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Vegan Planet: Smoky Joes

Thursday, July 15, 2010


Smoky Joes

My current favorite version of sloppy Joes are the Smoky Joes from Vegan on the Cheap. I make them with ground seitan, although you can use what you like, including veggie burger crumbles, cooked lentils, tempeh, or even bulgur. Smoky Joes get their smokiness (and heat) from chipotle chiles in adobo. I like to make up a batch ahead of time to give the flavors a chance to get even better. Then it’s just heat and eat.

As I mentioned in a previous post, Smoky Joes helped me celebrate my “independence” from the kitchen on the 4th of July this year. Served with pasta slaw and some chips, we enjoyed a fun, no-fuss meal and finished up in time to watch the fireworks.

Smoky Joes are also a great choice to bring along if you’re invited to an omni cookout since you might not want to put your veggie burgers on a grill where meat is cooking. In case you don’t have your own copy of Vegan on the Cheap yet, here’s the recipe for Smoky Joes:

Smoky Joes
8 ounces seitan
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup minced onion
1/2 cup minced green bell pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 cup ketchup
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/4 cup water
1 or 2 chipotle chiles in adobo, finely minced
1 teaspoon brown mustard
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon Liquid Smoke
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 burger rolls
1. Shred, grind, or finely chop the seitan and set it aside.
2. In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and bell pepper, cover, and cook until softened, 7 to 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 30 seconds longer. Stir in the chopped seitan and the soy sauce and cook for 2 to 3 minutes to lightly brown.
3. Stir in the ketchup, tomato paste, water, chipotle chiles, mustard, chili powder, paprika, Liquid Smoke, salt, and pepper. Mix well, adding a little more water if the mixture is too dry. Simmer for 5 minutes to blend flavors.
4. When ready to serve, spoon the mixture onto the rolls and serve hot.

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It sounds delicious! I'm really enjoying your book. I ate your Red Bean and Corn salad this week for lunch, and I added the suggested 2 cups of rice, and it was absolutely delicious, but yet so simple to prepare. It is definitely a keeper.
I keep forgetting to tell you how much I enjoyed your interview with Laura on "the Jazzy Vegetarian". She's so awesome! I have really been loving Vegan on the Cheap! Some really great recipes!
I can honestly say I never crave meat and never cared for sloppy joes even as a child. But these just look GOOD. I think I'll wait for a cool front to move through before I attempt this one, though... Or maybe I'll make this an excuse to visit friends in Alaska.
Looks good as usual!
I will have to try the smoky Joes. They look delicious and satisfying!
Hopoe all is well. I am going to send you some pictures of when you cooked for my wedding in Virginia Beach 7 years ago. (I am still awaiting them from my wife's mother)


Quick question: What would you recommend for Deep Frying? I know that most people use Egg to hold the batter on, but in lieu of Eggs, what would be good to keep Batter on Tofu when frying?

I really like the idea of using lentils. I haven't had sloppy joe's in a long time because I don't care for the crumbles or seitan. I'm definitely going to give this a try. Thanks!
Thanks Babette. You'd probably like this week's corn and blueberry salad too!
Hi Aimee, I'm glad you enjoued the interview on Jazzy Vegetarian and that you're enjoying VOTC, too!
24-Carrots, I hope you like them -- I was never crazy about sloppy joes as a child either, but I adore these!
Hey Micah, Can’t wait to see those wedding photos! About dredging: For best results, you’ll need to place 2 or 3 shallow bowls (depending on how many layers of coating you’re using). In the first bowl, place the wet ingredient (this can be a dairy-free milk, etc.); in the next bowl goes your coating ingredients, either breadcrumbs, ground nuts, or a combination. If using a three-step coating, an additional bowl would probably contain seasoned flour.
First, dip your tofu (or other ingredient to be dredged) in the liquid, then into the crumb mixture, coating well with the crumbs. (If using the three-part method, you would first dip in liquid, then in flour, then liquid again, then into the crumbs.) Once all the pieces of tofu (or other food) are coated, arrange them on a baking sheet. You can then bake, sauté, or deep fry as desired. If the coating doesn’t stick well, you should refrigerate the coated food for 30 to 40 minutes before cooking to set the coating. Hope this helps!

Thanks for your nice comments, Blessed Mama, Jenn, and Vegetarilin!
hi Robin, Ingrid here from Australia. I am loving 'Vegan on the Cheap', and slowly working my way through the recipes. The Black Bean and Kale soup is to die for. Yumm. I will make more tomorrow.
Quick question: I want to make the Close to Mom's Sausage Patties, and the recipe calls for tapioca flour. Is this the same as arrowroot? Different from tapioca starch?
Hi Ingrid, I'm so glad that you're enjoying Vegan on the Cheap. To answer your question, tapioca flour and tapioca starch are interchangeable. (Arrowroot is not.) If you don't have tapioca flour or starch, just add a little extra vita wheat gluten to the recipe. I hope you enjoy it!
Would firm tofu work in this recipe? It sounds really good!
Hi Danie, Yes, firm tofu can work in this. Extra-firm tofu works best and be sure to drain and press all the liquid from it, then crumble it and saute it to get the right texture.
I made this tonight and was pleasantly surprised. This didn't make a lot though. Enough to feed two people. I enjoyed the chilies in adobo, it gave a nice flavor to it. I didn't bother to use seitan and used lentils instead. It's good enough to make again.
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