Remember Manwich?  Maybe you don’t.  It gives me nightmares.  I hate the stuff.  Hate is such a strong word.  Detest.  That sounds even more not nice.  I remember those saucy messy buns from childhood and I get the shivers.  Sorry mom.  Those things were gross.

My husband loves sloppy Joes.  L-O-V-E-S them.  Maybe L-O-V-E-S is too strong a word.

Of course, that vegetarian thing we do has made it difficult for him to satisfy this craving. Once we tried to use processed veggie crumbles in place of the meat and while the results were fine – texture was okay and the flavor good – between the sodium in the manwich sauce and the sodium in the veggie crumbles my fingers didn’t de-puff for a week.  Whether my husband agreed with me or not, I decided they were not worth hypertension.  Not a very difficult decision for me to make really. If I never eat a Sloppy Joe again (vegetarian or not) my life will still be complete.

So, this was odd, and I’m not sure what got over me.  But I felt the need to give the whole Sloppy Joe thing a vegetarian spin.  I started with a Rachel Ray recipe and modified from there. Yeah, I know, Rachel Ray. What was I doing?

The nice thing about these Vegwiches is that they don’t drip down your arm.  They are just messy enough to be satisfying but not in that nasty all drippy and falling on your lap way. And they are far more colourful, which is important in my book.

{yes and there are those darn pickled onions again!}

sloppy zoe, a vegan vegwich

We soon realized that we could not by rights call this bean filled bun a “Sloppy Joe.”

Husband:  I don’t think these qualify as Sloppy “Joes.”  Joe is some meat-eating guy who doesn’t mind the sauce dripping down his arm.

Me: How about Sloppy Neds?

Husband: No, Ned is a meat-eater too. I’m sure of it.

Gav (is 5 and who knows a whole lot about rhyming words): How about Zoe?, it rhymes. Joe, Zoe.  See. Joe, Zoe. It rhymes.

Zoe:  Yep, and I’m a vegetarian too.

So, we gave this sandwich a new name, made a salad and called it dinner. And let me apologize now to all the Joes and Neds out there.  We meant no offense.

Sloppy Zoes

Enough for 6-7 over stuffed Kaiser buns.
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and finely diced
  • 1 green pepper, finely chopped
  • ½ red onions, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, very finely minced
  • 1 18 oz can black beans, rinsed
  • 1  18oz can lentils, rinsed
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons coriander
  • 1  15oz can fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce *
  • 1 heaping tablespoon of brown sugar
  • salt and pepper to taste

In a non-stick pan over medium heat, saute jalapeno, green pepper and onion in oil until soft.  About 5 minutes.  Add beans, lentils, tomato paste, canned tomatoes, cumin and coriander,  worcestershire and brown sugar.  Heat through until bubbly and simmering.  Simmer for 5 minutes.  Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper if needed.

* Worcestershire sauce is not vegan.  I’ve heard rumours of a vegan version but I’ve been unable to locate one where I shop.  I’m sure if this is important to you, you know already have some on hand or know of a good substitute. 

Serve with pickles, sliced cheese, or diced onion.

I served ours with these babies…

And this salad from Oh She Glows.