Vegan “Chicken” Salad

The deli at Mother Earth’s Storehouse prepares a couple of different “unchicken” salad recipes. I have to admit that I “stole” their idea and decided to create a recipe of my own since I liked it so much! TVP (textured vegetable protein) is an inexpensive plant-based protein. The taste is pretty neutral and takes on the flavors of whatever seasonings you add. I have a couple of different versions of this recipe, but this one is definitely the tastiest. I hope you agree!

Ingredients

1 cup dry tvp—soaked in 1-2 cups of water for at least 10 minutes,
then drained and excess water squeezed out
3 tbs. chopped red or white onion
3 tbs. chopped celery
4-5 tbs. Vegenaise
1 tsp. mustard
4 tbs. nutritional yeast
2-3 tsp. fresh lemon juice
½ tsp. dill (fresh or dried)
½ tsp. curry powder (optional)
¼ tsp. granulated garlic
¼ tsp. salt–or to taste

Put rehydrated tvp into a medium-size mixing bowl. Add remaining ingredients and stir well until thoroughly combined. Serve on bread or with a salad—or have as a snack.

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.

Health Benefits of Nutritional Yeast

  • With 18 amino acids, nutritional yeast is a complete protein. It is considered to be 55% high quality protein. In addition to that, it has 15 minerals.
  • For vegetarians and those who are on a low cholesterol diet, yeast is a great substitute for meat, dairy products or other sources of proteins that are also rich in fats.
  • It is a rich source of vitamin B complex which helps in managing stress levels, maintains a good metabolic rate, prevents cancer of the pancreas and ensures a healthy skin.
    In fact, vitamin B12 which is deficient in most vegetarian foods is also added in certain varieties of nutritional yeast. This vitamin is produced separately from bacteria and then added to yeast to increase its health benefits.
  • Nutritional yeast consists of a trace mineral – chromium, which is known as Glucose Tolerance Factor (GTF). It is beneficial for dealing with diabetes, low blood pressure and fluctuating blood sugar levels.
  • It is also rich in manganese, copper, vanadium, molybdenum and lithium.
  • Other health benefits include:
    It maintains ideal intestinal ecology.
    It improves blood production.
    It helps in maintaining optimum cholesterol levels.
    It improves liver health and function.

Nutritional Yeast in Your Diet

It’s nutty and cheese like flavor also has a role to play in popularizing this supplement. It is favored by many people as a cheese substitute. Here are some ways in which it can be included in the diet:

  • Use it as a topping for popcorn, instead of butter and salt.
  • Put in on your scrambled eggs.
  • Use it for its cheesy flavor in pizzas, pastas and casseroles.
  • Add to soup to give it a creamy taste without adding milk.
  • Use it with fried or mashed potatoes.
  • It can be used with gravies and sauces.
  • Mix it with vinegar and oil and use as salad dressing.
  • Mix 1 tablespoon with every 2 cups of vegetable mixture for burgers.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of nutritional yeast to each cup of flour while making baked foods.
  • What is best about this yeast is that it is a tasty way of staying healthy. Just sprinkle a few flakes in your soup or in your breakfast cereal, and get a tasty meal fortified with proteins, vitamins and minerals.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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