Hey y’all! Hope you are having a great week so far! If you read my Instagram post from yesterday, you would see that I am indeed having a great week (I got told I was “hot” in Trader Joe’s and then as I was driving home, I got pulled over for speeding and the cop let me go! Buy me a lottery ticket, will you?) That’s as exciting as my life gets these days, but who’s to complain?
Anywho, I wanted to remake my Turkey Sloppy Joe recipe from last year, in order to make it vegetarian since that’s how I’m rolling these days. I wanted it to still have the amazing tangy flavor and meaty texture so I decided to go with two of my favorite ingredients to achieve this- chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans) and quinoa! The flaxseed helps boost the fiber but also helps to thicken up the sauce. I also wanted to give it a little heat so I decided to spice things up with this one since the quinoa and the chickpeas are pretty bland on their own. Harissa is a spicy sauce from Moracco that is made from red chili pepper, bell pepper, vinegar, garlic and olive oil. However, the harissa is totally optional! If you’re worried about your kids eating it, then you could add less or none at all. My 5 year old ate it just fine (and loved it!), although I was worried when I first tasted it that it was going to be too spicy. But last week he ate some pretty spicy buffalo flavored chips, so I thought what the hell, let’s give it a whirl! I like to live on the edge and apparently so does he!
Don’t be scared by the ingredient list. The sauce takes about 1 minute to whirl in the blender and once you have the quinoa cooked (you could even buy pre cooked frozen quinoa) it is really just a matter of heating the ingredients through, 20 minutes tops, making it perfect for midweek meals!
Sloppy Joe Sauce
Makes about 4 cups of sauce (you will only need two cups for this recipe so save and freeze the rest for another day)
Place the following ingredients in a food processor or blender until smooth and set aside.
1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes (unsalted)
4 T tomato paste
2 cloves of garlic
1 bell pepper
2 T red wine vinegar
1 T soy sauce or coconut aminos
2 T flaxseed
2 T honey
1 T coconut sugar (or just regular white sugar)
1/2 T harissa sauce (I used Mina harissa)
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup almond milk -optional but it makes the sauce a little creamier in flavor (I had some homemade cashew milk I used)
For the Quinoa and Chickpea mixture
1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
1 can garbanzo beans (drained and rinsed)
If you are making the quinoa from scratch, (as opposed to frozen) cook the quinoa according to package directions. A half a cup will make 1 1/4 cups of cooked quinoa, which is what you will need for this recipe. Place the cooked quinoa in a sauce pan.
Place 2 cups of the sloppy joe sauce in a pan with the cooked quinoa. Add the garbanzo beans and use a potato masher to mash up them up into smaller pieces.
Cook on medium low for about 20-25 minutes stirring occasionally.
I served ours on buns with cheese and avocado but you could also scoop out a zucchini and bake them into little sloppy joe zucchini boats and cover and bake them for 30 minutes!