Monday, January 23, 2012

Prepare Today Homemade- Vegetarian Sloppy Joes

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Being a vegetarian (only me not the family) I have to find ways to make ground beef recipes for my family.  I don't buy or use red meat (I only cook chicken for my family) so I had to find a great meat substitute to use in tacos, Sloppy Joes, lasagna, etc.  Honeyville Grains (of course) has a great line of meat substitute products, also called TVP.  I use their beef, taco flavored, sausage flavored, and bacon flavored TVP at my house.  For this Sloppy Joe recipe we love the beef TVP but my sister says it is really good with ground turkey instead of ground beef.  I usually make this on the stove top but it is also really good in a crock pot, so I decided to try in in my Saratoga Jacks Thermal Cooker!!

Vegetarian Sloppy Joe's with homemade hamburger buns!!
 This meal is so simple and all of my children will actually eat it!!   You could also add a variety of different veggies in the meat mixture.  I usually serve our Joes with cut up fresh veggies so I don't add them to the meat, but feel free to play with the recipe and find what works for you!

The TVP is rehydrating on the left in the measuring cup.
 Sloppy Joes
1 T oil
1 1/2 lbs TVP meat, ground turkey, or ground beef (I use 1 1/2 C beef TVP and about 2 C hot water to rehydrate, then drain off the water before adding to the recipe)
1/4 C brown sugar
2-2 1/2 T McCormick Steak Seasoning
1 onion chopped
1 T red wine vinegar
1 T Worcestershire sauce
2 C tomato sauce (I use 2 small cans)
2 T tomato paste (I use the small cans and freeze the extra amount for the next use)

Stove Top Method:  
Heat a large skillet with the oil and add the meat.  (If using TVP rehydrate it in hot water before adding to the skillet, and you don't need to cook it like ground beef, just heat through quickly before adding the remainder of  ingredients)  Once meat is cooked add the brown sugar and steak seasoning and stir well to incorporate.  Add the chopped onion and cook about 5 minutes or until onion is soft.  Reduce heat to medium and add the vinegar and reduce briefly.  Then add the Worcestershire sauce, tomato sauce, and paste.  Stir to combine, reduce to simmer and cook about 5 minutes.  

Slow Cooker or Thermal Cooker Method:
I add all the ingredients (TVP has been reconstituted first) into the slow cooker and cook on low for several hours.  (I made this for a Jr. High teacher dinner for a few of the vegetarians and it was scraped clean!!)
In the thermal cooker I heated the TVP, added the rest of the ingredients and brought the mixture to a boil for 4 minutes before placing in the cooker.  It was still steaming and ready to go 5 hours after I closed the lid! 
I heated the TVP after rehydrating and added all the ingredients and put in the thermal cooker.
 To serve I make my own hamburger buns.  I found a great recipe that uses bean flour and beans to increase the protein in the bread.  Don't let the idea of beans sway you from trying the recipe because the buns come out so fluffy and soft!!  Click HERE to see that recipe.  The recipe makes 24 buns so I freeze most of them for another dinner or lunch. 

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