Sunday, February 04, 2007

Vegatarian Sloppy Joes

When I was growing up my parents were fairly strict about what I ate. While my best friend across the street ate Fruit Loops for breakfast, I was having sugar free granola. Potato chips and ice cream rarely made appearances in our house. I was a teenager before I had a glass of pop. I was 20 the first time I had Cheese Whiz. I've never had a Pop-Tart. And until last week, I'd never had a sloppy joe sandwich.

It's not like evil family members and friends were holding sloppy joes just out of my reach and taunting me; the older I got, the less appeal they held for me. Ground beef and tomato sauce on a bun? Meh. But last week I came across a recipe for a vegetarian version of a sloppy joe that I just knew I had to try. So I tweaked and adjusted and came up with a pretty damn good joe. These are sweet and a bit spicy and full of beans. There is tofu in there too, but unless you are the one making them, no one would know.

Vegetarian Sloppy Joes

recipe adapted from The Rebar Modern Food Cookbook.

Serves 4 generously.

1/2 block of firm tofu
1 tb oil
1/2 of a red or yellow onion, finely diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
1 yellow, red or orange pepper, finely diced
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp chile powder
1/4 tsp Chinese five spice powder
1 can white kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup of the bean liquid
1/2 cup water
2 tb molasses
1 tb hot sauce
1 tb apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp liquid smoke
1 tb tomato paste
3 smallish tomatos, chopped
1 tsp oregano
salt and pepper
4 whole wheat buns, toasted

About 1/2 hour before you start cooking, place the tofu on a plate. Lay another plate on top of the tofu and place some kind of weight (large food can or heavy pot or pan) on top of the plate. Let sit on the counter.

Start the sauce. Heat the oil in a medium pot. Add the onion and cook for a couple of minutes. Add the garlic, jalapeno and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes then add the cumin, chile powder, five spice powder and stir for 2 more minutes. Add the kidney beans thru oregano. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook, uncovered for 30 minutes. Make sure you stir from time to time.

While the sauce is simmering preheat the oven to 350'. Drain off all the liquid that has come out of the tofu and crumble up the tofu into small pieces. Sprinkle onto a baking sheet and bake the tofu for 15 minutes.

After the sauce has simmered for 30 minutes stir in the tofu. Taste and season with more salt, pepper and hot sauce if needed. When the tofu is heated through, spoon onto the toasted buns and serve right away.


peabody said...

My hubby would freak out...he could not have a sloppy joe without meat...but I could...looks good.

kickpleat said...

that looks pretty yummy! i wonder if liquid smoke is necessary? maybe chipotle powder would work just as well.

Pamela said...

Ohhhh Sara, mmmmm I love this recipe! My mouth is watering and I'm really hungry. One fo these would definitely hit the spot right about NOW!

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Oh, boy do those look yummy. Those babies are really packed with the protein.
This recipe looks "meaty" enough, I think it might get by some meat lovers.

Helene said...

That´s looking great, and I bet that meatlovers wouldn´t even call for meat, instead they call for more. :))

Emmy said...

Those sloppy joes look delish!!! I've never made sloppy joes with tofu, just with TVP.

Melting Wok said...

wow, haven't had sloppy joes for years now, last time was in Oklahoma Sloppy Joe's haha, anyway, I would love some baked beans with scrambled eggs and minced pork with some of that chinese 5 spiced powder, yummys ! Thanks for sharing, cheers ! :)

Sara said...

Peabody - this was so good! I can't imagine anyone not liking it. But I'm sure someone wouldn't.

Kickpleat - To be honest, I don't think I even tasted the smoke.

Pamela - glad you like it!

Tanna - I think you are right. Especially if you don't tell them it's got tofu in it. Maybe tell them it's chicken?

Helene - I think you are right!

Emmy - Thanks! I've only had TVP a couple of times in chili, but I bet it would be good in something like this.

MW - thanks for stopping by! I really love 5 spice powder and am trying to find more uses for it.

Anonymous said...

That looks delicious. I have to make some to see if its realy that good that it looks :)

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