Friday, April 12, 2013

Tidy Joes

Tidy Joes

I love making sloppy Joes.  I have been cooking them for myself and my family for years.  It’s actually one of the simplest recipes I’ve ever invented/ seen.    Unfortunately, they can be awful messy (hence the name).  Recently I got an idea—before the Pillsbury commercial came out actually—to make pocket sandwiches filled with sloppy Joes.  I took out an uncooked crescent roll, and flattened the dough on a plate to make it a bit bigger/ more stretched out than they normally are.  Next I poured the “mix” onto the unfolded crescent rolls.  Then, I closed them up, and cooked the whole thing until it was golden brown and perfect.   Feel free to change the sauce recipe if you don’t like it; this is just how I like them.


½ cup TVP (I use smart ground but anything is fine, even chunks of veggie burger).

¼ cup ketchup

¼ barbeque sauce (I like KC Masterpiece because it’s got a rich, smoky flavor)

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon garlic powder

Between 2 and 4 unfolded crescent rolls, biscuits, or any type of dinner roll dough


1. Preheat the oven based on the instructions on the container (usually 350).

2. Mix the TVP with ketchup and barbeque sauce in a bowl.  You don’t need to cook it ahead of time.  The sloppy Joes will get plenty warm while baking inside the rolls.  Stir until fully mixed.  Then, add the garlic and chili powder and stir again.


3. Take two (or more) crescents from the container after opening it according to the directions on the package.  Unroll and flatten the crescents—see photo bellow—or if you’re using biscuits you should flatten them.  If you do use crescents, get the big and flakey or big and buttery.  Depending on the size of your roll, you need to carefully place your Joe mix or else the contents will spill out of an overstuffed pocket when you fold the ends over. 

4. Pour a few spoonfuls of sloppy Joe mix into the center. Fold the small corner/tip of the crescent roll up and over so it touches the very the straight line/ bottom end.  This will cover up most of the TVP mixture.  Then, fold both of the corners up—one at a time of course—bringing them to the middle too—see the photo below—or if you’re using biscuits, cover the bottom/ first half with the top/second half to make a semicircle.

5. Bake in the oven according to the instructions on the container of the roll.  Keep a close eye on them.  Because you are only making a few rolls, it’s easier to overcook them.   Depending on your oven, you might want to flip the pocket over about halfway through the cooking cycle so it cooks evenly on both sides. 

6. Serve with potatoes (I recommend chips, crisps, or mashed) and/or a fruit or vegetable side dish, so you get a fully balanced meal.  Once again, I do have recommendations, broccoli goes well with this dish, so does a serving of mixed veggies (lima beans, carrots, peas, and corn) but I’d bet that squash, or spinach would be nice additions as well, even though I never tried those combos. 

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