Monday, April 11, 2011

Garden Sloppy Joes

While both traditional and adventurous dishes are often featured at my dinner table there is always room for the fun, the simple and the very, very messy! My four-year-old's favorite is all of those things. "Garden" sloppy joes are among the absolute easiest of vegetarian recipes I know. They're full-proof, great for kids and undetectable by carnivores.

12 ounce package of Quorn brand ground beef substitue
One can of sloppy joe sauce Hamburger buns
Pickles, Onions, Banana Peppers or whatever else you would like on your sandwich.

Put the frozen ground beef substitue into a large, microwave safe bowl and heat on high for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a large skillet over medium heat.
Add the sloppy joe sauce to the ground beef substitue. Stir until well combined. Continue cooking over medium heat, stiring occasionally until heated through.
Searve on hamburger buns - usually I put about 1/3 to 1/2 cup on each bun.

This is always a hit at my table. Prep time is only about 8 minutes and there's usually leftovers. Time spent from the time I start this recipe until I'm done with after dinner cleanup is usually under an hour so it's great for a quick meal. This is great with oven baked french fries or chips. Also works with a small salad or fruit.

Pros: Fast, easy prep, popular with kids and groups, good to take to a pot luck. I have served this to several carnivores and all reported that if they didn't know it was a meat substitute they wouldn't have been able to tell the difference. Using the substitue does away with under or overcooked beef, greece, and a few calories.

Cons: They're called "Sloppy Joes" for a reason. They can be a mess but with the ease and speed of this family favorite a little mess is certainly worth it.

How does it rate? 4 out of 4 stars. This recipe is fast, easy and super yummy. I recommend it especially for families with younger children!

A note about ingredients:
Ground beef substitue - there are many brands to choose from - Quorn is my personal favorite. You can find these in the frozen vegetable / meat substitue section of the grocery store.
Sloppy Joe Sauce - again, several brands are available. Read the label: some use anchovies, some are completely vegetarian. I've tried them all, each is slightly different but work well in this recipe.

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