Sloppy Jo's (Josephines)

Sloppy Josephines, delicious, healthy and easy!

Today I am going to Blog as I cook and EAT! I have been cooking all day everyday for the past
(30 years) 2 weeks, with a break over the weekend for my BIL's wonderful birthday celebration in Vermont. Here are a few shots from the party, which did have plenty of great whole,plant-based food options. My family are not all 100% plant eaters but good veggies have always weighed heavy on our plates.
Happy 75th Richard! And many more!
Happy Birthday Roasting going on here

Bill and Jack provide the tunes

Brother John and sister D prepare to sing some Irish tunes
Recognize the T-shirt on Sean??

I'm testing recipes I have been writing for an upcoming publication, unfortunately not of my own :-( although I do have a cookbook in mind, maybe even TWO!

Earlier this afternoon I was testing a recipe for homemade ketchup, something yummy which avoids salt and sugar. I really never use ketchup, if I have it in my fridge, it is for "C" as she has been a ketchup lover since birth! To make the homemade version, I looked at the label on a bottle of  Annie's Organic Ketchup and just used similar ingredients, it was easy, and pretty G-O-O-D. Then, knowing I was having a HUGE craving for summertime barbecue, and for some reason, Sloppy Joes, AND also had to write & test a recipe for Barbecue sauce, I decided to try to turn the ketchup in the Vitamix into BBQ sauce. Guess what, it worked!

The recipe I had originally written was very ingredient heavy and not so much complicated but just time consuming. The resulting recipe adaptation of the ketchup was easy and delicious. I am making the Sloppy Josephines right now! Best of all, I had all of the ingredients I needed and these are sooo simple!

In the pot, simmering, but I could not wait until it reduced to eat some!

Sloppy Jo's with easy BBQ Sauce

Ketchup/BBQ Sauce
1 6oz canTomato Paste
4 - 5 Pitted Dates, depending on size
1/3 c. Vinegar
1 t. Onion Powder
1 t. Garlic Powder
1/8 t. Cloves
1/8 t. Cinnamon
1/8 t. Allspice
1 t. "Rooster" chili sauce
1 t. chili powder
1 T. Tamarind Paste (you could use molasses or even pomegranate molasses if you have no tamarind, don't go buy it just for this recipe)
1 T. Dijon Mustard
1 T. Mrs. Dash
1/8 t. smoked paprika
1 - 2 t.Tamari
1/2 c. water

Sloppy JO's
1 cup TVP (Texturized Vegetable Protein)
1 c. Veggie broth or water
1 c. Onion, finely diced 
1 c. Carrot, finely diced
1 c. Celery, finely diced
1 c. Mushrooms, finely diced
1 cup BBQ Sauce, recipe above
1/2 c. Salsa
1 t. Cumin
Adjust flavors with fresh ground pepper, more Mrs. Dash or other favorite no-sodium seasoning.

Ketchup/BBQ Sauce
  1. 1. Blend first 8 ingredients in high speed blender and thin with water until desired consistency and you have Ketchup!
  2. 2. Add next 5 ingredients and blend thoroughly, adjust flavor with added Tamari if desired and you have Barbecue Sauce!
Sloppy Jo's
  1. 1. Place Texturized Vegetable Protein (TVP) in a med. size bowl and mix with boiling stock, cover and set aside
  2. 2. In a large skillet or saucepan on med-high heat, saute chopped onions in a bit of veggie stock or water until translucent. Add carrots, celery and mushrooms. Cover reduce heat and cook until all liquid is released. Add  reconstituted TVP to pan.
  3. 3. Add cumin and stir, add BBQ sauce, and Salsa. Stir well, reduce heat to low and reduce liquid if needed.

 Allow this dish to cook at least 20 minutes to develop the flavors. I'm sure it will be even tastier tomorrow but I could not wait. I served mine on a Joseph's 100% Whole Wheat mini-pita which I keep in the freezer. These pitas contain no preservatives so they are best kept in the freezer, but they thaw super quick. I lined the pita with lettuce leaves fresh picked from the garden.
I used these ingredients because I had them on hand, in fact I'm thinking On Hand Vegan might be the title of my cookbook, what do you think? Other titles in the running are The Recycled Vegan  and maybe third in the trilogy; Toaster Oven Vegan. Feel free to substitute any type of bean or lentil for the TVP, or even add some to the pot. I was thinking the TVP is what separates this Sloppy sandwich from a bowl of Chili.

Have a great evening!



  1. Thanks so much, Meem--the josephine looks greatly yummie and are on my summer short list. is it hard to find smoked paprika? don't think i have heard of it. thanks for the pics of R's 75! think there's any connection between his good health, august age and a dinner plate full of mostly greens/plants every night?
    what's your favorite way of cooking collards? mine are awfully chewy even after 5 minutes of blanching.

    1. No problem finding smoked paprika, esp @ wegmans! I steam/saute chopped collards in many ways. I sort of like them vinegary and spicy or sweet and hot using pineapple and chili sauce or lemon juice or vinegar and hot sauce of some type. I toss sweet potatoes and black eye peas in with them sometimes too. I don't usually let them go for too much more than 5 min as I like the bright green color. In a vegan world, sometimes chewy is good as there are precious few "chewy" vegan foods. :-) Oh, and BTW, I definitely think R looks as great and youthful as he does because of the mostly greens every day and night! He has you to thank for this!


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