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Vegan sloppy Joes and roasted potato and tomato salad

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Beyond the Peel

(Read caption) Use juicy mushrooms, onions, and garlic as a sloppy Joe substitute. Serve them up on a bun or a lettuce wrap, and top with your favorite veggies.

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I’m craving a juicy beef burger! Correction. A juicy beef burger with fries. You gotta love those “comes out of nowhere food cravings.” I mean really, I never crave a burger. Never.

But you know how cravings go? They rarely go away unless you give in. At least a little.

I guess I could have gone with a veggie burger, but in my experience, there’s nothing “juicy” about a veggie patty. Sure they’re delicious but never juicy. Maybe moist at best. I could have driven into town. It’s a 2-1/2-hour round trip drive. And to be honest, I might have if the craving had been strong enough. The good news is I had a moment of sanity. I decided to stay put and deal with it in a more healthy way. 

I decided to go with mushroom vegan sloppy Joes. Nowhere near a burger, I know, but I thought I’d give it a try. After all, there’s not ground meat of any kind anywhere near me, while I'm camped out in this fire tower cottage. I don’t know if you’ve tried this before but it was delicious. Like, really good.

So good in fact, I kind of surprised myself. Sure I thought a meatless sloppy Joes would be OK. I mean, after all, all the ingredients going in were good on their own. I wasn’t doubting that it would be tasty, but I wasn’t prepared for mouth watering, juicy goodness wrapped up in a bun!

I had this for three meals straight and was feeling a little disappointed when it was all gone. I would have made more if I had more mushrooms. Crisis has be averted. Burger craving satiated, at least for now. I know you were all worried about me, but we can all sleep well tonight. Phew.

This vegan/vegetarian sloppy Joes recipe is perfect if you’re a mushroom lover, but I think my hubby would even have enjoyed this, and he is not exactly a mushroom-loving freak like me. Even if you’re not a mushroom fanatic, I think you could probably do this same recipe with eggplant or shredded zucchini. If you don’t do grains of any kind, consider putting this mushroom heaven in lettuce wraps.

Mushroom sloppy Joes (vegan)
Serves 4

2 tablespoons olive oil

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1 onion, thinly sliced

3 garlic cloves, minced

6 cups sliced mushrooms

3 tablespoons tomato paste

1 teaspoon grainy mustard

1 tablespoon Soya Sauce

1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/4 cup of water

Salt and pepper, to taste

1. In a large frying pan, sauté the onions, garlic and mushrooms together. Once the onions soften, add the remaining ingredients. Continue to cook until the mushrooms are tender, about 15 minutes. Add water as necessary if the mixture becomes dry. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

2. Add the mixture to your favorite bun and any topping you enjoy. I added avocado slices and spinach.

3. If you have leftovers, reheat in a pan, adding a few tablespoons of water. The mushrooms do absorb the liquid, so a little water will be required to keep these vegan sloppy Joes saucy!

Roasted potato and tomato salad with crispy capers and dill
For 2 as a main, or 4 as a side

This is a simple, yet complimentary flavor pairing that is sure to win you over. No heavy creamy dressing here, just good quality olive oil, lemon juice, smoked paprika and dill. I’ll have a hard time thinking of potato salad any other way from now on.

12 baby potatoes, halved

16 grape tomatoes, pricked with a fork

1 garlic clove, minced

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons capers

1/4-1/2 teaspoon of smoked paprika (Spanish or Hungarian are nice)

Salt and pepper

Juice of 1/2 lemon

1/4 cup chopped fresh dill

Salt and pepper to taste

Lemon wedges to serve

Spinach (great if eating it as a main, but optional)

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. In a large bowl, toss the potato halves, tomatoes and garlic with olive oil. Sprinkle with paprika and plenty of salt and pepper. Place the vegetables in a baking pan and roast for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, add the capers to the pan of potatoes and tomatoes. Continue to roast for 20-25 minutes, until potatoes have started to turn golden and the tomatoes have started to burst and the skin wrinkled.

2. To serve, toss the potatoes and tomatoes (be gentle not to damage the tomatoes) with the lemon juice, a heavy drizzle of olive oil, fresh herbs and salt and pepper to taste. Serve on a bed of spinach or as is. Serve with one or two lemon wedges.

Note: If you’re a big fan of dressing and are serving it with spinach, feel free to toss the spinach in a light lemon vinaigrette before serving.


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