Now, here’s where the debate begins. I’ve written about this before. You can’t just take the meat out of something, especially something like a burger, and pretend it’s still meat. You will be disappointed. You will be outraged. You will insult the cows. But if you just take the flavors of, say, a Sloppy Joe sandwich, and apply them to a vegetarian selection of good, wholesome foods with a high WFQ*, cook them properly and aren’t foolish enough to pretend they are a meat substitute, you can still have something good. Trust me. This was good.
The filling held together reasonably well on the buns (at least as well as a Sloppy Joe does, which isn’t really all that well anyway) and these sandwiches turned out to resemble real Sloppy Joes more, at least to me, than they have any right to. Harry insisted they carve out their own niche in the culinary world. He ate the stuff and liked it, so I don’t care if he refuses to compare it to Sloppy Joes. Thick stew or sandwich filling or whatever this is, how about if we consider it a meat alternative rather than a meat substitute? After all, if you know Manwich, this is no Manwich.
3 cups cooked red kidney beans (about 2 16-ounce cans) rinsed and drained, divided
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ cup finely chopped onion
½ cup grated carrot
¾ teaspoon salt, divided
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons chili powder
½ teaspoon dried oregano
¼ cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon molasses
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 cups canned unsalted crushed tomatoes
1. Place 1 ½ cups kidney beans in a small bowl and mash well with a potato masher or fork. Leave the remaining 1 ½ cups whole. Set aside.
2. In a medium-size skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté 3 minutes. Add the carrot and ¼ teaspoon salt and sauté 5 minutes. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and sauté 30 seconds more.
Makes 4-6 servings.
One year ago: Wheat Sandwich Bread
*WFQ: Whole Food Quotient