Saturday, September 25, 2010

Sloppy Sandwich Night

As a child, I recall Sloppy Joe lunches as one of the dreaded days in the school cafeteria: The orange and brown sandwich filling scooped onto a bun was always a bit too mysterious. Add a side of canned corn and fruit cocktail, and you've got yourself a "well-balanced meal?"

I shudder at the memories.

I never could have dreamed that one day Sloppy Joes would rank near the top of my "Favorite Sandwich List" as an adult. Well, "Barbeque Tempeh Sloppy Joes" to be exact. (And yes, I do have a Favorite Sandwich List. Hey--we all have our priorities in life.).

This sandwich makes me weak in the knees it's so good.

I mean it, friends. You may never go back to eating meat again after you try this baby. The from-scratch sweet n' tangy barbeque sauce is bursting with flavor (yes, bursting!). Add sauteed onions and green pepper, and a sprinkling of blue cheese and voila! A hearty bite of heaven on earth. (If you're a true cheese-head like my husband, you could also add a slice of Colby-Jack or Swiss cheese to your sandwich.).

If you've never tried tempeh, this is a great dish to give it a first try. It's loaded with protein and makes an awesome vege-head sandwich filler when your veggies and beans just aren't enough.

So, may my Saturday night dinner inspire your dinner tonight. Everyone needs a Sloppy Sandwich Night in their life.

What's your favorite "ultimate" sandwich?

Barbeque Tempeh Sloppy Joes
(Adapted from a recipe found in Robin Robertson's The Vegetarian Meat and Potatoes Cookbook)

This sandwich fulfills my craving for a hearty fork and knife sandwich. If you're interested in cooking vegetarian cuisine for a heavy meat-eater, Robertson's cookbook is a fantastic starting point--all of her recipes are stick-to-your-ribs good.


Barbeque Tempeh:
  • 8 oz. of tempeh, cut into 1/4 inch wide strips
  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 - 1/2 teaspoons fresh ginger, minced
  • 2 cans of drained crushed tomatoes ( 14.5 oz. each)
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 2 TBSP dijon mustard
  • 3 TBSP soy sauce
  • 1 TBSP rice vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp. ground red pepper
Onion n' Pepper
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 1 bell pepper, sliced
  • a little olive oil
Sandwich Fixins'
  • Bread or bun of choice (we just used our standard bread)
  • Blue cheese crumbles
  • Optional: sweet pickle slices (bread n' butter pickles)

1) Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add tempeh slices, allowing to brown on one side (approximately 3 minutes). Flip, and brown tempeh on the other side. Remove tempeh from the skillet and chop into smaller pieces. Set aside.

2) In a pot, heat a little olive oil over medium heat. Add diced onion and saute until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and ginger, and saute for another 2 minutes. Add remaining ingredients for the barbeque tempeh (through ground red pepper). Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, allowing to thicken. Stir occasionally. Add tempeh and allow sauce to cook another 5 minutes, until heated through. Your filling is done!

3) Heat a little olive oil in a skillet over medium heat, and add sliced onion and bell pepper. Saute until lightly browned, about


  1. This looks so good! It looks like the perfect fall meal.

    - Stephanie

  2. I've actually had tempeh a couple of times before and haven't liked the texture too much - but I love your spin on Sloppy Joes!

  3. I've never had tempeh before. I always want to try it out whenever I see it at Trader Joe's but I'm a bit intimidated. Maybe I'll get it next time and try out this recipe!

  4. Homemade sloppy joes are the best! But you're right- school ones were so gross! i love paninis!

  5. These sandwiches look delicious! I love all the great additions that set them apart from that gross cafeteria recipe.

  6. Gosh, I was sooo craving barbecue sauce a couple weeks ago. This would be perfect - it sounds amazing! I don't think I've tried tempeh, but have definitely never cooked with it. This recipe is likely to be my first experience! :)

  7. That is the best looking sloppy joe I've ever seen!! I haven't even considered making them in years, but this recipe might change my mind... :)

  8. i've never tried cooking tempeh this way before. it looks so good. thank you for sharing.

  9. Ow ow, those look delicious! And I love the cheese addition... such a unique twist.

    I have so many favorite sandwiches, it's hard to pick just one!

  10. i've been meaning to make this last week! i hope i have a chance to make it this week! i really want to eat something sloppy!!