Pinto Bean & Quinoa Sloppy JoesA tomatoey, loose-meat sandwich: that’s the sloppy tradition you’re dealing with when you make a “sloppy joe.” I can appreciate the economy, the family-friendliness of the sloppy joe. And here, I’ve gone ahead and made a meatless version, of all things.

The “Pinto Bean & Quinoa Sloppy Joes,” from VegKitchen with Nava Atlas, were a pleasure to heap and eat, with a surprising, tomatoey richness. If you’re a fan of the individual ingredients -- quinoa, bell pepper, beans, tomato -- you’ll be thrilled by their sloppy combination. I swapped in smoked paprika for the chili powder, and we enjoyed the smokiness.

As a fine (and also sloppy) accompaniment, I made the “Zucchini Potato Casserole,” from Plant Based On A Budget. You can “eyeball” this recipe, really, since it’s all about making a messy mix of all the ingredients in a casserole dish and baking for a long 40 minutes. The long cook time softens the zucchini and bell pepper nicely. And the sandy mix of breadcrumbs and nutritional yeast and olive oil is right on. Remember to add lots of salt to this messy mix of casserole.

PRICES:
Onion (1) = .63¢
Pinto Beans (15oz. can) = $1.81

PREP TIMES: sloppy joes need 30 minutes or so of attention; casserole needs about an hour
TASTES:
smoky richness for the tomatoey blend of quinoa and beans; roasted savoriness for the zucchini/potatoes/pepper

Not yet ready to let go of my burger buns, next time I want to make the “Shrimp Burgers with Roasted Garlic-Orange Aioli,” from Food52, along with the “Zucchini Cauliflower Summer Gratin,” from Relishing It. This’ll be fun. Come back to my site next week to see it.