With back-to-school season upon us, it’s time for more fast and fresh weeknight dinner ideas! We believe there is always room for more delicious plant-based meals, especially when they’re quick and family-friendly. These Meatless Sloppy Joes are brimming with vegetables from this week’s PIP box and they're super flavorful, thanks to a handful of pantry staples. With “meaty” eggplant and mushrooms in the mix we’re confident no one will miss the beef. Serve them alongside crispy sweet potato fries for a satisfying supper that’s sure to please.
Meatless meals certainly don’t need to be boring, especially when you start cooking with familiar vegetables and plant-based proteins in new and interesting ways. If you’re looking to incorporate more plant-based meals into your family’s diet, start with a goal to cook one meatless dinner a week and build up an arsenal of favorites. These Sloppy Joes are a great place to start. For an optional protein boost, stir canned pinto beans or cooked lentils into the mix. You could also transition to making this meatless by browning a smaller portion of ground beef or turkey first before adding the vegetables.
Meatless Sloppy Joes with Sweet Potato Fries
Active time: 20 Min.
Total time: 60 Min.
For the Sloppy Joes:
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ Perfectly Imperfect onion, chopped
½ Perfectly Imperfect bell pepper, chopped
1 Perfectly Imperfect eggplant, peeled and chopped
8 oz. Perfectly Imperfect mushrooms, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons chili powder (more to taste)
1 teaspoon paprika (or smoked paprika)
½ teaspoon sea salt
8 oz. can tomato sauce
1 ½ tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons dijon mustard
1 cup canned pinto beans, drained and rinsed (optional)
4 whole grain hamburger buns, toasted
Bread and butter pickle chips (optional)
For the Sweet Potato Fries:
1 large Perfectly Imperfect sweet potato
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
Fine sea salt
To make the Sloppy Joes:
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, bell pepper, eggplant and mushrooms and saute for 12-15 minutes, stirring often, until edges begin to caramelize and vegetables reduce by at least half. Add garlic, seasonings, salt and pepper and cook for 30 seconds. Stir in the tomato sauce, brown sugar, Worcestershire and mustard and continue to cook over medium-low heat until mixture thickens, 3-4 minutes more. Fold in canned beans if using. Season to taste with additional salt. Serve atop toasted buns.
To make the Sweet Potato Fries:
Scrub the sweet potato, then cut into 1/2-inch thick strips. Optional Pro Tip: Soak fries in cold water for 60 minutes (up to overnight). This helps to remove some starch, resulting in crispier fries. Be sure to dry fries with a clean dish cloth or paper towels before roasting.
Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees. Oil 2 baking sheets, or line with parchment.
Toss the sweet potato fries in olive oil, then divide between the baking sheets and spread into an even layer, making sure not to crowd the fries. Feel free to season with spices, but don’t salt (salt draws out moisture while roasting). Transfer sheet pans to oven and roast for 20 minutes. Remove from oven, stir, then return to oven for 15-20 more minutes, or until fries appear “dry”. Immediately season with fine sea salt while still hot.
We can't wait to see how you're using this week's produce in your family meals! Show us what you're cooking up in your own kitchen and we'll share it to inspire others. Tag us @perfectlyimperfectproduce on Facebook and Instagram.