This post has been written by guest blogger Niamh from Cooking Veggie. She designed this Meatless Sloppy Joe recipe for me to make and feature as part of my Meatless Monday and my 23 Before 24 goals!
There were a few different options when it came to how to approach this recipe. Sloppy joes are essentially just 90% beef along with some green pepper, ketchup and seasonings. So the beef substitution had to be outstanding. I don’t like cooking tofu for meat eaters too much, as a lot of people find it quite scary. Also, to get tofu tasting delicious is can require a lot of effort; marinating, frying and simmering. I wanted this recipe to be accessible for everyone. Beans would have made things far too sloppy, so I went with lentils.
There is one ingredient that I would say above all else, cannot be omitted. It’s the secret ingredient I use in all my recipes that are trying to mimic meat and its the smoked chipotle pepper tabasco sauce.This stuff is amazing! Don’t be surprised if you end up using the half of the bottle while making these sloppy Joe’s. The key is to put a decent tablespoon of the bottle into the sloppy joe mixture while its cooking. Then, while everyone’s dishing up their Joe’s, have the bottle there for an extra lashing on top of the cheese. The cheese is optional but… come on. If you did want to go without the cheese though this would be completely vegan.
Also optional, but not really optional because it tastes SO GOOD is buttering on toasting your buns. Butter them and then throw them on a hot frying pan for a few minutes to get nice and toasty
This recipe is also great because it absolutely PACKED with veggies. The eggplant adds a richness to the sauce, where as the celery gives such a nice sweetness that I didn’t include the brown sugar that usually goes in to joes. Eggplant tends to soak up a lot of oil when you fry/bake it, so to keep this recipe healthy I steamed it instead. You don’t need any fancy equipment to do this. I just put a colander over a pot of boiling water with a lid on it and it worked perfectly!
Recipe after the jump!