The key to good, healthy eating at home is variety. Lots and lots of variety, because when you get right down to it, a fully stocked spice cabinet can mean the difference between takeout four times a week or eating what you want. At home. With ingredients you can identify.
And so we happen upon my second attempt at making a delicious vegan sloppy Joe. The first one, with beans & lentils, came out all right but I wanted to experiment with something a little heartier. And spicier. And I wanted to use my latest obsession: soya pieces.
I’ve talked a time or two about these dried soya pieces. They come in several sizes from big extra large chunks all the way down to tiny granules so you can whip up tons of dishes with them. So I was inspired to dust off my old recipe and dress it up a bit.
For the buns, I went with buttery (vegan buttery) brioche buns with sesame seeds on top, toasted of course. Just toast for a couple minutes just before you’re ready to start plating up the food. Toasting the bread will allow it to maintain some integrity when the sauce and filling gets a little heavy.
Now for the Sloppy in the Sloppy Joe:
Diced soya pieces
Bell pepper (red & green)
Worcestershire sauce (without anchovies)
Vine tomatoes (2, ripe to overripe)
I have a few special ingredients I use to get this sauce spicy & thick. Gochugang, which is spicy Korean chili paste, a dash of Crystal hot sauce and diced jalapeno peppers. If you’re not into spice, leave it out.
Cook this dish in layers because it will enhance the flavor profile and it will matter, I promise. I started with the soya to dry it out a little and get it crisp around the edges before adding the vegetables.
Add garlic and tomatoes (after a dance in the food processor) later along with water and cornstarch. Simmer and let thicken and then get ready to grub.
Since we went overboard and had 2 sandwiches this night, I’m proud to say I didn’t make any side dishes. This was plenty calorific for a dinner meal and fries, though they would have been delicious, would have also been excessive with this meal.
Tell me, how do you like your vegan Sloppy Joe?