the taste space

Caribbean Soy Curled Sloppy Joes with Creamed Greens Wrap

Posted in Favourites, Mains (Vegetarian) by Janet M on October 10, 2013

Soy Curled Sloppy Joes with Creamed Spinach Wrap

Rob and I have been trading stories. He has been back in Canada for the last two weeks. He is hitting up all our old haunts, new joints (I knew he wouldn’t be able to resist the vegan boston creme donuts and other treats at Through Being Cool; he’s already tried the Toronto’s crookie (cookie-croissant hybrid) and scouting out Toronto’s cronut, too) and getting ready to spend time with his family for Thanksgiving. I am willing to bet most of my readers know Canadians celebrate Thanksgiving almost a month before the Americans, but if not, let there be no confusion. Canada’s Thanksgiving is on Monday. :)

This is a dish Rob made before he left. He is much better at tackling his recipe hit-list than I am. Possibly because it is shorter.  While in Bend, Oregon, we discovered a restaurant with delicious food. For me, I adored their tempeh reuben salad (recreating it is still on my hitlist!) and Rob was adamant about recreating the sloppy joe sandwich.

Soy Curled Sloppy Joes with Creamed Spinach Wrap

While I have made Sloppy Joes with TVP, which I served overtop roasted sweet potatoes, I shared Isa’s recipe with Rob. With the extra spices, I knew he would really like it. Rob really liked their sandwich because it was served with a brioche bun. He looked around a bit but wasn’t able to find something in Houston. That did not deter him.

I no longer remember what protein this resto used for their sloppy joe, but Isa’s called for seitan which we didn’t have. Instead, Rob experimented with another Portland find: soy curls. Soy curls totally deserve their high praise. Similar to TVP in that they are a dry soy product, they not as highly processed. Soy curls are made by cooking, then drying soybeans, whereas TVP has been processed to become defatted. Their fun shapes are akin to pulled meat. I bought a bunch in bulk while in Portland and wish there was a local supplier because I know we will use them up quickly.

In any case, Isa’s recipe did not disappoint. She called it jerk-spiced sloppy joes, but the flavours were more muted. When I think of jerk, I think of bold flavours. Instead, this was tame. Nicely flavoured and palatable for the masses. The Caribbean flavours of allspice, cinnamon, and paprika were present and made for a  lovely tomato sauce. Rob amped the sweet sauciness by adding red pepper paste. Lime juice balanced it nicely.

The second component to the dish was coconut creamed spinach and kale. Spiced with star anise, the Caribbean flair persisted. Instead of the brioche bun, Rob used a paratha to eat this. Mainly because that’s what we had in the freezer. This is a fusion household. Indian-Caribbean-American in one wrap. Use whatever vehicle you’d like.  :)

While this recipe seems almost as elaborate as Rob’s epic Jackfruit & Kimchi and Sweet Potato Poutine with Tofu, this one didn’t take nearly as long to cook. Start to end was around an hour, which is a good thing since Rob has proclaimed this as a Rob’s Repeater Recipe.

Have you ever tried soy curls? What did you think?

Soy Curled Sloppy Joes with Creamed Spinach Wrap
This is my submission to Deb for this week’s Souper Sundays.

Caribbean Soy Curled Sloppy Joes with Creamed Spinach Wrap
Adapted from Post Punk Kitchen

1/2 lb dry soy curls
1 tbsp + 1 tsp coconut oil, divided
1 medium onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
1.5 tsp dried thyme
1 tbsp smoked sweet paprika
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/2 tsp Aleppo chile flakes
1/8 tsp cinnamon
14 oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
1.5 tsp tomato paste
1.5 tsp red pepper paste (or more tomato paste)
1 tsp pure maple syrup, or to taste
1 tbsp fresh lime juice
2 tsp yellow mustard (Rob used Creole mustard)

2 teaspoons coconut oil
2 cloves minced garlic
1 lb kale and spinach, stems removed
1 cup coconut milk (regular or light)
2 star anise
1/4 teaspoon salt

parathas, or however you want to serve your wrap (sandwich buns, etc)

1. Begin by reconstituting the soy curls. Add enough boiling water to cover and allow to sit for 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.

2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat 1 tbsp coconut oil. Once hot, add onion and a pinch of salt. Saute until translucent, around 5 minutes.

3. Stir in the reconstituted soy curls and cook until nicely browned, around 10 minutes. Push the onions and soy curls to the side so that you have room to quickly saute the garlic and ginger. Add the remainder 1 tsp of coconut oil and stir in the garlic and ginger, and stir, as it sizzles. After 15 seconds, stir it into the rest of the mixture.

4. Stir in the thyme, paprika, salt, allspice, Aleppo chile flakes, and cinnamon until well combined.

5. Add the tomatoes and cook for 10 minute more, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, and stir in the maple syrup, lime juice and mustard. Season to taste.

6. While the main mixture doing its thing, you want to start the cooking the spinach. In a medium skillet over medium heat, heat the oil. Add the garlic and allow it to sizzle for a few seconds, being careful not to let it burn. Add the spinach and kale in batches, until it is all wilted and fits in the pan. Cook for 3 minutes.

7. Carefully remove any moisture that may have accumulated by pushing the green mixture to one side, holding in place with tongs and draining the water form the other side. Now return the greens to the stove on medium heat. Add the coconut milk, star anise and salt. Bring to a boil, stirring often, and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow it to thicken. Remove star anise prior to serving.

