Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Tempeh Sloppy Joes

Normally, I'm not a fan of meat-imitation dishes.  I think... if you're going to eat Vegetarian, just eat Vegetarian foods;  Forget about dressing it up like a turkey!  (Sorry, Tofurkey- you do make a nice, nostalgic Thanksgiving meal :)  However, this recipe is DIFFERENT.  It stands out on its own as not just an 'imitation' dish, but a great meal with a unique flavor of its own.  In fact, I would venture to say that this is eons upon eons better than the 'original' sloppy joes.

This recipe is from a gorgeous Vegan recipe book I picked up at our local bookshop recently:

1 package (8 oz.) Tempeh, cubed
1 T. olive oil or water (or Palm or Coconut)
1 onion, finely chopped
1 bell pepper (red, yellow, or orange), finely chopped
1 can (15 ounces) tomato sauce
1 T. chili powder (or to taste)
1/2 tsp. sea or Himalayan salt
1/4 tsp. ground pepper
2 T. vegetarian Worcestershire sauce- I left this out and they still turned out great
1 tsp. hot sauce (optional)
4 buns, toasted- I used gluten free millet-flax buns from www.Samisbakery.com

Directions: Steam tempeh for 10 minutes in a steamer basket placed in a pot filled with 2 to 3 inches water.  Once your kitchen fills with tempeh's nutty aroma, the tempeh is done.  (It really takes only 10 minutes.)  Transfer to a bown, and crumble with your hands (if it's not too hot) or mash with a fork or potato masher.

In a large-size saucepan over medium heat, heat oil and saute onion until translucent.  Add bell pepper and tempeh, and saute for a few minutes more, stirring constantly to prevent sticking.  Add tomato sauce, chili powder, salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce, and hot sauce (if using).  Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 10 minutes or longer.  Serve on toasted buns with something light like a salad with plenty of sprouts!  It's pictured above with a mixed greens, grated beet, raw mushroom, sprout, and balsamic-vinaigrette dressing.  A real, raw & cultured pickle served on the side aids digestion and adds a nice flavor contrast. 

Yield:  4 servings

According to the World's Healthiest Foods Website... 

"Tempeh has been a staple in Indonesia for over 2000 years. It is a highly nutritious fermented food traditionally made from soybeans and its high protein content makes it a wonderful substitute for meat. It is typically made by cooking and dehulling soybeans, inoculating them with a culturing agent (like Rhizopus oligosporus), and then incubating the innoculated product overnight until it forms a solid cake.

A food made from fermented soybeans, tempeh provides not only the protein found in soybeans but their many other health benefits as well. The soybean is the most widely grown and utilized legume in the world, with the U.S. being responsible for more than 50% of the world's production of this important food. Soy is one the most widely researched, health-promoting foods around. Soy's key benefits are related to its excellent protein content, its high levels of essential fatty acids, numerous vitamins and minerals, its isoflavones, and its fiber."  For more,visit this link:



  1. Hey I tweeted this recipe, also Subhash the yoga teacher had a yummy granola bar recipe at his blog: http://yogawithsubhash.com/2011/02/24/healthy-granola-bars-recipe/. And yeah who would have veggie worchester sauce in their cupboard-wonder I think I could come up with a substitute if I thought on it.

  2. As I have no idea what sloppy joe is, this is a new recipe for me. Looks very interesting and inviting. Also, I have never used tempeh before so I need to find out where to get it around here.

  3. Most every health food store carries Tempeh... and it will be in the same section as Tofu and Miso.