I have never had Sloppy Joes, mostly because it’s a very American thing we don’t really see much in England. That’s not to say you can’t get them, as British people do like to try out things that are popular with our overseas friends.
So I finally got around to making the chickpea version yesterday (they were meant to be made for last week). The only ingredient I had trouble sourcing was liquid smoke, which I could not find in any local store. The internet suggests using chipotle or smoked paprika as the closest alternatives, but since the recipe already uses both of those, I just skipped it.
Other changes I made were to use a whole onion and a whole red pepper instead of the half of each the recipe calls for. It seems wasteful to only use half when I know I am probably not going to use the rest before it goes funny. I could plan a meal the next day involving them, but it just seemed easier and tastier to double up.
This was a nice easy one-pan meal, under 30 minutes to make and not too many items used in prep, so only a small amount of cleaning up to do. I didn’t bother toasting the buns as no one really cared that much. I served the Sloppy Joes with the remaining tofu sour cream I made earlier in the week, and some sweet potato fries, because who doesn’t love fries?
So, what did people think?
The Not-So-Vegan Dada: (As the only family member who has had actual Sloppy Joes before.)”They were very nice, flavour was pretty good. Could have done with more spice but I know, we were sharing with the kids. Maybe dice the peppers next time instead of chunks. Very enjoyable, very filling.”
The Fussy Pre-Teen: Had to be cajoled into eating about half what was on her plate by telling her the size of her dessert portion would correspond to the percentage of the meal she consumed. She was not massively keen on it but did say she is beginning to like the ‘orange fries’ (sweet potato). I know that’s not the meal I’m reviewing but it’s a bit of an achievement since we have been trying to get her to eat it for ages. I call that a win.
The Food-Lovin’ Baba: Well, she had a very good go at it. Didn’t eat all of it but also didn’t immediately throw it all on the floor. She seemed less interested in the roll than the filling, which is fine by me. She ate the Sloppy Joes and the fries by happy little fistfuls and ended up covered in sauce.
Me: The food was really flavourful and filling. I would call this satisfying comfort food. You would honestly not twig it was vegan if you weren’t told, although you might spot it didn’t have meat. It makes me feel good that I am getting all those healthy veggies into my family. The only issue I had is that I failed to notice it said ‘serves 6 to 8’ so there were a lot of leftovers (which would have been OK if I hadn’t forgotten to put them in the fridge.)