I’m not a fan of fake meat products. As a protein substitute, I’d rather use tofu than “Chik’n” and textured vegetable protein over “Vegan Ground Beef.” I stopped eating meat because of all the shit they put in it (literally, the number one ingredient of most factory-farmed cattle feed is factory-farmed chicken shit. Bon appetit!). So, to me it doesn’t make much sense to replace it with something even more artificial and potentially equally chemical-packed.
So try this one on for size – put down the cans of Manwich, and give this veggie-packed alternative with a classic comfort-food taste a try. These sandwiches are an awesome main dish with some cold potato salad on the side.
Vegan Sloppy Joes:
- Large saute pan with lid, couple of different-sized bowls (small-med) to help stay organized, wooden spoon, liquid measuring cup, measuring spoons, knife, cutting board, stove-top
- 2 Tbsp coconut oil (evoo works if coconut oil isn’t in the budget this week)
- 1 green bell pepper, diced
- 2 stalks celery with leaves, halved and diced
- 2 yellow onions, diced
- 1/2 lb crimini mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 2 very large (or 3 medium) tomatoes, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 tsp chili powder
- Fine sea salt and ground black pepper
- 2 cups veggie stock
- 1/4 cup Bragg’s Liquid Aminos (or tamari/soysauce)
- 1/4 cup ketchup
- 1-3 Tbsp vegan sweetener to taste (like agave syrup)
- 1 1/2 cups textured vegetable protein
- Vegan hamburger buns or toast
- Heat the cubed tomatoes in the skillet over medium heat. Once they start getting hot, add the garlic, give it a good stir, cover and let simmer 5-10 mins or until the tomatoes start to lose their shape. Mash any of the leftover larger cubes with the wooden spoon. Remove the tomato sauce from the heat. Set aside in a small bowl.
- Heat the coconut oil in the saute pan over medium high heat. Once the oil is liquefied and hot, add the bell pepper and celery to the pan, and cook 2-3 mins. Add in the onions and let cook another 5 mins, stirring occasionally. Add the mushrooms, and let cook another minute, or until all the veggies are start to soften.
- Once the veggies are softened, stir in the chili powder, 1/2 tsp sea salt, 1/4 tsp ground black pepper, and let the veggies cook in the spices for about 2 mins.
- Add the tomato sauce, Bragg’s, ketchup, veggie stock, and 1 Tbsp of the agave syrup and stir until well incorporated. Stir in the textured vegetable protein, and let come back up to a simmer. Reduce the heat to med-low and let the sauce simmer for 15-20, stirring occasionally. Taste-test and add more sweetener, salt, and pepper as desired. I grew up on sweet Southern-style sloppy Joe’s, so the sweetener is a necessity for me to get that home-style comfort feel.
- Toast you buns/bread, and serve open-faced, covered in a generous mound of the veggies.