Kid-friendly, Savoury Mince


Let me preface this by saying in most circumstances I am opposed to the photography of mince. I am also opposed to all other vegan mince products purchased over the counter, and opposed to all brands of TVP except one, and opposed to anyone making mince for me to eat – unless they follow this exact recipe.

But I love mince. I spent a lot of my childhood on a farm, and savoury mince was one of our family staples. Nothing beats that luscious, hearty taste of mince on toast, and now this recipe warms our family over Winter. It’s cheap, easy and a nutritional power-house.

As a parent I’ve encouraged my son to experiment with textures and flavours and together we’ve overcome a lot of fussiness.

When I made it for him recently he yelled “I love MINCE! Thank you so much for making this for me! YOU ARE THE BEST MUM IN THE WORLD!”


We eat it:

On nachos
In quesadillas
On toast (sometimes with sauce if we’re eating sugar)
In pies
On spaghetti
In lasagna

You can freeze it but usually it doesn’t last long enough to be frozen. We put it in the fridge and go at it for a few days.



3 courgettes (zucchini)
1 capsicum (we hate capsicum, but bear with…)
1 clove of garlic
1 carrot
1 stick of celery
100g Textured Veggie Protein (TVP)
1 700g bottle of passata or 2 cans of chopped, tinned tomatoes
1/4 to 1/3rd of a cup tomato paste (according to taste)
1 drained tin of black beans
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
1/4 cup-ish soy sauce
1 tablespoon oil
Boiling water

I use Blissful Vegetarian TVP mince as I find it has the most neutral flavour. At NZD $2.30 it’s extremely cheap and you can buy it online.


Chop the courgettes, garlic and celery and add this to a deep pan. Grate the carrot and add this to the mixture. Then add the chopped capsicum but keep the pieces huge as I only enjoy the flavour, I remove the large pieces later. Add cumin and coriander. Add oil and lightly fry the veggies with the spices until a fine aroma is released.

Meanwhile, boil the kettle to prepare your TVP.

There’s a trick to this.

Your instructions will tell you to soak your TVP in boiling water before using it, but I soak mine in a very blend of soy sauce and water that gives the mince flavour. If your TVP is not salty enough it might taste bland or odd.

I move quickly when preparing my TVP.

I put 100g of TVP (half a pack) into a bowl, then I quickly pour hot water over it. When the water level is an inch or so above the TVP I quickly add a lot of soy sauce to the mixture and to ensure I’ve added enough, I taste it. It should taste like yummy, salty soup. I typically add around 1/4 cup of soy sauce to the water and stir it through quickly. The idea is that the salty water is absorbed into the TVP. But test as you go! If it’s not salty enough, add more soy sauce, if it’s too salty, more water.

This will be soft and ready to use in under 5 minutes.

Once your veggies are ready add your passata (or tinned tomatoes) and tomato paste. Stir this through and continue cooking. Then after a few minutes check on your mince, if it’s soft, drain it and add it to the mixture.

Finally add your drained tin of black beans and a little pepper.

Cook this stirring occasionally for about 15 minutes or until cooked through.

Remove the wretched capsicums.

Then enjoy it instantly because I doubt you’ll be able to wait.

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