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Mexican Sloppy Joes

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Here’s a childhood favorite, reassuringly familiar but with a Mexican twist in celebration of Cinco de Mayo. A Sloppy Joe (Jose?) is traditionally a sandwich with a mess of cooked ground beef, onions, green peppers and spicy tomato sauce plopped into a basic hamburger bun.

To make a plant-based version, lose the ground beef and substitute with Melissa’s Soy Ground (or Melissa’s Steamed Lentils if you’d rather go that route). To give the sloppy concoction a Mexican flair, I’ve replaced the green pepper with Pickled Yellow Chile Peppers for some sweet heat and chucked the basic bun for a more authentic and delicious bolillo roll. And to gild the lily, use Melissa’s Guacamole Kit to whip up some of that glorious green condiment to top the slop.

This Sloppy Joe is totally filling and satisfying as is, but why not go from a sandwich to a meal by adding a side of fresh, crisp and colorful Mexican slaw. My recipe uses cabbage, jicama, carrots, red onion, mango and cilantro with zesty lime agave vinaigrette to keep it light and refreshing. (No “Mayo” in this slaw).

Enjoy these recipes on 5/5 or any day you want to transport your taste buds to a fabulous fiesta.

Melissa’s Guacamole Kit
(The kit includes 2 avocados, 1 Roma tomato, 1 shallot, 2 garlic cloves, 1 lime and 1 jalapeno pepper.)

Peel the garlic cloves, avocados and shallots, chop them up and place in a bowl.

Chop the tomato and add it to the mixture. Squeeze in the lime juice.

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Chop the jalapeno and add as much as you like to your taste. Season with salt. Set aside.

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Mexican Slaw

Ingredients

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For the slaw:
2 cups organic cabbage, chopped
1 cup red onions, diced
1 cup jicama, peeled and chopped
1 cup carrots, diced
1 cup mango, peeled and chopped
2 tablespoons pepitas, toasted

For the dressing:
1 tablespoon agave nectar
1/3 cup olive oil
1 1/2 limes, juiced
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
½ cup cilantro, chopped
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon Hatch Chile Powder

Preparation
Whisk the dressing ingredients together, season with salt and pepper, and set aside.

Combine the veggies, mango, pepitas, and cilantro in a large bowl. Add the dressing and toss to coat. Adjust seasonings to taste. Set aside.

Mexican Sloppy Joes
Makes 4 messy but tasty sandwiches

Ingredients
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 ½ cups Perfect Sweet Onion, diced
1/3 cup Pickled Yellow Chile Peppers, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 package Soy Ground®
2 tablespoons seasoned soy sauce
6-ounce can tomato paste
1/4 cup Pickled Yellow Chile Pepper liquid
Salt and pepper to taste
4 bolillo rolls, sliced in half

Preparation
Heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a large sauté pan. Add the onion, Pickled Yellow Chile Peppers and garlic. Sauté for 5 minutes over medium heat.

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Stir in the ground and dried spices and then add the Soy Ground® and stir to combine.

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Add an additional tablespoon of vegetable oil and continue cooking for about 5 minutes.

In a small bowl, whisk the tomato paste, seasoned soy sauce, and pickling liquid until blended, and then add the mixture to the sauté pan. Cook another 2 minutes until the filling mixture is sufficiently sloppy. Add salt and pepper to taste, and adjust the other seasonings if you like.

Divide the filling between the 4 rolls and spread it over the bottom halves. Generously top the filling with freshly made guacamole. Cover the filling and guacamole with the tops of the rolls. Add some Mexican slaw to accompany each Joe.

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Serve with lots of napkins.

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