Vegetarian Sloppy Joes

This is the test batch with the green pepper and onion chunks. For today’s grad party, Rowan insists we leave those out.

This batch of Sloppy Joe was tasty enough that I wound up eating four servings.

Which is pathetic yet puzzling, because Sloppy Joe is one of those childhood foods I remember in a completely neutral way, neither dreading it nor ever, to my knowledge, experiencing an actual craving.

I made a test batch earlier in the week for Rowan’s graduation party today for the same reason most people make Sloppy Joe: It’s an inexpensive way to feed a whole bunch of people.


This vegetarian version is way cheaper than the meaty kind, of course, because it uses textured vegetable protein, around 45 cents a pound* when rehydrated and able to hang out in the pantry for probably a century until it’s needed again. (With 2.5 vegetarians in the house, we actually go through this stuff pretty quickly, however.)

So is it good? Or have I just crossed so many things off my diet — so many shapeless, hard-to-quantify comfort foods in particular — that sheer warm gooeyness was the underlying reason I could‘t seem to stop eating this?

Rowan, who‘s simultaneously more objective and opinionated about most food than I am — and has somehow made it to age 18 without eating much Sloppy Joe of any kind — reports that “It’s good, as long as you take out the green pepper and onion chunks.“

So, here’s the recipe, pretty much as is from The New Farm Vegetarian Cookbook by way of, minus the onion and green pepper. (Also I substituted cheap spaghetti sauce for the plain tomato sauce, which didn’t appear to be a detriment.)

Vegan Sloppy Joes

*For everything you want to know about TVP, including this cost analysis, click here.

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5 Responses to Vegetarian Sloppy Joes

  1. sammi cole says:

    Where do you Buy this? It looks like something I would like to try. Pretty sure the husband won’t like it though, more for me.

  2. tischcaylor says:

    Oh Jeez, is this Sammi from Weight Watchers? Guess I didn’t know your last name and so I didn’t make the connection. Three Rivers Food Co-op in Fort Wayne, on Sherman Blvd. between St. Joe Hospital and the zoo. It’s in the bulk food section (directly after the produce) and they have two kinds, the big chunks and the tiny pieces. We don’t like the big chunk kind, seems too much like dog food, whereas the small bits mix easily into chili, etc. You basically need to pour an equal amount of boiling water on however much TVP you’re using. And it has no real flavor, so you’ve got to add something to account for that.

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