Monday, October 24, 2011

Toe Joes

Sounds appetizing, yes? Andrew affectionately refers to the Tofu Sloppy Joes I make with this name. It grosses me out because it reminds me of toe jam…eeew, but it’s also kind of fun to say!

Anyway, now you’re probably thinking how much you’d like to make Toe Joes yourself. Yes, of course.

The recipe is from the Rebar Modern Food cookbook, which I learned about from Anna last year. Rebar is a vegetarian resto in Victoria B.C. I wanted to start cooking more vegetarian dishes, and I wasn’t really sure where to start. Anna gave it such an amazing review that I ordered it, and it has been an awesome cookbook. It’s not the kind of cookbook that I often use during the week. It’s better suited for a leisurely weekend afternoon or evening in the kitchen. The recipes are more involved, focusing on whole ingredients and making things from scratch. It’s definitely worth the extra effort, and we’ve loved everything I’ve made from this cookbook. Plus, isn’t the cover darling?

These sloppy joes are sweet and tangy and have a good bite to them. Much better than those lunchroom sloppy joes from grade school.

Sensitive New Age Sloppy Joes
From Rebar Modern Food cookbook


1 block firm tofu, pressed
3 T vegetable oil, divided
1 yellow onion, diced
8 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp salt
3 jalapeno peppers, minced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ancho chile powder
1/2 tsp ground allspice
2 cans pinto beans (19 oz each) or 3 c cooked
1 c reserved bean liquid
3 T molasses
2 tsp chipotle puree (make by pureeing small can of chipotle chiles in adobo sauce) ( I buy a can and puree it with my immersion blender and then store in a mason jar in the freezer. It thaws really quickly so you can use what you need and then pop it back in the freezer.)
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/4 tsp liquid smoke
1/2 (5.5 oz) can tomato paste
4 Roma tomatoes, chopped
1 T chopped oregano
8 whole wheat Kaiser buns

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Drain water from pressed tofu and crumble coarsely. Toss with 1 T oil and a pinch of salt. Spread on small parchment-lined baking tray and bake until firm and light golden brown, about 15 min.

Heat 2 T oil in wide-bottomed pot. Saute onion with 1 tsp salt until translucent. Add garlic, jalapenos, red pepper, cumin, chile powder and allspice. Saute for 5 min. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer. Cover partially and simmer for 30 min. Add the tofu and heat through.

To serve, heat Kaiser buns in a warm oven. Split and generously ladle the mixture over the bottom half of the bun. Replace the top and serve, making sure that each serving is sufficiently sloppy!

Leftovers are good served over brown rice, as they suggest in the book, or they freeze well too.

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