Vegetarian/Vegan Sloppy Joes with Caramelized Onion

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One of my favorite scenes from any movie when I was a kid was the “sloppy joe” scene in It Takes Two with Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen. That scene made sloppy joe’s look like the best, most fun food in the world. If you don’t believe me, check out the clip here! (Looks fun and messy, right?!)

When I became vegetarian at the age of 14, I started playing with variations of the recipe. I remember my mom making a sloppy joe dish with crumbled tofu, which was delicious, but the texture wasn’t just how I wanted it. These MorningStar crumbles work perfectly. It has a similar texture, and I make this dish for meat-eaters, who, unless they’re lying to make me feel better :-), say they can’t tell the difference! I like mine with caramelized onions; although the sauce is already sweet, I love the oniony sweetness paired with the “meat.” I hope you enjoy as well!

Yield: 4 Sloppy Joes

-4 hamburger buns or sandwich thins (your preference)

-1 package MorningStar Farms Grillers Crumbles

-1, 24 oz can of Hunt’s Manwich Sloppy Joe Sauce (or equivalent)

-1 tablespoon BBQ sauce

-1/2 tablespoon fennel seeds (optional)

-2 teaspoons smoked paprika

-1 large yellow onion, sliced into thin ringlets

-1 small purple onion, diced

-2 tablespoons olive oil

In a pan on medium/low heat, add the olive oil and the onion ringlets. Try to break up the onion segments so that they can cook individually. Cook on medium low heat, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes until the onions are golden brown.

While you are caramelizing the onions, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large pan. Add the diced onion and cook for about 5 minutes, or until translucent. Add the crumbles (they can be frozen still, that’s okay) and break them up with a spoon if they are stuck together. Add a tablespoon or so of water if you need to. Cook for about 5 minutes until cooked through, and then add the sloppy joe sauce & the barbecue sauce. Stir all together and add the fennel seeds and paprika (if you choose).

To serve, just top the sloppy joe with the caramelized onions & enjoy! I love serving this dish with a green vegetable to add some texture variation–roasted broccoli is typically what I choose.

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