The sloppy joe has received a bad rap over the years.

It is the quintessential school cafeteria meal and probably something you’ve eaten at your grandmother’s house a few times. It is time for the sloppy joe to make a comeback, and how about making it healthy as well?

This recipe was a big hit with our family, including the teens and toddlers. I ate one and couldn’t wait to get my hands and mouth around a second.

Instead of beef, we used tempeh and black beans. Basically, tempeh is made from cooked and slightly fermented soybeans.

Talk about good for you; the tempeh is packed with protein and is cholesterol-free.

The black beans are very healthy as well, being so high in fiber.

There are a lot of ingredients in this recipe, but it’s pretty easy to follow. This comfort food will be worth the extra time spent in the kitchen.

Give sloppy joes another chance and enjoy that vegan thing.


1 tablespoon olive oil, divided

½ cup chopped onion

14½ ounces dried tomatoes

1/3 cup ketchup

2 teaspoons mustard

2 teaspoons onion powder

2 teaspoons garlic powder

¼ teaspoon honey

3 dashes hot sauce

1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

1 package tempeh

½ cup black beans

Heat the olive oil on medium. Add onion and cook for 3 minutes. Reduce heat, add tomatoes and simmer for 3 minutes.

In a medium bowl, mix ketchup, mustard, onion and garlic powder, honey, salt, hot sauce and cider vinegar. Stir well, and add to skillet with onions and tomatoes. Cook for about 3 minutes. Take out of pan and put in bowl.

In same skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Break up tempeh in small pieces and add to skillet. Let brown by cooking for about 5 minutes. Stir and add black beans. Cook an additional 3 minutes.

Stir in sauce mixture. Add up to ½ cup water as needed to loosen mixture. Put on rolls and then serve.

Jeff Peterson anchors from 5 to 7 a.m. on CBS 13 and from 7 to 8 a.m. on FOX 23 and is a vegan.

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