BBQ pulled tempeh sloppy Joes

In my quest to veganise anything and everything, I’ve given Sloppy Joes the positivelyjen vegan once over.  I missed out on the “joy” of Sloppy Joes before becoming vegan, because I was never really a fan of mincemeat (no surprises really considering what’s in the stuff…).  Now that tempeh is on the scene there’s no turning back.


I remember the first time I tried tempeh… please don’t make my mistake and try it uncooked and not spiced – put me off the stuff for months.  I persisted however, and now I’m picking up a packet every time I pay Whole Foods a visit.  Not as versatile as tofu, but packed with more protein (19g per 100g – that’s EPIC) and more fibre than it’s more-processed cousin.

You can use vegan mince if you’re not a fan of tempeh (Fry’s do an awesome vegan mince), but in trying to keep things a bit healthy in the house, tempeh has slipped in there for the foreseeable.   If you’re anti-spice too then feel free to leave out the jalapeño and chilli powder. Top with some green stuff (for the health), pickles, coleslaw (try my recipe here!) or your favourite vegan cheese.


Let the sloppiness begin.

Serves two people/four small burgers (or serves one if you’re really, really hungry)


1 Tbsp olive oil

2 cloves minced garlic

1 Tbsp cup chopped jalapeños (I use ones from a jar – you can use fresh if you have them)

1/2 medium sized brown onion, finely chopped

200g packet of tempeh (I use Impulse Foods, which is organic and produced locally in the UK)

2 Tbsp soy sauce

1/4 cup ketchup

2 Tbsp BBQ sauce

1 Tbsp tomato paste

1 Tbsp sriracha

1 tsp chilli powder

½ tsp cumin

salt & pepper to tastse

1/3 cup water

4 small hamburger buns


Heat the oil in a fry pan/skillet over medium heat and add jalapeños and onion.  Stir to combine and continue cooking and stirring occasionally for around five to eight minutes, or until onion is translucent.

Add the garlic to the pan and stir for one minute until garlic is heated through.

Add the tempeh and water to the pan and break up the tempeh with a wooden spoon.  Mix to combine with the onions and heat through (about five minutes – keep stirring every so often).

Add the remaining ingredients minus the buns, and stir to combine.  Add more water here if needed – you want a sloppy but not runny consistency!  Cook for a further five minutes or so, until everything is heated through.

Spoon onto your hamburger buns and add your favourite toppings.

Time to make: 5 minutes prep, 10 minutes cooking time = 25 minutes

On a scale of easy (1) to pull your hair out difficult (5) =  1.5, quick and easy this one.  GET IN.

#nowplaying Radiohead – Man of War

Get saucy – Big Mac “special sauce” (vegan)


In the first instalment of an ongoing saucy series, I’m going to share with you how to make a Big Mac “special sauce”.  There’s nothing special about the ingredients, but there IS something special about the taste.  It tastes like the real thing.

Can’t say I was ever a huge fan of Big Macs (I was a double cheeseburger girl myself… disgraceful) but when you become vegan you just want to veganise ALL the things.

Veganised Big Mac… tongue back in mouth please.

There are a lot of special sauce recipes floating around on the internet but I’ve found this combination of ingredients to be the tastiest/most realistic.  To get the best out of your sauce, build a burger with soft seeded burger buns, Fry’s Family Foods Traditional burger patty (or two per burger because, y’know, #fattyvegan), Violife original cheese slices, chopped up lettuce and pickles/gherkins.

You will never want for a dirty McDonald’s Big Mac again.  Promise.



1/4 cup vegan mayo (I use granoVita Mayola – find them in Holland & Barratt, Ocado or Amazon)

1 Tbsp Italian dressing (you can sub French dressing if you have it to hand)

2 Tbsp chopped gherkins/dill pickle

1 Tbsp finely chopped white onion

1/2 tsp sugar

salt & pepper to taste


Prepare all your ingredients and mix together in a small serving dish.  DONE!


Makes enough sauce for two burgers

Time to make: 5 minutes to chop ingredients and mix = 5 minutes

On a scale of easy (1) to pull your hair out difficult (5) = 1, chop, mix, done!

#nowplaying Yak – Alas Salvation