Since working with more plant based proteins, I’m finding alternatives for popular dishes that work well. Depending on your diet, these substitutions will never be as good as the original protein in the recipe (some things shouldn’t be changed), but i’m learning to adapt well to these changes if I want to continue on a healthier lifestyle journey. One common plant based protein that I have been working with more often is the chickpea, a type of legume that is high in protein and very popular in Middle Eastern cuisine.
You might love the chickpea in one of my favorite snacks, hummus or perhaps you’ve had it in a good Indian dish. I’ve always loved this plant and have never had a problem finding new ways to add it into my cooking. More commonly when you think of vegetarian BBQ dishes, the protein that is used is one I worked with a month ago in my taco recipe, the Jackfruit. I determined that although Jackfruit is a delicious alternative to pork in a sandwich recipe, BBQ itself is not the best condiment choice for a taco. I wanted to make a dish with a twist on pulled pork with BBQ so I began flipping the pages of multiple vegetarian cookbooks for inspiration. A fun sandwich I think of when I hear BBQ is a Sloppy Joe. It’s been years since I’ve bit into one of those big gooey messy burgers, the one recipe it seemed like the cafeteria in Elementary school always got right. Not much of an exciting thing to eat as an adult but when it’s packed with protein, why not?
This recipe is very similar to the one from a book “But I could never go Vegan!” I was curious to see just how well chickpeas would work with BBQ. So I put a twist on this Vegan version to create my own “Sloppy Sammie” (not Vegan). I finished it with Cheese and pickles for some extra flare on the sandwich. Overall, I enjoyed this recipe and would consider using it again. Great for a summer picnic if you have any vegetarian friends/family members!
Mise en Place:
- (2) 15 Oz Cans Chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 1/2 Red Onion, small dice
- 2 Garlic Cloves, minced
- 1/2 Orange or Red Bell Pepper, small dice
- (1) 15 Oz Can Diced Tomatoes
- 2 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
- 1 Tablespoon Sugar
- 8oz Mustard Based BBQ Sauce (vinegar base)
- S&P, TT
- Hamburger Buns
- Toppings of choice
Method of Prep:
- Drain and rinse chickpeas. Using a food processor, lightly pulse beans until mashed (don’t puree, you still want the mix a little chunky)
- Heat a tablespoon of oil in a shallow sauce pan on medium heat. Add onion and saute until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about two minutes.
- Add bell pepper and chickpeas. combine, cook for two minutes. Mix in tomatoes, sugar and tomato paste, season with Salt and Pepper.
- Add in BBQ sauce, mix well. Simmer stirring occasionally for 15 minutes or until chickpeas are tender. If mixture begins to stick, add in more BBQ sauce or water to deglaze the pan, reduce heat if needed.
- Scoop filling onto prepared buns and add toppings if needed. Leftovers can be refrigerated for up to 5 days.