaghetti noodles.|
When the water starts boiling add the noodles and then
measure out 1/2 cup of the boiling water.
|4. Next pour your spaghetti sauce into a medium sauce pan|
and turn onto Low.
|5. To remove excess water from your TVP press a cloth napkin|
or paper towel over the TVP until no extra water remains.
|6. Now add the TVP to the sauce that has been warming, and|
stir it in. I like to put the lid on the sauce to really help the
TVP absorb the flavor.
|7. Now once your pasta is done cooking, drain it, and rinse it|
|8. When you're ready to eat, take the lid off the sauce and|
prepare to serve it right onto the noodles.
Anyone else ever cook with TVP? What do you think of it? Share below!