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Simmering Stew Afternoon

October 8, 2010

My mother-in-law gifted me a butternut squash from her garden, so I searched around the pantry and created a hearty stew with an eclectic blend of seasonings and TVP (textured vegetable protein).  I propose that the TVP is option in the recipe, as it’s not necessary and there is so much debate about it.  It’s it healthy, is it not?  I go back and forth, but couldn’t help myself when I saw some of the organic product at a local shop.  Any thoughts on the subject?

Hope you enjoy the stew.  It’s so simple to make.

Afternoon Butternut Squash Stew
Serves 8

1 medium butternut squash
1 small onion, diced (set aside skins and ends)
3 Tbsp olive oil
2 c. water
4 c. tomato sauce
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 c. textured vegetable protein (TVP, optional)

To Do:
1: Trim the ends of the the butternut squash, then cut crosswise and lengthwise so that you have 4 parts. Place the squash in a square microwave-safe container, fill about 1/2 in high with water and heat on high for 2 minutes.  Flip the pieces and heat another 2 minutes. (Don’t crowd the squash, so repeat once if needed.) Allow the squash to cool, then chop into 1 inch squares.*  Measure out six cups and save the rest for another recipe.
2: Heat 3 Tbsp olive oil in a large skillet, sauté onion until it just begins to soften.  Add squash and cook until brown and caramelized.
3: In a microwave safe container, add water and onion skins and ends.  Heat on high for 2 minutes.  Allow the onion to soak another 2 minutes, then strain.
4: In a large crock pot, add onions, squash, onion water, tomato sauce, cumin, chili powder, oregano, vanilla extract, turmeric, salt, pepper and TVP.  Set to simmer for 4 hours.

* If you have the patience, skip the microwaving and cube the squash without softening it beforehand. It will cook fine, only it take longer to caramelize with the onion.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. October 9, 2010 12:12 am

    What’s the deal with TVP? I didn’t know this was controversial. And I love it.

    • October 10, 2010 8:22 pm

      TVP seems to be a “love it or hate it” product. Some people dislike the taste, while others may refuse it because of the way it’s produced.

      On one hand, TVP is a great vegetarian/vegan product because it’s economical, has a decent shelf life and absorbs any flavor with which it’s cooked. On the other hand, TVP is mostly soy-based and an overwhelming percentage of soy grown in the US is genetically modified and/or sprayed with harmful chemicals. The shelf life comes from the fact that TVP is highly processed.

      I haven’t been able to find unbiased articles about TVP, but I encourage anyone interested to read both sides, then decide what’s right for you, your conscience and your family.

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