When most people learn that I do not eat animal products, their question is “what do you eat” then followed by “don’t you miss meat, I could never give it up”. Ranking number one on my list of why I am vegan is that I adore animals, and have no desire to have them suffer for something my body does not require. Next on my list would be how exciting it is to be creative with your meals. I love knowing I can enjoy any meal that anyone else enjoys with just a few tweaks. A perfect example is Sloppy Joe. In the omnivore world it is made from ground meat. In the vegan world, it can be made from tvp (texture vegetable protein), crumbled tofu, beans, store bought vegetarian “meat” crumbles, or the way I made it above, with Tempeh.
Tempeh is a fermented soy product that is a healthful meat alternative. It is formed into a block and has a slightly nutty flavor. It is very high in protein and calcium. More and more you can find it in most grocery stores. I like to buy mine at Trader Joe’s. It costs $1.69 a pack, compared to about $4.00 for the same pack at Giant.
While shopping at Target, I was gazing through the food isles, as always, I seem to always gravitate to them , even when I need nothing. You just never know what you might find on sale! Anyway, I stumbled upon some varieties of Sloppy Joe sauce. I had instant cravings. Shopping before eating lunch will do that to you. I remembered I had some tempeh at home, so I found an “all natural”, yeah right, Sloppy Joe sauce that didn’t seem too bad. I grabbed a pack of their 100% wheat rolls, and a bag of Baked Salt and Vinegar Chips. You cannot have sloppy Joe’s without chips on the side to scoop up the good stuff that falls from your sandwich!
For me it is not possible to eat Sloppy Joe’s without Adam Sadler’s Lunch Lady song to be on constant replay in my mind. ‘Sloppy Joe, Slop, Sloppy Joe…Sloppy Joe, Slop, Sloppy Joe”
When I arrived home it was a quick 15 minutes to prepare and devour this awesome lunch. Here is my recipe for Tempeh Sloppy Joe’s with Vegan Cheddar on Whole Wheat Buns.
Tempeh Sloppy Joe’s (Makes Four Sandwiches)
- 1 package Tempeh
- 1/2 red onion, minced
- 1/2 bell pepper, diced (If you like spice Joe’s, you a Jalapeno )
- 1 tbsp. coconut or olive oil
- 1 jar or can of Sloppy Joe Sauce (look for one without too much sugar)
- 4 whole wheat buns
- 1/2 block of vegan cheddar, shredded
Preheat a skillet, 1 tbsp. of coconut oil over medium heat, add onions and peppers to skillet. While the onions and peppers are softening, use a cheese grater to make tempeh into small crumbles. Once the peppers and onions are soft, add the tempeh to the skillet. Cover and stir frequently until it begins to brown. Then add the sauce, and reduce heat to low. Cook about five minutes covered. Remove lid, sprinkle on vegan cheddar, turn off heat, and cover until the cheese begins to melt. Serve on whole wheat bun with some chips on the side. Then take a half hour walk to burn some of those carbs off.
1 sandwich is 395 calories, 22 grams of protein, and 6 grams of fiber. Add 120 calories for my baked chips. I walked 162 calories off on the elliptical for a 1/2 hour after eating. I am now going to hit the elliptical for another 1/2 hour to work the rest off.