BBQ Sloppy Joe’s (V + GF)


BBQ Sloppy Joe’s was the first dish I ever publicly shared a recipe for.

This is a rendition of that recipe updated to fit the times: simpler, quicker, cheapertastier, not to mention perfect for family dinner or meal prep (lots of leftovers).

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I first fell in love with vegan sloppy joe’s after sinking my teeth into an open-faced, spicy bbq, portobello mushroom sandwich, that I ordered from a microbrewery in Denver, Colorado. Wow, you guys, just wow. That sandwich made me rethink the greasy, seasoned from a pre-mixed packet of “spices,” served on top of wonder-bread lookin’ BS that I grew up with.

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dem sum gorgeous taters

As a testament to how versatile this dish is, my Dad – who hasn’t allowed a mushroom to enter a 1 foot radius of his mouth in 30 plus years – took a bite of these joe’s (at his own will, I might add) right from the pot.

The result:

“It’s really tasty.”

I KNOW, not the most enthusiastic response, but coming from a guy who doesn’t tend to try food outside of his comfort zone, none the less mushrooms, that response made me feel like an animated, Japanese schoolgirl. Anyone with a Dad who eats the same shit day in and day out can relate to my struggle.

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May we forgive the lunch lady for unknowingly tormenting us with the weak ass sloppy joe’s of yesteryear, and may we allow the blessings of sweet, savory, & soulful joe’s enter our heart.

Ah-men.

Vegan BBQ Sloppy Joe's

  • Servings: 4 to 5 people
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Print

Sloppy Joe's that won't make you cringe.

Ingredients

Filling:

  • 3 medium portobello mushroom caps (roughly 1/2 lb)
  • 12 oz tempeh
  • Half a yellow onion, diced
  • 1 ear of sweet corn, shucked (kernels removed)
  • 3 tbs bbq spice mix
  • 2 tbs grapeseed oil or vegan butter
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth

Sauce:

  • 2 cans of crushed tomatoes (around 31 oz in total)
  • 1/2 c maple syrup or brown sugar
  • 6 tbs vinegar
  • 1/4 c tamari sauce
  • 1/4 c liquid smoke
  • 1 tbs chili garlic sauce (Sriracha)
  • 1/4 tsp liquid stevia*
  • 3 tbs cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp mustard powder (or dijon mustard)

Roasted Potato Side (optional):

  • 5 medium russet potatoes, thinly sliced (1/4 inch thick)
  • 2 1/2 tbs bbq spice mix
  • 2 tbs grapeseed oil

For Serving:

  • Buttered Toast
  • Shredded lettuce
  • Nutritional yeast

Directions

  1. For potatoes, pre-heat oven to 400 F.
  2. Toss potato slices with oil and seasoning (I used homemade bbq mix, however, salt, pepper, chili lime, and/or paprika would be delicious too).
  3. Spread ‘taters out on lightly greased baking sheet and place in oven. Flip/stir after 15 minutes and bake another 15 minutes or until tender.
  4. For sloppy joe’s, crumble up tempeh & cut mushroom caps into large chunks. Set aside.
  5. To make sauce, combine all ingredients in blender and blitz until ingredients are throughly incorporated. Set aside.
  6. Pre-heat large skillet or saucier over medium-high heat.
  7. Add in oil or butter to pan, followed by tempeh, mushrooms, onion, corn, and bbq spice mix. Cook for 5 minutes or until ingredients are lightly browned.
  8. Add in vegetable broth and stir vigorously for 10 seconds. Stir in most of the sauce, reserving a cup, and turn heat to medium-low.
  9. Simmer for 15 minutes or until sauce is thickened to your liking.
  10. Serve atop buttered toast and shredded lettuce, topped with nutritional yeast, alongside roasted barbecue potato slices.

*No stevia? No problem! Just add an additional 1/4 cup of brown sugar or maple syrup, or simply leave it out for a less sweet dish. Wah-la! (I know, I’m corny)

Behind the scenes:

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The trickery is real *shame shame*

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