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Vegan Sloppy Joes

Alexea Wagner

“I saw sloppy joes at school, but I wanted to make sure they were cruelty-free,” says Alexea, who serves this with kale salad that has shredded carrot, spicy pecans, and sliced strawberries, and a big glass of soy milk. –Alexea Wagner, age 9, Nevada

Makes 4 servings


1 tablespoon olive oil

1 (8-ounce) package tempeh, sliced

1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce

1/2 onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, peeled and mashed

1 tablespoon diced and seeded jalapeño

1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes

1/4 cup apple-cider vinegar

1 tablespoon mustard

1 tablespoon maple syrup

1/2 tablespoon molasses

4 whole-wheat buns

For garnish: Lettuce and slices of avocado


1. In a large sauté pan over moderate heat, warm the olive oil. Add the tempeh, soy sauce, and ¼ cup water, and cook for 8 minutes, breaking up the tempeh. Add the onion, garlic, jalapeño, tomatoes, apple-cider vinegar, mustard, maple syrup, and molasses, and cook, stirring often, for 10 minutes.

2. While the sloppy joe mixture is cooking, toast the buns in the oven or toaster oven. Divide the sloppy joe mixture among the 4 buns, top with lettuce and avocado, and serve.

Featured in the Healthy Lunchtime Challenge. Check out all the winning recipes here.