Friday, August 5, 2011

Are you down with TVP? Yeah you know me! - Improv hour in the kitchen.

Brown Rice, TVP, Brussel Sprouts, Almonds & Chunky Frontera Salsa

Improv seems to be a big theme in my life lately.  It's kind of an odd theme but its appearance has been numerous enough over the last few days that I think it is a fitting title for my evening in the kitchen.  First of all, I was in Chicago for the past 2.5 days for a work team meeting.  The trip was thankfully just long enough to get in some good nights of letting lose a little with my coworkers but short enough to not totally exhaust me.  Part of our meeting involved a kind of scavenger hunt that took us to various places in Chicago.  We had to complete multiple tasks for points against other teams.  One of our challenges was to perform a skit related to themes of the meeting (insert corporate jargon) in front of Second City, the famous improv comedy club.  Also, I have been reading the book Blink-The Power of Thinking Without Thinking.  It's kind of interesting to hear about powerful unconscious processes that happen in our mind that effect the decisions we make.  The chapter I read on the way home from Chicago discussed a particular Improv comedy group and how they are able to make split second decisions based upon the practice of Acceptance while performing.
So tonight fits into improv a little bit.  Acceptance definitely came into play as well.  Acceptance of new, untasted foods.  I came home from running errands all afternoon, didn't have time to go to the grocery store and decided I was just going to save money and go home and wing it.
I read recently on one of the blogs I've been browsing for food inspiration about TVP.  Textured Vegetable Protein.  Sounds pretty...yuck..right?  Well basically it is de-fatted cooked and dried soy flour (says Bob's Red Milll bag).  It is an excellent source of plant based protein.  I'm no vegetarian, but I am always open to new forms of getting lean protein.
It's really easy to make, basically you just boil water, pour it over the TVP and let it sit for 5-10 minutes.  It comes out looking kind of like canned tuna (chopped in little pieces minus the fish smell).  Tonight I whipped out the rice cooker, sauteed up some frozen brussel sprouts and added some seasoning (salt, pepper, oregano & basil) and chunky tomato salsa.  It was easy and actually ended up tasting pretty good!  Except one thing keeps coming to my mind as I sit here on the couch: FIBER!  I knew I shouldn't have eaten the entire bowl + a Kashi fruit bar...I feel like I shoved a school bus full of children in my stomach!  The TVP has about 16% of your daily value per serving, so watch out when you combine it with rice and veggies..some recipes combine it with beans too.  But, it is a healthy meal, although a little goes a long way.  I would recommend giving TVP a try, I'm sure with more time and resources on your hands you could come up with a much more creative rendition than me.

This weekend I'm going to get a little taste of Arkansas in the Northeast!  I'm headed in on the train to the city tomorrow morning to spend a weekend with old friends.  My good friend Zach recently returned to the states to NYC from Afghanistan, where he has worked the past few years.  So us local Fayettevillians are congregating in honor of his return! Very excited, always love seeing familiar faces up here.  Especially faces I've known for nearly 20 years. :)
Happy Weekend to everyone!

1 comment:

  1. I love Blink! Sounds like you have a good weekend ahead of you.