There really is nothing quite like a messy, sticky, sloppy joe. I always got excited when it was sloppy joe day in my day care as a kid and not much has changed. I was just as excited to have sloppy joe day this past weekend. There is something about that sweet and salty texture that just brings me back to easier days, a time before responsibility was reality and pretending a broom could make you fly felt possible. I remember I used to jump off my fireplace with said broom thinking “maybe this time it will work”, “maybe this time”, “maybe this time”(Hey, I was stubborn).
I think it is important to take yourself back to those times and relish the younger You’s complete abandonment of what we consider realistic today and remember that there was a point in all of our lives when we believed anything was possible. In a fast paced, competitive world I find it gets harder and harder to slow down and challenge what society says is the “right path” for each of us. It is moments like this, when I am elbow deep in a messy childhood sandwich, that I recall I can do anything. Most anything is possible with the will and courage to pursue it. For me, it takes a sloppy joe to remember that. What does it take for you? Let me know in the comments below if there is anything, food or other, that takes you back and reminds you that life is short and the journey is yours to create!
- 3 cups TVP (Textured Vegetable Protein)
- 3 cups water
- 5 cloves garlic
- 1 cup pitted soaked medjool dates (soak 10 mins in warm water or 15-20 cold water)
- 6 oz can tomato paste
- 1 tomato, roughly chopped and deseeded.
- 1 tbs salt
- 2 tbs maple syrup
- 1 medium white onion, diced
- 1 tbs black strap molasses
- 4 tbs apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbs Worcestershire (vegan version, I use Annie's Organic Vegan version, so good!)
- 2 tbs mustard
- 3 tbs hot sauce
- Add water, dates, garlic cloves, tomato and tomato paste to a blender (preferably high speed like Vitamix). Blend until smooth. Next add remaining ingredients except TVP and onion to blender mixture and stir or blend on low until fully incorporated.
- Turn a crock pot on high. Add TVP and blender mixture and diced onion. Stir until TVP is thoroughly coated with the blender sauce and onion. Cook on high for 4-5 hours or low 6-8 hours.
- **You can technically eat it as soon as its hot but I highly recommend letting it cook for the full time as the flavors really come out in the last hour.