TVP- Textured Vegetable Protein. This is a product that is VERY flexible.  It has no flavor itself, but takes on the flavors of what you put it in (sort of like Tofu).  It comes dehydrated so as you rehydrate it you can season it as you like.  Since it is dry it is stored easily.  It is loaded with protein, has no fat, and most sources of it have NO SODIUM!  It comes in a few forms.  The easiest one to obtain is the “GROUND TVP” which simulates ground meat.  I have found it in bulk at a few stores in my area, a large chain store, WinCo Foods and at a number of health food stores.  It is also available online under the brand name”So-Soya Inc.”  (Check further down in the section “SOURCES & RESOURCES” in the “HOW TO OF TRIFECTA”  tab.)

If you want something that resembles the texture of chicken or meat, the choices are a little more limited.  Again, “So Soya Inc” makes a product of TVP called “Veggie Chick’N Strips” that when rehydrated and put into recipes looks and has the “mouth feel” similar to pieces of meat or chicken.  Another source of TVP



is available at Indian food stores.  You can find various packaging of TVP (sold under many brands and names) that are in the shape of small sort of round balls  or chunks (about 3/4″ diameter). Look for “soya wadi” or “soy badi” or some variation of those names. Also available in some Indian markets is “Nutrela: High Protein Soya Chunks”, another version of TVP.  These last 2 are much cheaper than So-Soya and should be available at Indian markets in your area, saving you shiping costs. You do need to be aware that some of these imported soy products seem to be of variable quality.  I have found some that are excellent, just as good as So-Soya, and there were some that I was not too pleased with.  Prices of the imported TVP are much cheaper than the So-Soya brand, (So-Soya Chick’N Strips” 5.5 oz at $3.49 ;  Soya Wadi 14 oz  for $2.99;  and the Nutrela  7 oz for $1.99) but you need to read the label to be sure there is no sodium in the product! Some of the imported TVP does have sodium in it. If you go to an Indian store and look for something that looks like the color of TVP but is “chunky” shaped (usually in a plastic bag) and has something like “soya” or “soy” in the name, that is probably it!  ASK!   Also, when buying in bulk at a health food store check the nutrition label that is posted for that product.  Note:  Ground TVP rehydrates in a matter of a minute or 2, slices need 5-8 minutes in boiling liquid, and the “chunks” take just a minute or so longer, about 10 minutes in boiling liquid.   This is a GREAT vegetarian alternative to meat! ALSO: There are many prepared TVP products available in stores (Morning Star Farms, Boca Burgers, etc) in the prepared foods sections that look and taste like ground beef or sausage (or pepperoni for TRIFECTA pizza recipes)  but these are loaded with sodium and many also have a huge amount of fat – they are for vegetarians, not for “Trifectans.”

You can check out info on TVP on the web.  A good source is the USA EMERGENCY SUPPLY website at  They can tell you lots more about this product than I can    : )


Beef Bouillon packets and Chicken Bouillon powder

BOUILLON– This is used extensively in the recipes to supplement for the lack of salt and to add a meat-type flavor. I use it in almost all recipes when I use TVP.

The brand I can most easily find is Herb-ox but I have to buy the Beef Bouillon in small boxes of only 8 packets at my local large chain store (Save-mart) in our small town – and I had to go 25 miles to a larger city to a different chain grocery store to buy the Chicken Bouillon.  Wyler’s makes a very good Sodium-free Chicken Bouillon but I have not yet found it here in California at the grocery stores where I shop.  I have found a large package of Herb-ox Chicken bouillon packets (70 to 100 packets) at a warehouse store for restaurant quantity food supplies – but I hate to rip open the packets, especially when I need 8 of them when I am making soup!   That is also the problem with the Beef Bouillon – other than online, I have not been able to find it in jars!  Just available in those darn packets!  Also buying them  in packets is a waste of packaging!  So I do look for the jars of bouillon.   I have tried to find sodium-free vegetable bouillon but have only found what they call “low sodium” vegetable bouillon – I don’t think so, not at 393 mg sodium per 1 tsp! An online source for low-sodium and no-sodium Chicken and Beef bouillon and many other sodium-reduced/sodium-free products is available through but you have to pay for shipping.  If you can’t find the products anyplace else, there is no choice but to get it where you can or do without.  By the way, I have found that the lady at SaltWatcher is VERY nice and helpful and very honest to deal with.


“KITCHEN BOUQUET” -This product has been around for as long as I can remember.  My Mother used to use it to add color and flavor to gravy and sauces.  It is made from carrots, celery, and other vegetables.

Liquid Smoke  and  Kitchen Bouquet

Liquid Smoke and Kitchen Bouquet

It has NO sodium, fat or sugar! It has a subtle flavor but a strong ability to color your foods to look like they have beef in them.  All it takes is a tsp or 1/2 tsp and you don’t want it any darker!  It can be difficult to find but I have found it easily in California and in the  South, too.  You should be able to find it if you look and ask.


LIQUID SMOKE – This little bottle goes a long way!  It is a great way to add a bit of flavor (sort of like smoked bacon) to veggies or anything else.  If you loved string beans fixed with bacon and onion, you will be pleased with the string beans fixed with onion and liquid smoke! (check out the recipes section, recipe for this is soon to come).


TO  BE CONTINUED . . . . .  (I haven’t had time to finish this section yet!)


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