Sloppy Joe's - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 10-30-2016, 11:20 AM
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Sloppy Joe's

I am a vegetarian who eats vegan almost all of the time. I love sloppy Joe's, and always have. Recently, I've been making vegan sloppy Joe's with Beyond Meat Beefy Crumbles (a ground beef substitute) and a sloppy Joe seasoning packet, usually Mrs. Dash, since it's no-salt and the Beefy Crumbles already have sodium built into the product, plus a can of tomato paste and a tiny bit of extra salt.

Unfortunately, they're not that good. Please note that I've tried the Gardein and LiteLife ground beef substitutes, and their taste is, imo, worse than Beyond Meat Beefy crumbles.

So, I'm looking for a better recipe. Partly it's for me, since I'm a bit of a foodie, but partly it's because I want something that's good enough to share with my omni wife at a joint dinner.

Here is what I'm thinking about. Perhaps starting with the Beefy Crumbles and adding either soy sauce or liquid smoke, in addition to the seasoning packet and the tomato paste. Also, what about a bit if nutritional yeast? Thoughts? I'd also be interested in finding some type of binder to make the Beefy Crumbles stick together more, like with actual meat, because they seem to be very loose and lack the consistency (as well as flavor) of a traditional, meat-based sloppy Joe. (Also, I'm not interested in anything whole foods, like with lentils or whatever, just something that tastes close to traditional meat-based sloppy Joe's). Thoughts, anyone?

Last edited by Dilettante; 10-30-2016 at 11:25 AM.
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#2 Old 10-30-2016, 12:11 PM
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Are you frying the crumbles first? I always find that helps, liquid smoke and nutritional yeast sounds like a great idea too.

I forget what brand it was but ages ago I found this can of sloppy joe sauce that was vegan and it was really good with Yves crumbles, I noticed in the ingredients it had sugar in it just like most jarred pasta sauces do. Maybe a hint of sweetness is the key?

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#3 Old 10-30-2016, 01:12 PM
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It wasn't that long ago I made sloppy joes, with a can of sauce labeled 'sloppy joe sauce'. I think Del Russo? It was a typical sauce brand. Anyway, I made a big pot of pinto beans and just stirred some into the sauce. My son who never liked sloppy joes before really liked them. Me too.

I like Beyond Meat feisty crumbles for a mexican pizza! I've had the regular but they don't interest me. I have considered them for a lasagna.

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#4 Old 10-30-2016, 01:16 PM
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Oops, missed that last part!
I don't suppose you have a Trader joes? Their soy chorizo is wonderful! I could eat that straight on a bun! It's a great texture, comes in a plastic tube you cut it out of, and it's flaky and seasoned. I use it in chili, with rice, mixed with beans for taco salads

I don't buy crumbles, but find Gardiens burger very realistic. Wouldn't that, or another burger, be a better option? Broken up?

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#5 Old 10-30-2016, 05:40 PM
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Thanks, Werewolf Girl, for the tip of frying the grounds first. And thanks, Silva, for the tip of Trader Joe's Soy Chorizo. I'm in Trader Joe's every week.
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#6 Old 10-30-2016, 09:57 PM
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If you use a little bit of cornstarch or arrowroot it will thicken things up into a paste.

All the sloppy joe recipes I've seen have some sort of sweetener, like molasses, maple syrup or brown sugar.

Check out Isa Chandra's recipe for Snobby Joes. She does good work:
http://www.isachandra.com/2009/11/snobby-joes/

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#7 Old 10-31-2016, 08:18 AM
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Thanks, Mojo. I'm not interested in anything lentil-based, like that recipe you linked to. I like lentils in their own right (over rice as dal), but I want a more meat-like sloppy Joe. The cornstarch and arrowroot are good tips. I'll give them a try. I'm also considering xanthan gum as a potential binder.

Last edited by Dilettante; 10-31-2016 at 10:10 AM.
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#8 Old 10-31-2016, 07:23 PM
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I've never tried this myself, but what about TVP? It's so great in a tomato sauce with pasta that I can easily see it doing great things in Sloppy Joes. My mother used to do this alongside ground beef when she was trying to save money as I was growing up. She also used something similar called "Beef Not!" that was available at our local health food store. I don't know where one might get it near me, but it is available online: https://www.amazon.com/Dixie-Diners-...000221VDG?th=1

Stuff like that really needs a flavorful sauce, but it can be pretty tasty when cooked well. My mother firmly believed one needed the beef itself for nutritional reasons, but you and I know better.
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#9 Old 10-31-2016, 08:32 PM
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I've never tried this myself, but what about TVP?

