Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Vegetarian Sloppy Joes

Back when I was 37 weeks pregnant and planning to go back to work at my old job (8-5 with a 40 minute commute), I thought it might be smart to have a freezer stash with some dinners, so I spent a weekend cooking up a storm! When I found out I was hired for the new job, I thought all of the freezer meals seemed to be a waste of time. 

How wrong was I?! Having a stocked freezer is wonderful! In the past 2 weeks, even though I hadn't been working, I still found myself exhausted at dinner time and wanting to get pizza or takeout. Then I remembered I had my freezer stash! And I'm sure that in the weeks and months to come when I'm working all day, even though it's from home, these meals will be lifesavers! 

Now when you think of summer and freezer meals, soups, stews and casseroles just don't sound good, right? I had to really do some brainstorming with summer-friendly freezer meals because honestly, summer lasts until November in Florida. For this meal, I just roasted some okra from the farmer's market to serve along side the sloppy joes, quick and easy! 

Vegetarian Sloppy Joes
inspired by The Vegan Stoner

1 c. TVP (I use Bob's Red Mill brand, this is dehydrated soy protein found near beans in health food stores)
1 c. vegetable stock
1 tbsp. EVOO
1 yellow onion, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 15 oz. can tomato puree
2-4 tbsp. light brown sugar (taste and adjust, as necessary)
2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp. soy sauce
salt and pepper
4 English muffins, split and toasted

Bring vegetable stock to a boil, add TVP, remove from heat and cover.
Heat a skillet over medium heat. 
Add EVOO, onion, garlic and bell peppers.
Saute for 10 minutes, until softened and caramelized.
Add tomato puree, brown sugar, vinegar, soy sauce and TVP, which should have absorbed all the stock.
Season with salt and pepper, bring to a bubble and turn to low.
Simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Taste and adjust seasonings once more, serve on English muffins or cool and freeze in a freezer safe tupperware container.


MegSmith @ Cooking.In.College said...

I love lentils! This looks really good. I have a hard time thinking of meals that will be food out of the freezer too :-/ This sounds like a real winner though.

Joanne said...

Want to send me some of your freezer meals?

Congrats on the new job, love!

these look like so much fun...I haven't experiment with tvp much but it really does look like meat in these!

Emmyw said...

Congratulations on the new job!!! I've never had sloppy joes before - meat or veggie...but this looks like a brilliant way to use lentils! I'm always looking for new things to do with them! Thakns!

Tasha said...

Congrats on your new job, Ash! I had to laugh at your statement that summer lasts until November here in Florida...so true!

I haven't tried using TVP yet, but this looks like a great recipe to give it a try.

Kelly said...

I think that was so smart. Even if you are working from home your life is likely going to be a bit more complicated and involved than it was before. Besides, crazy or not it's always nice to have a stash of yummy things for when you don't feel like cooking.

I love TVP and I've been meaning to cook with it. I'll have to do that sometime soon.

Laura said...

Fantastic! I think I'm going to use lentils in this recipe since I've been craving them... my parents made sloppy lentils when I was growing up, but no one seems to have the recipe anymore!

You'll learn to love those freezer meals even more, I'm sure! I also work from home and I love being to spend my afternoons relaxing with the kids and just pull something out of the freezer instead of interrupting our time. Congrats on Violet, by the way!