I know I make a lot of comments every summer about how it’s too hot to use the oven, and then end up using it anyway. What can I say, I love baked and roasted food! However, I do make somewhat of an attempt to include more no-cook or stovetop meals during the warmer months and these vegan chickpea sloppy joes are a perfect example.
(Disclosure: This post was sponsored and compensated by Tessemae’s All Natural. All writing and opinions are my own. Please see my advertisement policy for more information.)
Tessemae’s All Natural recently contacted me to see if I would be interested in trying out a few of their vegan products, and I leapt at the chance. Tessemae’s is Baltimore-based company that makes all-natural condiments and dressings made with natural ingredients and without any refined sugar, which readers will know is how I prefer to cook. Many of Tessemae’s products are vegan, including their new caesar and ranch salad dressings. The non-vegan items to watch out for are their egg-based mayonnaise products and a few condiments that are sweetened with honey.
Tessemae’s products are also gluten-free, and those items which contain oil, are olive oil-based. One thing to note about olive oil-based foods is that olive oil becomes solid at refrigerator temperature, so the dressings will congeal in the fridge. It can be a bit shocking to see that when you open the fridge but placing the bottle in a bowl of warm water for a couple of minutes will shortly return the oil to a fluid texture again.
I was especially excited to try out Tessemae’s ketchup, since it’s oil-free and sweetened only with dates. It seemed like the perfect opportunity to finally make and share my vegan chickpea sloppy joes recipe with you. Because the date-sweetened ketchup is more tangy than the ketchup I normally use, I decided to pair the chickpea filling with caramelized onions to add another note of sweetness. Topped off with fresh cabbage for crunch, this is the perfect summer sandwich! (PS: those are Ezekiel sprouted wheat buns, which recently started getting stocked at my local grocery store. Score!)
These chickpea sloppy joes also make use of a second Tessemae’s product that I tried out: the Hot Sauce / Wing Sauce. I was a little surprised by the hot sauce because it is one of the olive oil-based products. Most of the hot sauces in my pantry are just made with peppers, vinegar, and perhaps sugar and some spices. However I found this hot sauce to have a really pleasantly round flavor. Since it’s thicker than most hot sauce, it’s also really nice that you can add a dash of it to something without making it watery. I’m not sure if I would keep this as the only hot sauce on my shelf as I generally prefer hot sauce with a bit more of a spicy, tangy punch, but I’m glad to have a milder option around as well.
The third and final product that I tried (not pictured) was the Slow Roasted Garlic Spread, which has an intoxicating roasted garlic flavor. The flavor of this spread is tangy and intense, so I wouldn’t recommend it by itself on bread, but I definitely recommend it as a condiment on sandwiches (like these chickpea sloppy joes!). I also whisked it together with some maple syrup and a touch of olive oil as a marinade for grilled tofu. Delicious!
- 1 tsp. oil of choice
- 2 sweet onions, thinly sliced
- 1 tsp. oil of choice
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 small bell pepper, small dice
- 1 carrot, small dice
- 1.5 cups cooked chickpeas (equal to 1 15 oz. can - rinse and drain), mashed or roughly chopped (I just pulsed them a few times in the blender)
- ¾ c. ketchup (I used Tessemae's All Natural - see notes if you are using another brand)
- 1 tb. hot sauce (I used Tessemae's All Natural)
- 1 tb. soy sauce (or tamari or Bragg's Liquid Aminos)
- 1 tb. maple syrup (plus to taste)
- ½ tsp. paprika (regular or smoked)
- ½ tsp. ground cumin
- ¼ tsp. ground coriander
- ¼ tsp. dried oregano
- ⅛ tsp. ground black pepper (plus to taste)
- Caramelized onions (see above)
- Chickpea sloppy joe filling (see above)
- sandwich buns of choice (I used Ezekiel Sprouted Wheat and the filling was enough for my whole pack of 6)
- Other toppings of choice (e.g. shredded cabbage or coleslaw; green onions; avocado; lettuce - I used cabbage and Tessemae's Slow Roasted Garlic Spread)
- Warm the oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Add the onions and stir. Spread out the onions evenly so that they are making as much contact with the pan as possible; sprinkle with salt.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook the onions, stirring occasionally, for about 45 minutes or until significantly reduced in size and brown in color.
- Warm the oil over medium heat in a saucepan. Add the garlic and bell pepper and a pinch of salt, and stir. Cook for about 3 minutes, until the bell pepper has started to release liquid.
- Add the diced carrot and cook for another 3-5 minutes or until the carrot has softened slightly.
- Add the rest of the filling ingredients and stir. Partially cover the pan and reduce the heat to medium-low. Gently simmer for about 20 minutes, until the flavors have melded and the carrots are done to your liking.
- Season with additional salt, pepper, hot sauce, and maple syrup to taste.
- For each person who is eating, toast a sandwich bun. Top with about ⅓ cup of filling (depending on how sloppy you want to be...), caramelized onions, and other toppings of choice. Enjoy!
If you are using a more traditional-style ketchup, I recommend reducing the amount by 2 tablespoons and adding 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, or other vinegar of choice. Add maple syrup at the end if the filling is not sweet enough for your taste.
To work this dish into a BBQ, try substituting the caramelized onions with grilled onions, and grilling the buns rather than toasting them.
You can find Tessemae’s on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Tessemae’s products can be purchased online from their website, or at Whole Foods, Kroger, Safeway, the Fresh Market, and Costco locations around the USA.
To all of my USA-based readers, I hope you have a fabulous holiday weekend!