Tempeh and Pinto Bean Sloppy Joes

The other day for some strange reason a song that Adam Sandler used to sing about lunch ladies and sloppy Joes popped into my head, and I haven't forgotten about it because it made me crave sloppy Joes! I had some tempeh in my fridge, and I thought that the tempeh combined with creamy pinto beans would yield just the right texture for sloppy Joes. For the sauce, I recalled seeing Manwich sloppy Joe sauce being made on Food Network's Unwrapped. One of the secret ingredients was cinnamon oil, so I decided to add a little cinnamon to my sauce for these Tempeh and Pinto Bean Sloppy Joes, along with several other spices, some veggies, and sugar and vinegar to get the sweet-and-sour thing going on. I honestly had trouble resisting eating a second sandwich because these were so good. The tempeh and beans had a more "meat-like" consistency than textured vegetable protein-based hamburger crumbles, and then the sauce was nice and thick and rich after the beans cooked down into it. This came together really quickly, too which is an added bonus.

Tempeh and Pinto Bean Sloppy Joes

1 tsp canola oil
1 8-oz package tempeh, any flavor, finely chopped
1/2 medium onion, finely diced, any color
1/2 green bell pepper, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 15-oz can organic pinto beans, drained and rinsed
salt, to taste
1/8 tsp black pepper
2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
dash cinnamon
1 tsp paprika
1 8-oz can no salt added tomato sauce
3 tbsp packed brown sugar
3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
4 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp prepared yellow mustard

4 whole wheat hamburger buns

1. Heat a medium non-stick pan over medium heat. Add the oil and allow it to heat through.
2. Add the tempeh to the hot oil and saute the tempeh until it is lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Then, add the onion, garlic, and bell pepper and continue to saute until the onions are translucent.
3. Add the beans and cook them until the moisture on the outside has evaporated off of them. Sprinkle on the salt, pepper, chili powder, cumin, and cinnamon. Combine the spices and vegetable mixture, pressing down on the beans to squish some of them. Cook for one minute more to toast the spices.
4. Add the tomato sauce, soy sauce, sugar, mustard and vinegar and reduce the heat to medium. Stir well and let cook about 5 minutes more or until the sauce thickens and more of the beans split open.
5. Serve the mixture on whole wheat hamburger buns.

Servings per recipe: 4
Per serving, without buns:
Calories: 243
Fat: 8.2 g
Saturated fat: 1.5 g
Cholesterol: o mg
Sodium: 621 mg
Carbohydrates: 29.7 g
Fiber: 4.8 g
Sugar: 10.9 g
Protein: 15.9 g

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