Not-So-Meaty Sloppy Joe’s

The tastiness of a Sloppy Joe, without the unhealthiness…is it possible?  I had a hunch that it must be, and if not, we will make it possible!  I have experienced these sandwiches under a variety of names across the country such as Steamers, Wimpies, Yip Yips, Dynamites and Slushburgers, yet they all share very similar ingredients which are not very good for our bodies.

Among the list of unhealthy ingredients that can be found in this sandwich is high-fructose corn syrup, preservatives, non-organic meat and thickening agents.  It’s fairly simple to create a healthier recipe for Sloppy Joes by using some more nutritious ingredients such as organic meat if you so choose, or even elimiate the meat completely and use a substitute such as beans (lentil, kidney, black and pinto), tofu, bulgar, tempeh, brown rice, quinoa and more.  I decided to try this vegetarian recipe from Rachel Ray that uses portabella mushooms as the ‘meat’, which is delicious!

INGREDIENTS

  •  1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
  • 1 pound portabella mushroom caps, wiped clean and diced into small, bite-sized pieces
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
  • 1 small red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar, eyeball it
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 crusty rolls, split, toasted and lightly buttered
  • Sliced or chopped dill pickles, for garnish

PREPARATION

Place a large skillet over medium-high heat with 1 turn of the pan of EVOO, about 1 tablespoon. Add the mushrooms to the pan and cook until golden brown, 7-8 minutes.

Add the onion, garlic and bell pepper to the pan and season liberally with salt and pepper. Continue cooking until the veggies are tender, 5-6 minutes more. Add the tomato paste to the pan and cook 1 minute.

In a small bowl, stir together the brown sugar, vinegar, Worcestershire and tomato sauce. Add the mixture to the skillet and simmer until thickened and saucy.

Pile the Sloppy Veggie Joes onto toasted, buttered bun bottoms and top with pickles and bun tops.  ENJOY!!!

*I enjoyed avocado slices and spinach to my sandwich, as well as used a gluten free bun since I am gluten intolerant.  If you want to avoid using a bun, you can always try a lettuce wrap-style sandwich.

*Be careful of the Wostershire Sauce ingredients if you are gluten-free.  Some contain malt vinegar or soy sauce. I found Wan Ja Shan Organic Worcestershire Sauce which is gluten free.

*If you do not enjoy mushrooms, try eggplant or shredded zucchini.  I think both those options sound delicious and will try them out soon!

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Festive Fall Vegan Chocolate Pumpkin Brownies

 

I found this amazing-sounding recipe at HealthandWellnessWarrior.com and had to share with you all!  Thanks Sylvia!! ❤

 

Festive Fall Vegan Chocolate Pumpkin Brownies

Ingredients:

  *1 cup gluten-free flour (oat or millet flour are great choices)
  *1/2 cup cacao powder (I used unprocessed, raw cacao)
  *1/2 tsp sea salt
  *1/2 tsp baking soda
  *1/4 tsp of pumpkin spice (optional)
  *1 cup pureed pumpkin (or canned pumpkin)
  *1/4 cup maple syrup
  *3 tbsp raw cane sugar (coconut sugar works great too)
  *2 tbsp coconut butter, or coconut oil 
  *1/4 cup almond milk (or any other nut milk of your choice)

Directions:

  1.  Pre-heat the oven to 350 F 
  2. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl and stir very well. You may want to melt the coconut butter/oil in a separate container prior to mixing it in. 
  3. Lightly oil a baking pan and pour the mixture inside
  4. Bake for 20-25 minutes 
  5. Let cool off and cut into squares

 *It’s best to wait an hour or so before you eat these sweet little treats. The flavors really pop  out when they cool off and harden a bit! 

Pumpkins, Not Just for Carving

It’s that time of years again…falling leaves, bonfires, apple cider and PUMPKINS!

As an official symbol of the fall, pumkpins carry us from October through the end of November, varying in use and style.  However one thing never changes, and that’s the amazing health benefits of pumpkin.

Pumpkins contain the provitamin, beta-carotene, which converts to Vitamin A in the body.  Beta-carotene aids in healthy eyes, as well as preventing cornonary heart disease.  One cup of canned pumpkin has seven grams of fiber and three grams of protein— even more than the fresh stuff— and contains only 80 calories and one gram of fat. Plus, canned pumpkin is packed with vitamins and provides over 50 percent of the daily value of vitamin K, which may reduce the risk for some types of cancer.

Don’t forget about the seeds… Even more amazing health benefits are found in the seeds of the pumkpin!  These tiny powerhouses of nutrition are packed with magnesium, zinc, omega-3, phytoestrogens, healthy fats, fiber, tryptophan, protein and potassium.  Talk about a superfood!

Check back tomorrow for a delicious pumpkin brownie recipe!!