8. To serve, heat up your paratha/bun/etc, and fill with the sloppy joe mixture and creamed spinach.

Serves 3-4.

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22 Responses

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  1. Allysia Kerney said, on October 10, 2013 at 7:33 AM

    Yay, I hadn’t heard of TBC but now it’s on my food map. :) Still haven’t had soy curls for some strange reason, they always look and sound amazing! The combination with creamed spinach/kale totally rocks.

    • janet @ the taste space said, on October 10, 2013 at 7:53 AM

      TBC just opened… brand-spanking new! There is no local retailer for soy curls in Houston but I wonder if you could buy them in Canada. I obviously should sell them. I see a need!! :)

  2. Pat said, on October 10, 2013 at 8:11 AM

    I love soy curls. They are so helpful for soaking up any sauce, or in casserole-type dishes. Definitely better after crisping in a skillet – if you just soak them and eat them, they are a little too sopngy. There’s no local source here either, but you can buy them online from VeganEssentials and through Amazon.

  3. coconutandberries said, on October 10, 2013 at 8:27 AM

    How did I miss that Isa recipe?! Looks amazing. I was thrilled when I received a bag of soy curls in an international food swap- I think I made Asian dishes with them though if I remember correctly.
    Did you make those paratha? If so, do you have a recipe to share?

  4. Alison S said, on October 10, 2013 at 9:58 AM

    I can’t believe I just bookmarked a recipe with ‘soy curls’! Now, to find soy curls…

    • janet @ the taste space said, on October 11, 2013 at 5:22 AM

      Thanks, Alison… If you find soy curls in Toronto, please let me know. They aren’t even sold in Houston. ;)

  5. rszumlak said, on October 10, 2013 at 12:12 PM

    Yummy!! For reference, the original Sloppy Joe’s that we had in Bend used tempeh as their protein base.

  6. Joanne said, on October 10, 2013 at 5:30 PM

    Now I’m definitely going to have to find some soy curls here in NYC…I think the.boy would just about die of happiness if I made him a veg version of a sloppy joe!

  7. Kari @ bite-sized thoughts said, on October 10, 2013 at 7:12 PM

    I’ve never had sloppy joes of any variety but I do love wraps and I love the look and sound of soy curls – so I think I’d love this :)

  8. […] Rob is away which means I have been left to my own devices.  I stay up a lot later when Rob isn’t here to remind me to go to sleep. I am the one taking care of the garbage, mail and laundry. I haven’t vacuumed yet, but I think that’s ok. We stocked up on groceries before Rob left, so I had a fridge full of produce to work through. […]

  9. rika@veganmiam said, on October 12, 2013 at 7:39 PM

    I had my first soy curls at this vegan-friendly Mexican joint in Portland, “Los Gorditos” and I loved them on these little sopas and tacos. However, they make me very bloated :( have you ever felt that way? I would love to try this recipe with jackfruit, the carribean recipe sounds wonderful.

    • janet @ the taste space said, on October 12, 2013 at 9:29 PM

      Rob and I had soy curls there, too! I don’t find I have any problems with soy. I know others get bloated from tofu, etc, but I am ok. I have to eat roasted soy nuts, though, in moderation, because those can make me bloated.. which is unfortunate, because I really like them. :( Jackfruit sounds like a ridiculously awesome option for this, though. I have also seen it done with smashed chickpeas. :)

  10. Deb in Hawaii said, on October 13, 2013 at 7:22 PM

    Now I want to try soy curls really badly! ;-) This wrap looks amazing and I love it on the paratha–I almost always have them in my freezer. Those cream greens are mainly me drool too.

    Thanks for sharing it with Souper Sundays this week! ;-)

  11. Gabby @ the veggie nook said, on October 14, 2013 at 8:44 PM

    Ahhh the soy curls! What are the chances that you can bring soy curls with you to Canada so that we can cook them and I can try them without buying a bag (thus being stuck with an ingredient that won’t agree with me)? ;) They look so good!

    • janet @ the taste space said, on October 14, 2013 at 9:13 PM

      Hehe, if Rob still agrees to buying 11 lb in bulk, then of course! :-) He actually has already agreed after he made these, so he better not rescind. :-)

  12. […] Punk Kitchen, and shares her experience making Harira with Eggplant and Chickpeas. Janet made the Caribbean Soy Curled Sloppy Joes with Creamed Greens Wrap from Isa Does It as […]

  13. […] Lest you think this blog is only made up of Asian and Southeast Asian/Indian, or ridiculously easy treats, sometimes it is nice to branch out a bit. Branch out into fancy foods, even if Rob is away. […]

  14. […] couldn’t let Rob be the only one having fun with soy curls. At first, I wasn’t sure what to make, but once Rob showed how easy it was to add to a dish, […]

  15. […] Canadians celebrate Thanksgiving two months before Americans. Toronto is colder than Houston, but not nearly as cold as Ottawa, let […]

  16. Ellen Lederman said, on November 30, 2013 at 9:22 PM

    Loved this! Made it without a wrapper. So flavorful. Subbed collard greens for the spinach and kale since that’s what we had. can’t picture it with smashed chickpeas, as you said, but could with jackfruit.

    So happy that Amazon sells soy curls.

    • janet @ the taste space said, on December 3, 2013 at 2:14 PM

      Yay! What a great idea for jackfruit! I totally need to restock the soy curls.. I was hoping for a Cyber Monday deal, but alas…. (I did buy 25 lbs of coconut flour for $30 though… Rob was not too pleased, HAHAHA!)


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