vegetarian sloppy joes

I love vegetarian food, but one of the hardest things about becoming a vegetarian as an adult is that by the time I reached my 20's, my tastes were pretty much set, and it was hard to give up the foods I've loved all my life.

Then, I realized that with a little creativity, I could fake most of my omnivore favorites! If you read my blog on a regular basis, you've probably noticed that I've devised a fair amount of veggie versions of meat based dishes. ("meatballs", general tso's tofu, "cheesesteak" sandwiches, etc.)

Another one of my made over favorites is sloppy joes!

1 large onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1 can tomato puree (28 oz.)
1 T soy sauce
1 1/2 T yellow mustard
1 T sugar
2 t chili powder
1 1/2 cups TVP
1 1/4 cup water
olive oil

Saute the onion and green pepper in olive oil until it's soft and lightly browned. Add the remaining ingredients and simmer, stirring often, until the majority of the liquid is absorbed.

I usually serve this in toasted whole wheat burger buns with pickles.

The recipe makes a decent sized batch (think Manwich), how many sandwiches will depend on the size of your buns and how full you make them. Standard size buns are easier to handle than the bigger sandwich size buns.

In addition to being less expensive than sloppy joes made with ground turkey or beef, these are lower in calories and almost fat free, which frees up a calorie and fat gram deficit that might be better spent on say, french fries, ice cream, or a cocktail ;)

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