My sister recently returned from a year in Marshall Islands working with World Teach. Before that she lived in Alaska for several yearss. With all this traveling, she hasn’t been in the area much, so it goes without saying that our mother was quite ecstatic about her arrival. But she’s not in town long. In a matter of days she’s off to Chicago to prepare for graduate school. Because of this and Father’s day, I decided to spend the weekend in Richmond seeing family and catching up.

Vegetarian Sloppy Joes with Tempeh

I’ve been trying to spend more time experimenting with different varieties of vegetarian dinners; those outside my traditional niche of soup, salads and roasted vegetables. I’ve never done much with the faux meats (tofu, tempeh, seitan), but hey, gotta broaden those horizons. I wanted to start with something that reminded me of what I use to eat when as a kid (this is Edwin’s family post).

When I was growing up, there were certain meals we’d always have. Mondays were spaghetti night, Fridays were pizza night (and TGIF!) and not every week, but pretty often there’d be sloppy joes night. I loved sloppy joes night. We never had it with hamburger buns. We always ate it with regular sandwich bread and french fries on the side. So. Good.

Vegetarian Sloppy Joes with Tempeh

So here’s my attempt at replicating that old classic with tempeh and NO can of manwich. Will it fool anyone into thinking it’s the real deal? No. Is it good? Definitely.

Vegetarian Sloppy Joes with Tempeh

1 onion; chopped
3 cloves of garlic; minced
1 red bell pepper; diced
1 celery stalk; diced

1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 can tomato sauce
1 can tomato paste
1 can diced tomatoes
8 ounces tempeh

Sweat the onions, garlic, red bell pepper and celery under medium low heat in a large pan for 15 minutes; stirring occasionally. Add the herbs, sugar and spices along with the three cans of tomato. Raise the temperature to medium and stir for a few minutes. Add the tempeh and continue to cook until everything is heated through. Serve and enjoy.

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