There’s a reason they call it “comfort food”. Most of these kinds of foods have little nutritional value, but fill the belly & the heart. Sometimes… let’s say about every 28 days or so, a little comfort food is in order.
I have fond memories associated with the Sloppy Joe. As a kid, I ate the horrid kind that comes in a can. I can’t even think of what was in it now! Sloppy Joes are not the most visually appealing of foods, are they? In fact, I think the traditional mixture kind of looks like dog food… But this does not change the memories, nor the feelings they create.
In my sepia-toned version of the past, lunch ladies scooped the mixture onto nutritionally deficient fluffy hamburger buns, and we scarfed it down, staining our little fingers bright orange in the process. It tasted like some unknown spice mixture, which I was certainly not accustomed to, and so Sloppy Joe day was always a treat.
Then, I grew up, became vegetarian, and didn’t eat meat substitutes, until I discovered Quorn. I hate even mentioning it by name without them sending some my way (*waves to Quorn rep*), as it’s not particularly cheap. But the thing is, they’re the only ones who make this product, which is a type of fermented fungus. I can’t eat TVP or similiar foods because of the overwhelming soy content. Upon my discovery, I conjured up a vegetarian Sloppy Joe that I actually could eat, and even perfected it, but never thought to write anything down. Shortly thereafter, the crumbles vanished from my radar, and the recipe vanished from my memory.
From the bits and pieces I do remember, making it was absolutely hilarious, but I wanted to get it right this time. I sought advice and tried this the grownup way, playing around with it until I was happy. So, we are definitely still in beta mode here, until I remember all of my little tricks, but this was good and filling for both heart and tummy.
Sloppy Veg (Beta 2.0):
Olive Oil Spray
Something to stir with
Mrs. Dash (I ended up using a lot of this. You might not want to use as much. Just check after each little shake & stir).
Daiya Cheddar Style Shreds
Sliced Bread (I used multigrain).
Vegetarian BBQ Sauce
1. Spray pan with olive oil.
2. Set burner to medium.
3. Place diced onion in pan. (I used about a teaspoon, & that was not enough for me. I like my Sloppy Joes on the spicy side.)
4. Place about a half bag of crumbles in fry pan. (It’s about 3+ servings once you add everything else).
5. Dump about a half a jar of tomato sauce on crumbles. Stir in some Mrs. Dash.
6. Turn it up to 8 here for a little while, stirring & letting the sauce soak in, & adding another round of Mrs. Dash. Stir. A lot. (Steps 7 & beyond were me randomly improvising.)
7. After everything is mostly soaked in, place into a storage container.
8. A few hours later, take it out, toss in some multicolored peppers, some Daiya, BBQ sauce and more Mrs. Dash, stir, and microwave for about two minutes. Check at intervals. It just needs to be hot throughout.
9. Meanwhile, toast the multigrain bread, sprinkle nutritional yeast on the toast, and add some lettuce to one slice.
10. After taking the mixture out of the microwave, put it all together and enjoy!
(Mixture yields about 3 + servings)Needless to say, it was yummy! But, I’m still going to play with this some more to see what I can remember. If you have an existing veggie version that doesn’t use soy/tofu/TVP/nuts (did I forget anything?…), please feel free to share in the comments! Thanks!