For anyone that grew up on TVP (textured vegetable protein), finding out about a whole new way to use it is pretty mind boggling. THERE'S OTHER STUFF TO PUT IN LASAGNES??
Back in the 1990s when my brother and I were wee bairns shouting at women in Sainsbury's for buying rabbit from the butcher counter (represent), the only meat-replacement foods available were Sosmix and Tival hot dogs. These were great in sausage sandwiches, but not all that versatile. So when my friend Tsouni at @yesitsallvegan brought me back a pack of soy curls from the US, I'm not ashamed to say I was *stoked*. Soy Curls is the brand name for extruded defatted soy flour that's been dehydrated into little curls. All you do is soak them for ten minutes in warm water and they double in size, making these chicken-y strips, perfect for tacos, salads, stir frys or pasta dishes.
Soy Curls aren't available in the UK yet- [can someone make that change??] but if you're headed abroad over summer, check out if you can pick them up in any vegan specialist shops along the way. Tsouni tracked them down at Veganz in Berlin, and I'm sure there's some other Soy Curl believers out there intent on spreading the TVP gospel.
For now I have one dwindling pack. Here's what I made with a third of it.
(Not) the whole enchilada with Soy Curls
n.b. I don't get the point of enchiladas, so I served these as tacos, but the filling itself would be a perfect enchilada vibe if you're into that kind of thing.
Rapeseed or olive oil
2 onions- one chopped small and one into chunky strips
3 garlic cloves peeled and grated
2 red chillies, chopped small
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp dried chilli flakes
1 bunch of coriander, stalks chopped as small as possible, leaves just chopped
Salt and pepper
1 red pepper, cut into strips
70g dry Soy Curls (this will increase when hydrated to about 100g)
2-3 tablespoons of passata or tomato sauce
Hot sauces of your choice ;)
To serve with: tacos, jalapeño salsa, shredded lettuce, pickled pink onions, grated vegan cheese, whatever ya fancy!
This is a quick dinner so rehydrate your Soy Curls first - just place in a bowl, pour over plenty of warm water so they are all covered, and leave for ten minutes.
Now for the sauce. Add the oil, onions and garlic into a heavy-bottomed pan and sweat on a low heat for three minutes. Once you can smell the onion beginning to cook, add in the chillies, paprika, chilli flakes and coriander stalks, and stir. Make sure all the flavours can combine without burning, and season with salt and pepper. Go easy if you're going to be pouring in hot sauces along the way- you can always add more!
After five more minutes on a low heat, stir in the red pepper. Drain the soy curls of any excess water and add them to the pan- they're studier than they look so stir them all in to the mix so they can absorb some of the great flavours going down. If you want to make enchiladas, I'd add some tomato sauce here to make it a bit juicier. If you're happy with tacos, I'd say take your pick of your fave hot sauces and get sprinkling!
Plate up with the tacos, jalapeño salsa and some pickled pink onions, or fold into enchiladas and bake with tomato sauce and grated vegan cheese.