Vegetarian Pinto Bean Sloppy Joes

Now that it’s summertime and everyone is having a cookout, I thought it would be great to find something tasty to make for my vegetarian friends while grilling is happening. This is a fantastic recipe, and it goes well with all of the cookout types of foods – so vegetarians won’t feel left out during a cookout (and won’t have to eat those gross “veggie burgers” either)! When we made these, vegetarians and meat-eaters both loved them! Enjoy!

Vegetarian Pinto Bean Sloppy Joes
From Eating Well, May/June 2014
Serves 10

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium carrots, sliced
1 large white onion, sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 cup dry pinto beans, soaked (see Tip)
1 large red bell pepper, diced
1 8-ounce can no-salt-added tomato sauce
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce or tamari
2 tablespoons tomato paste
4 cups very thinly sliced green cabbage
1 medium zucchini, chopped
1 cup corn, fresh or frozen (thawed)
3 tablespoons honey mustard
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
10 whole-wheat hamburger buns

Directions:
1.Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add carrots and onion; cook, stirring occasionally, until starting to brown, about 8 minutes. Stir in garlic and chili powder; cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Remove from heat; stir in vinegar and scrape up any browned bits.

2.Coat a 6-quart slow cooker with cooking spray. Drain and rinse the soaked beans; transfer to the slow cooker. Stir in bell pepper, tomato sauce, water, soy sauce (or tamari) and tomato paste to combine. Spread the carrot-onion mixture over the bean mixture, but don’t stir the two together. (The layer on top helps keep the beans submerged during cooking so they don’t dry out.) Cover and cook on High for 5 hours or Low for 9 hours.

3.Stir in cabbage, zucchini, corn, honey mustard, brown sugar and salt; cook on High for 30 minutes.

4.Serve the mixture on buns.

Nutritional info:
Calories: 283
Fat: 6 g fat
Saturated fat: 1g
Monosaturated fat: 3g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Carbs: 51 g
Sugar: 13g
Added sugar: 6g
Protein: 11 g
Fiber: 11 g
Sodium: 692 mg
Potassium: 773mg

Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days; reheat before serving.

Before using beans in a slow-cooker recipe, soak them to ensure even cooking. Start by sorting beans to remove any pebbles; rinse well with cold water. To soak overnight: Place beans in a large bowl, cover with 3 inches of cold water and soak at room temperature for 8 to 24 hours. To “quick soak”: Place beans in a large saucepan with enough cold water to cover them by 2 inches. Bring to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat, cover and let stand for 1 hour.

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