Growing up sloppy joes were a regular item on the table. My mom would mix brown sugar and ketchup along with the ground beef. That combo does make a delicious sloppy joe. But then there was the New Years Eve sloppy joe from the church I grew up at. I looked forward to them every year. This really kind man named Tom made them. They were the best! There had to be a whole lot more to his recipe. It was tomato-based with spices. A few years ago my sister was craving them; so she begged my dad to get that magical formula. I came across a recipe in Cooking Light that had sun-dried tomatoes and became very intrigued... It's called G.I. Joes because it apparently means "Garden Imp." Here's that recipe! (Not Tom's unfortunately).
1 C. boiling water
1/2 C. sun-dried tomatoes, packed without oil
1 T. olive oil
1 1/2 C. onion, chopped
1 C. red bell pepper, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 T. soy sauce
1 T. balsamic vinegar
1 t. sugar
1 t. chili powder
1 t. dried oregano
1/2 t. ground cumin
1/2 t. black pepper
1/8 t. salt
1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes, undrained or fresh chopped tomatoes
1 12-oz bag frozen soy crumbles, thawed (such as morning star)
OR TVP (this is what I used)
6 2-oz Kaiser rolls, hamburger or hot dog buns
Combine boiling water and sun-dried tomatoes in a bowl, and let stand 5 minutes or until tomatoes are soft. Drain and chop tomatoes.
Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chopped onion, red bell pepper, and garlic; saute 3 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Stir in the sun-dried tomatoes, soy sauce, and the next 8 ingredients (Soy sauce through crushed tomatoes). Bring mixture to a boil; reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes, or until slightly thick, stirring the mixture occasionally. Stir in soy crumbles; cook 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated, stirring frequently. Spoon about 2/3 C. crumbles mixture onto bottom half of each roll, top with halves of rolls. Serves 6. Serve with hot sauce to pass around at the table.
When I used the TVP instead of the frozen soy crumbles, I eyeball-measured the TVP in a measuring cup and poured boiling water over it, enough to bring it back to life. You can use the package directions for better instructions.
I thought it was very flavor-packed recipe. Yes, it wasn't "Tom's" recipe. But it was a really great recipe to add to my collection. My family liked it a lot. I really like sun-dried tomatoes. They burst with flavor. Feel free to substitute and make the recipe your own.
I hope you're enjoying your fall. I have some more exciting recipes to post in the next couple days.. So stay tuned. :)