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Fast and Sloppy Joes

Could a soy-based meat alternative do justice to this hot and messy American classic? We discovered that even the pickiest kids could enjoy this heart-healthy version. It captures the taste and texture of the original, minus the fat and cholesterol. These sandwiches can be served closed or open-faced on whole-grain buns, whole-grain English muffins, even sliced whole-grain sandwich bread. Just don’t forget the forks—and be sure to pass around plenty of napkins. A sturdy gluten-free bun or bread will work, too.

Serves: 6

Serving Size: 1 sandwich
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Ready Time: 5 minutes

  1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine ground meat alternative, pinto beans, and barbecue sauce. In a small bowl, whisk together tomato paste and water until smooth. Add tomato paste to bean mixture along with 1/4 cup scallions, apple cider vinegar, smoked paprika, and pepper.
  2. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture is warm and flavors have melded, 5–7 minutes. While filling is cooking, toast buns.
  3. To serve as a closed sandwich, spoon 1/2 cup filling onto bottom half of bun. Top with a sprinkle of scallions, if using. Cover with top half of bun. To serve open-faced, spoon 1/4 cup filling over each half of bun.

Chef’s Notes

Prepared barbecue sauces can vary widely in the amount of sugar and fat they can contain. Be sure to check the nutritional information on the label, and look for a barbecue sauce with less than 5 grams of sugar and less than 3 grams of fat per serving, without hydrogenated fats or highly saturated fats such as coconut oil. Ideally, choose brands that do not include high-fructose corn syrup, preservatives, or artificial colors. One example is Annie’s Organic BBQ Sauce, which contains 4 grams of sugar and 1 gram of fat per serving.

Shopping List

   ground meat alternative (one 12-ounce package)

   no-salt-added pinto beans (one 15-ounce can)

   tomato paste (one 6-ounce can)

   barbecue sauce, less than 5 g sugar and 3 g fat per serving (1 bottle)

   scallions (1 bunch)

   apple cider vinegar

   smoked paprika

   whole-grain buns (6)

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1 sandwich
Servings: 6
Amount per Serving
Calories: 255
Calories from Fat: 18

Amount per Serving                          % Daily Value

Total Fat:                         2 g                                         3%

Saturated Fat:                 0 g                                         0%

Trans Fat:                       0 g

Cholesterol:                    0 mg                                      0%

Sodium:                          638 mg                                  27%

Total Carbohydrate:        45 g                                       15%

Dietary Fiber:                 11 g                                       44%

Sugars:                           8 g

Protein:                          19 g                                       38%

Excellent source of: fiber, vitamin B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, iron, zinc; Good source of: potassium, calcium

From UNDO IT! by Dean Ornish, M.D., and Anne Ornish, published by Ballantine Books, an imprint of Random House, a division of Penguin Random House, LLC. Copyright © 2019 by Dean Ornish, M.D., LLC




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