I've learned the hard way that textured vegetable protein (TVP) doesn't taste as good as the pea-protein based crumbles put out by Beyond Meat. I'm pretty sure that Beyond Meat Beefy Crumbles are the best tasting vegan ground beef substitute on the market. Quorn makes a ground beef substitute that's pretty good, but it's not vegan (uses egg whites as a binder), and anyway, I actually think Beyond Meat's product, which is vegan, tastes at least as good, and possibly better, than Quorn's, which is not.

So, I tried making them today. I used the Beyond Meat Beefy Crumbles, Mrs. Dash sloppy Joe seasoning packet, tomato paste, chopped onions, canola oil, salt, and four new ingredients that I've never included in the recipe before: (1) corn starch; (2) nutritional yeast; (3) soy sauce; and (4) liquid smoke.

My conclusion is that the corn starch and nutritional yeast were nice additions. The corn starch, as someone in this thread suggested, is a nice thickener and really improved the consistency. The nutritional yeast added a nice touch of savory umami flavor. The soy sauce, though, didn't work. It's strong flavor clashed with the other flavors. I also think the liquid smoke was a bit off flavor-wise. Next time, I'm going to stay with the nooch and corn starch, but skip the soy sauce and liquid smoke.

Last edited by Dilettante; 10-31-2016 at 10:02 PM.
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#10 Old 11-01-2016, 12:43 PM
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Most of what I was going to say has already been said LOL but there is one more thing you could try - have you ever used aquafaba (bean water)? It is a great thickener and can be used in many applications like an egg (white) would, so I can see it adding a really nice viscosity and thickness to a sloppy joe mixture. I never thought I would ever have French toast again but bean water has brought one of my favourite breakfasts back into my life *sniff* ^_^

You can make it yourself but the easiest way to use it of course is just save the liquid from a can of chickpeas. It'd likely be more than enough to make a batch of sloppy joe gravy ^_^
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#11 Old 11-01-2016, 03:24 PM
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I would think starch would be pasty- I'd of thought a flour roux might be better
Wouldn't the chickpea liquid make it too wet?

Off topic--TJ's soy chorizo is the bomb for tacos! I line the shell with refried beans, add the chorizo, top with tomato and lettuce!

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#12 Old 11-01-2016, 04:07 PM
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I tried a second batch tonight. Pretty good. Here is the recipe I used.

Ingredients:
15.5 ounces (measured on a scale) Beyond Meat Beefy Crumbles
One 8 ounce can tomato paste (no salt added)
One packet Mrs. Dash Sloppy Joe Seasoning Mix
2 tablespoons canola oil
1.5 teaspoons corn starch
3 tablespoons nutritional yeast, Bragg's brand
1/2 cup chopped white onion
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon liquid smoke, mesquite flavor
1.25 cups water

Directions: Combine all ingredients in a skillet and heat until warm. Serve on a a hamburger bun.

Special note: The Mrs. Dash seasoning packet lists as an ingredient "Natural Flavor." Nothing on the internet that I've seen indicates whether or not it's vegan. It's not a huge deal to me since I don't know one way or the other and it's trace amounts regardless, but it might be to others. However, I started using Mrs. Dash since it's no-salt-added, and the Beyond Meat Beefy Crumbles are pre-salted. But based on my experimentation, it takes a full teaspoon of salt for proper taste in this recipe, so as it turns out, it should be possible to use another brand of Sloppy Joe seasoning packet, like the Simply Organics brand (which is definitely vegan), and skip the salt.
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#13 Old 11-01-2016, 04:47 PM
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Ever try Trader Joes 21 spice salute? I dont know how it compares to mrs dash, but it's also salt free. I find myself using it liberally! It's not 'spicey' like hot, just flavorful.

Oh, back to soy chorizo--try it mixed with tj's vegan creme cheese as a cracker spread!
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#14 Old 11-01-2016, 06:55 PM
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As a side note, Silva, TJ's vegan cream cheese is the only vegan cream cheese I've found that I like. I use it on bagels (also TJs, which has the best bagels), and on baked potatoes.
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