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.
- 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
- 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