05 January 2013

Vegan Sloppy Joes

Tonight Shana and I are watching the Vikes/Pack wild card postseason game. Although tonight's dinner wasn't the original plan, it was a perfect football watching dinner. What's a perfect football watching dinner? Anything you don't have to think too much about and that also tastes good with beer*. Since it's hard to order a vegan pizza around here, we had sloppy joes and onion rings (and eggplant). 

Clearly I eat mine open-faced. 
While it's possible - and tasty - to make things like sloppy joes and tacos with lentils, we generally don't do so because of the convenience of faux burger crumbles. There are many varieties available, though my favorite is Smart Ground. I think they have the most neutral taste and the texture is very realistic, based on reviews from my omnivore friends.

This sloppy joe recipe has a pretty classic flavor profile for sloppy joes, but it is incredibly simple and easy. You only need one pot, most of the ingredients are those you probably already have in your kitchen, and you can make in about 20 minutes tops.

Vegan Sloppy Joes
Ingredients
1 package vegan burger crumbles
1 very small onion, chopped finely
3/4 c. water
1 c. ketchup
2 tsp. (or one cube) veggie bouillon
2 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. mustard (regular or dijon)

Directions
1. Saute onions in a bit of oil.
2. Add all other ingredients.
3. Stir until well combined and some of the water has evaporated.
4. Serve on toasted buns (we like them open face!).

Helpful Hints
  • Make sure you use bouillon, not broth. If you use a cube, it might make sense to dissolve it a bit in the water before you add both ingredients, as it will take a longer time to dissolve in the whole mixture in pot.
  • I said this is a meal that's good with beer, but did you know that not all beers/wines are vegan? It's true! Many beers use lard as a defoaming agent and many wines and some beers use isinglass (gelatin made from fish swim bladders) for purification. 
  • I have successfully made these in the crockpot. I sauteed the onions on the stove and then put everything in the crockpot on high. I cooked it for about 2 hours and stirred one time, but you could do it on low for longer. Cooking it this way makes this an easy dish to bring to potlucks!

* Full disclosure, I had a Smirnoff Green Apple thingy. Delicious.

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