Textured vegetable protein, also known as textured soy protein, is a meat substitute made from defatted soy flour, a by-product of making soybean oil. It is quick to cook, high in protein, and low in fat.
Textured vegetable protein comes as small dry chunks or flakes when bought in bulk. It has little flavor of its own and needs to be rehydrated and flavored (both can be accomplished in the same step), then added to cooking.
Textured vegetable protein is a versatile substance, different forms allowing it to take on the texture of whatever meat it is substituting for. Using textured vegetable protein, one can make vegetarian or vegan versions of popular dishes like chili, sloppy joes, tacos, burgers, et cetera.
Textured vegetable protein can be found in natural food stores and large supermarkets, usually in the bulk section.