Thursday, November 15, 2012

Quinoa and Black Bean Sloppy Joes

I love to make TVP Sloppy Joes.  There's something about eating one that brings me back to my childhood (more like Mary Kate and/or Ashley Olsen's childhood: It Takes Two, anyone?). 

We tried out Quinoa and Black Bean Sloppy Joes a few nights ago, and they were just as sloppy as any ground beef-based equivalent.  Actually, I had intended for them to be burgers, not Joes; but, the addition of a bit too much water put us on a new path. 

An extra-sloppy sloppy Joe.
Quinoa and Black Bean Sloppy Joes
  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 1/4 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and finely chopped
  • 1 - 15 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons steak seasoning
  • 6 buns

First, place the quinoa, salt, and 1.5 cups water in a small saucepan.  Cover and bring to a boil.  Then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until all of the water is absorbed.  
 Meanwhile, heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the onion and sun-dried tomatoes and sauté for five or six minutes (the oil left on the tomatoes should be sufficient, but add more oil if they stick to the pan).  Then stir in half of the black beans, plus the garlic, steak seasoning, and 1.5 cups water.  Allow the mixture to simmer uncovered for 10-15 minutes, or until most of the water has evaporated. 

Next, using a food processor, blend the cooked bean mixture and half of the cooked quinoa until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the remaining quinoa and black beans.*  Then place the bowl in the refrigerator and allow to cool while preheating the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.    

Once the oven is heated and the mixture is mostly cool, it's time to bake the the Joes.  Generously coat a baking sheet with cooking spray and use a 1/2-cup measuring cup to drop six, evenly spaced Joes on the baking sheet.  Bake 20 minutes, or until patties are crisp on top.

Serve on buns.  Yields 6 sloppy Joes. 

Once I came to think of these as Joes rather than burgers, I was satisfied with the results.  They have a sloppy, yet firm consistency and a fairly smooth texture.  The sun-dried tomatoes add a bit of depth to the flavor, while the steak seasoning adds a bit of spiciness.  Simon gives them his seal of approval, saying, "They're good." 
As I've mentioned before, quinoa is easier than you might think to find.  If you don't have steak seasoning (as is the case for many vegans, I'm sure), you can always make your own using a recipe like this one.
  Ease of Preparation:      
* I went through the process of baking the sloppy Joes with the original aim of making burgers.  Given that this recipe is now for sloppy Joes, I think you could skip the baking stage and still end up with an equally tasty (although perhaps less firm) sloppy Joe.  It's your call.    
Non-vegan friendliness:           
These aren't your average Joes, so to speak: their taste and mouthfeel are quite different than hamburger-based sloppy Joes.  That said, we all enjoyed them as a veganized version of the dish. 

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