This makes a very good winter main meal. It’s both warming and filling.

Italian TVP Balls with Spinach on Rice


for the Italian TVP Balls:

  • 1 cup tvp
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable bouillon powder
  • pinch salt pinch garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup dried bread crumbs
  • 1 cup boiling water

for the Italian tomato sauce:

  • 1 can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1-2 tablespoons oil
  • pinch salt
  • pinch garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon Italian herbs
  • splash lemon juice
  • splash Tabasco (optional)

for the meal:

  • 1 package frozen chopped spinach
  • 1&1/2 cups rice
  • 1-2 tablespoons oil to fry the tvp balls
  • chopped black olives as garnish


to prepare the Italian tvp balls:

  1. Place the cup of tvp in a medium large bowl.
  2. Add the seasonings and chopped onion.
  3. Add the boiling water and put a plate or lid on top and allow the tvp to swell. (5 minutes)
  4. As the tvp becomes soft add the bread crumbs and stir well to mix. It may need a bit more hot water. Stir again, and the mixture will become a sturdy mass.
  5. When the tvp mixture is cool enough to handle, form balls.
  6. We got about 20 balls about the size of golf balls or walnuts.

to prepare the rice:

  1. Bring 3 cups of lightly salted water to boil.
  2. Add the rice and cook until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is soft. When done, place a lid on top and set aside.

to make the Italian tvp balls:

  1. Fry the Italian tvp balls in 1-2 tablespoons of oil.
  2. Heat the oil in a large frying pan.
  3. Place the formed balls in the oil and fry lightly until golden brown.

to make the tomato sauce:

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a pan.
  2. Saute the chopped onion until glassy.
  3. Add the can of crushed tomatoes.
  4. Add the Italian seasonings.
  5. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper, and Tabasco as desired.

In a small saucepan, heat the spinach.

Italian TVP Balls with Spinach on Rice

to serve:

  1. Place a generous amount of rice on a plate.
  2. Add a nice layer of tomato sauce.
  3. Top with 3 or 4 tvp balls and a few spoonfuls of the spinach here and there.
  4. Sprinkle chopped black lives as a garnish.