Here I am, as carefree as a summer beach bunny, and now it seems that fall is creeping up so quickly. And that means, Back to School is in the air. And that leaves me inspired to give a few ideas for all the busy veggie families out there. So here’s one of my fave comfort food back to school dinners: Sloppy Joes and Cole Slaw.
Veggie Joes. My “sloppy joes” are 100% vegan. And packed with healthy garden veggies, spices, tomato flavor and satisfying TVP as the base. Oh, and I call mine Sloppy Nellys based on the sloppiest eater in our household, our kitty Nelly. You can fondly name your Sloppy Joes after the messiest eater in your family. Get my recipes!..
Back to School Vegan Eats. I’m at a stage in my life where “Back to School” doesn’t really mean a whole lot to me personally. I don’t have kids to shuttle off to class, and my college days are over. But I do get a warm fuzzy (yes, warm and fuzzy) feeling in the fall – from my memories of back to school. To me, there was always something thrilling, exciting and hopeful about starting off a fresh, shiny new school year.
..And as a kid, shopping with my mom and curating my own brown bag school lunch was one of my fave parts about back to school. I’d stuff my bag to the brim with sandwich creations and my favorite must-have school snacks. Garfield Fruit Snacks anyone? Ah, memories.
Video update. Gena and I were so pleased with the feedback from our first duo video post (over 3100 views on YouTube!) that we are teaming up to do another. The theme? Back to School! I hope it can inspire some easy, yummy, vegan (and raw vegan) dishes for the school season.
And FYI, B2S inspiration is really for everyone. “Back 2 School” can also mean “Back 2 Work.” Fall is the perfect time for anyone to start new healthy habits.
TVP. I recently did a post on Family Kitchen about TVP. Textured vegetable Protein. I recently rediscovered this ingredient and have totally fallen for it. You can read more about TVP here.
These Vegan Sloppy Joes, aka Sloppy Nellys are pretty fabulous. I couldn’t believe the amount of robust flavor in each bite. These Joes are not just for kids! And talk about easy. Simply make a big stove top skillet of this mix and stuff it right into warm burger buns. Add a scoop of my Creamy Vegan Cole Slaw and voila! Perfect B2S dinner..
Garden Veggie Sloppy Joes, aka Sloppy Nellys
vegan, makes 6-8 burgers
vegan burger buns, warmed in oven
1 1/2 cups TVP
1 Tbsp tamari or soy sauce
2 Tbsp maple or agave syrup
14 ounce can of fire roasted tomatoes, crushed
14 ounces water
6 ounces tomato paste
3/4 cup onion, diced
1 1/4 cups green bell pepper, diced
3/4 cup mushrooms, chopped
1/2 jalapeno, diced (use seeds for spicier flavor)
2 Tbsp vegan buttery spread
1 Tbsp safflower oil (or olive oil)
1 tsp chili powder
2 Tbsp dried parsley flakes
1 tsp garlic granules
1 tsp liquid smoke (optional – adds smokiness)
3 Tbsp Nutritional Yeast (optional – adds savory flavor)
salt/pepper to taste (I like a heavy hand of fine pepper)
TVP Substitution: If you are not a TVP fan, you can easily sub with cooked lentils or even fork-mashed chickpeas. Note that you may need to use a bit less water since lentils/beans will be cooked + hydrated.
1. Turn oven to low and warm buns while you start on your skillet of mix.
2. Add the vegan butter and oil to a med-high x-large nonstick skillet.
3. Add onions, bell pepper, mushrooms to pan. Saute for about 5 minutes – or until onions turn translucent.
4. Add in the tomato paste, water and TVP. Stir until TVP absorbs liquid and thins paste. Now you can add in the remaining ingredients.
5. Turn heat to medium and saute for about 5 minutes until the ingredients become flavorful and the mixture thickens well. Add nutritional yeast and liquid smoke as desired. Salt and pepper to taste.
6. Fill buns with sloppy mix – I also like to put a slather of vegenaise on the buns – and maybe a few leaves of fresh spinach or romaine for extra green flavor. Serve hot!