I love me some sloppy joes. It’s one of those dishes that fills my childhood memory. American comfort food was the name of the cooking game when I was growing; nothing different from most other families really. But a few things still stand out in my mind. Sloppy Joes are one of them. The others are fried bologna and onions (which I don’t think is reproducible as a vegetarian meal), hot dogs and cottage cheese, lasagna, fish sticks, tuna salad and meatloaf. Looking back, I’m shocked that my arteries work at all.
Sloppy joes were perfect kid food though. They were not only a simple dish to make, they were messy as hell; and what kid didn’t love being messy (except for Niles and Frasier).
This recipe is a nice healthy variant on the childhood favorite. Another recipe from the McDougall Quick and Easy Cookbook, the meat is replaced with black beans and oats. While a serving may not appear that big in a cup or bowl, placed on top of a whole wheat bun, you’ll be hard pressed to need more than one burger.
Black Bean Sloppy Joes
1 onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, diced
1/3 cup water
1 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
1/4 cup quick-cooking oatmeal
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1/2 Tbsp prepared mustard
1 tsp honey
1 tsp chili powder
6 whole wheat buns
Place the onion and bell pepper in a saucepan with the water. Cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables soften, about 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, mash the beans with a bean or potato masher (do not use a food processor). Add the beans and remaining ingredients, except the buns. Cook over low heat until heated through, about 5 minutes.
Serve on the buns with your choice of accompaniments, such as onions, tomatoes, lettuce, pickles, mustard & ketchup.
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