Vegan Sloppy Joe’s with Wilted Red Cabbage

Vegan Sloppy Joe's with Wilted Red Cabbage

It all started when we were on vacation in Vancouver, BC last year. My husband Dwight used to work in a hotel there prior to us moving down to Virgin Gorda.

He had a close friend, who was also a famous local chef, named Ned Bell. They worked together during the opening of Hotel Georgia in 2011, and after a year, parted ways as their careers took them to different places.

When Dwight phoned Ned to let him know that we were in town, he immediately invited us to dinner at Yew, the restaurant that he was (and is still) working at.

Yew is a seafood restaurant with an extensive wine list located in Four Seasons, Vancouver.

Vegan Sloppy Joe's with Wilted Red Cabbage

We went there not knowing that they also had an extensive vegan menu. Up until that day, neither of us had ever been to such a high-end restaurant that also served vegan food. Though the seafood dishes on the menu looked very appealing, I decided to give the vegan menu a shot.

It was amazing. I ordered the squash salad as an appetizer and the crispy cauliflower dish as an entrée. They were so tasty;  I was truly amazed at how flavorful and delicious vegan food could be.

Vegan Sloppy Joe's with Wilted Red Cabbage

Since then, I try vegan recipes in my own kitchen from time to time. Though it does not excite Dwight as much as our typical meat-based meals, there are times that he is happily surprised with a vegan dish. These vegan Sloppy Joe’s ended up being one of those recipes.

Vegan Sloppy Joe's with Wilted Red Cabbage

To make this traditional American dish vegan, I swapped the ground beef with Portabella mushrooms. I cooked it in beer to give it an earthy, rich flavor, which also made it taste like it has been simmering for a long time. A last minute addition of walnuts gave it a surprising crunch. After spooning a generous amount of this deliciousness on freshly toasted slider buns, I topped it off with balsamic vinegar-flavored wilted red cabbage and chunks of avocados.

Vegan Sloppy Joe's with Wilted Red Cabbage

It was a healthy lunch feast for us on that day. A lunch that I will be making more often as we approach the excruciatingly hot summer days of the Caribbean.

Vegan Sloppy Joe's with Wilted Red Cabbage
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
  • 1 pound Portobello mushrooms, wiped and cleaned
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil, divided
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 red or green bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 + ¼ teaspoon salt, divided
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 cup light beer (I used Heineken Light)
  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • ½ cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1 cup red cabbage, sliced thinly
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 ripe avocado, sliced
  • vegan hamburger/slider buns
  1. Place mushrooms in the bowl of a food processor and process them in batches until they are finely chopped. Set aside.
  2. In a large skillet (I used a cast iron skillet) heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Add the onion and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until they are wilted, 5-7 minutes.
  3. Stir in the tomato paste, salt, pepper, and chili powder. Cook, stirring constantly, until they are all incorporated, 3-4 minutes.
  4. Add the mushrooms and cook until they release some of their juices, 5 minutes.
  5. Stir in the beer, ketchup, and walnuts. Cook stirring occasionally for -7-10 minutes.
  6. In the mean time, heat 1tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet. Add the red cabbage and cook, stirring occasionally, until soften, 7-8 minutes. Once cooked, place it in a mixing bowl. Stir in the balsamic vinegar. Season it with ¼ teaspoon salt.
  7. To assemble: Spoon 2 tablespoons (or more) of the vegan Sloppy Joe’s onto each bun. Top it off with wilted red cabbage and sliced avocados.
  8. Serve immediately.

 Adapted with changes from this recipe.

Vegan Sloppy Joe's with Wilted Red Cabbage




Linguine with Shrimp Scampi

Linguine with Shrimp Scampi

Catalan-Style Spinach August 16, 2013 Catalana Style Spinach Lately, we are having our dinners, out in our balcony. I do not mean to brag about it, but our balcony is looking over to the Atlantic Ocean. There is always a nice breeze coming from the ocean. Believe me, in the hot, “always summer” days of the Caribbean Islands, you need this kind of breeze in your life. Sometimes we open a bottle of wine and just enjoy it while listening the sound of the ocean. To accompany our “Ocean Breeze and Wine” evenings, lately, I have been experimenting on making several small dishes instead of a big-meal dinner. My husband Dwight loves it, especially because he comes home pretty late from work and does not want to have a heavy meal at that time of the day. I love small dishes because (1) they are, usually, easy and quick to make and (2) full of flavor. Not to mention, they go so well with a bottle of wine. When I think about small dishes, I either look for tapas, Spanish appetizers, or meze, Middle Eastern appetizers. Both cuisines are … [Read More...] Baked Goat Cheese Salad Baked Goat Cheese Salad Have you ever ordered a dish in a restaurant and loved it so much that you wanted to recreate it at home? This happens to me all the time. As our life revolves around food, I find myself taking pictures of food to recreate at home at every restaurant we go. This salad is one of those dishes. Years ago I had a similar salad in a small café in Princeton, New Jersey. I can’t even remember the name of the café but I can still remember the taste like it was yesterday. I tried to … [Read More...] Kale and Avocado Salad Kale and Avocado Salad In the last couple of years kale has become very popular mainly because it ranks the highest in the ANDI score. You can find it in easily available, even in Virgin Gorda. So what is ANDI Score? ANDI is an acronym for Aggregate Nutrient Density Index. Joel Fuhrman, M.D, is the creator of ANDI scoring system. Dr. Furhman is a family physician who specializes in nutrition-based treatments for obesity and chronic diseases. According to Dr. Fuhrman, in order to achieve excellent health, we … [Read More...] Chunky Homemade Granola

Chunky Homemade Granola {VIDEO}

Ottoman-Style Chicken Pilaf with Pine Nuts, Currants, and Herbs

Ottoman-Style Chicken Pilaf with Pine Nuts, Currants, and Herbs


  1. Crystal says:

    I cannot wait to try these! I was so happy to find this recipe in my inbox this morning!

  2. Wonderful recipe! I really want to try this soon :-)

  3. I was just thinking about making some vegan sandwiches or burgers for my friends this week–this looks like a lovely take. Thanks for sharing it!

  4. Oh my gosh, I LOVED Vancouver when I was there last fall, and I already can’t wait to go back. What an amazing food city! Speaking of amazing – girl – these joes look way too decadent to be vegan. Are you kidding me? Pinning!

Leave a Comment


Rate this recipe: