So how do you make vegetarian sloppy joes?
First you solicit suggestions on Facebook for ideas. Someone will suggest Sloppy Joes and give you a recipe that looks... well, just too chunky and vegetable-y for your tastes. So, you will teak it slightly. Smaller chunks, more filler, etc.
Chop your veggies: Onions, bell peppers, garlic, some mushrooms would be grand here. This is the point where you need to decide just HOW vegetarian you want to make this. In our house, we are not opposed to using beef bouillon to give the illusion of beefy-ness, so there is some beef bouillon in this. I expect mushroom bouillon would do much the same, but we don't have any.
Sauté onions, peppers, and garlic until browned and starting to soften. Or, pull earlier than that because you're running short of time. Add the bouillon cubes at the last, so they soften and flavor the onions and such. I liked the pickled garlic in this, it works well in some things and not others but it definitely was nice in this dish.
Skip a whole lot of picture taking because, again, short on time. I put in the veggies, then 2 cups of lentils, 1 1/3 cup TVP because that's what I had but more would have been OK. Then added water, but wish I'd waited for the end on that. Anyway, one can plain tomato sauce and one can tomato paste--could have used more tomato! I'd add 2 cans of paste here, and maybe no tomato sauce at all. The recipe I had also called for chili pepper and oregano, so that made it in. Plus about... easily a third of a cup of yellow mustard, and it could have used more. 8 cups of water was a little too much, but without the watery tomato sauce and with a little more TVP it would have been OK.
Cook on high for 4 hours in the crockpot. Serve over a dinner roll, hamburger bun, the butts of bread, heck even just some bread slices. Whatever is on hand and looks good. Or, eat it out of a bowl like Mum did. Yum!
Winner, winner, Tasty dinner!