Friday, April 8, 2011
Lenten Friday: Vegetarian Sloppy Joes
For as long as I've known her, one of my co-workers -- who's a vegetarian -- has told me how much she misses Sloppy Joes. Burgers she doesn't care about; Thanksgiving turkey she has no use for. But she misses Sloppy Joes.
So I have considered the options in trying to see if I could create an edible version for her using ground beef-like substances. Dehydrated texturized vegetable protein ... bleah. Crumbled tofu ... retch. Nothing seemed even remotely edible.
That is, until the day that I found the soy chorizo at Trader Joe's. I've used it in chili, and I've sprinkled it on nachos; it's got the meaty consistency, good flavor and color ... it was the perfect choice for my attempt at Sloppy Joes.
But I wanted to stretch it out a bit, not use only the chorizo; so I combined that with a package of the Morningstar Farms vegetarian "crumbles" and then set to cooking.
I couldn't find my usual recipe for Sloppy Joes, but knew it involved chili sauce and mustard ... I kinda winged it from there, relying upon some of the flavor from the chorizo, too, and not wanting too many ingredients competing and perhaps not playing well with each other.
I cooked everything up one evening, and the house smelled amazing!!! I wanted all of those soy products to absorb as much flavor from the sauce as possible, so I packed it all up and let it sit in the refrigerator overnight.
Then I served the Sloppy Joes for dinner the next day.
And I must say -- with or without mustard, with or without pickles, with or without onions, with or without the chips and cole slaw on the side -- this was an excellent meal! A little bit barbecue-y, a hint of spice, lots of flavor. If anyone who ate them hadn't already known these were meatless, I'm pretty sure no one would have guessed from either the taste or the consistency.
So, the ultimate test: does my friend like the Sloppy Joes??? I don't know -- they've been so popular around here with Tom, Jeremy and me that I'm going to have to make another batch for her to try!
Vegetarian Sloppy Joes
12 ounces Trader Joe's soy chorizo
1 12-ounce package Morningstar Farms vegetable crumbles
1 small red onion, chopped
1 12-ounce bottle chili sauce
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
buns, for serving
Place the chorizo and the vegetable crumbles into a large skillet; cook over medium-high heat for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the onion and cook until the onion is translucent.
Combine the chili sauce, mustard, soy sauce, salt and pepper; pour over the chorizo mixture and cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes. Refrigerate overnight for the flavors to blend, then reheat and serve on toasted buns.
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