I was so happy last night when the sloppy sams were eaten without complaint! I think we're finally getting closer to a truly successful sloppy sam recipe!
Here's what I did:
(This recipe requires a small amount of advance preparation, but it is well worth it.)
The night before or in the morning, open and drain a package of firm tofu. Place on a towel lined plate, cover with another clean towel (or paper towel), and weigh it down. I used my cast iron fry pan to weigh it down, and it really drained a lot of liquid out of the tofu over the hour or so I drained it.
Once the tofu is well-drained, crumble it finely with a fork (in a bowl you can cover). I seasoned it with soy sauce, garlic powder, and onion powder. Cover the bowl and refrigerate till you're ready to throw the sloppy sams together.
Later, finely dice 1 medium onion, 2 cloves of garlic, and a sweet red pepper. Saute in olive oil over medium heat, preferably in a cast iron pan. When the onion is translucent and fragrant, add the tofu crumbles. Continue to cook, stirring frequently. Once the tofu browns somewhat, add tomato paste, water, sugar, vinegar, ground black pepper, and any other seasonings you like. Allow to cook over med-low heat till warmed through, stirring occasionally. I also added some oat bran toward the end, because I accidentally used too much water. This thickened it up really nicely, and even added fiber and nutrients to our meal.
Even my 6 year old daughter, who always claims not to eat Sloppy Sams, ate it all up!