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Slim & sloppy Jane sandwiches

Patricia Conte has a background in marketing communications and works as an independent writer. In 2010, she was given the opportunity to combine her love of writing and food when she started as a contributing writer for the Food channel...

Slimmed-down sammies

If you could slenderize some of your meals without compromising taste and nutrition, why wouldn't you? This recipe for slim and sloppy Jane sandwiches makes it easy to give sloppy Joe the heave-ho!

Slimmed-down sammies

Indulge without the guilt

Give Joe the heave-ho and try this healthier sandwich option! You'll still need a few napkins when you eat these slim and sloppy Jane sandwiches, but it will be worth it. Using veggie crumbles and pita pockets as slimmed-down sandwich bread gives these sammies a heather spin to indulge in.

You won't miss what's missing

One option to slim down a recipe that calls for ground beef — like a traditional sloppy Joe — is to use a textured vegetable protein, or TVP. You may have seen TVP (sometimes called veggie crumbles) in the grocery store and wondered about it. As a meat substitute, TVP is soy protein that looks similar to ground beef and has a similar texture. It's high in protein and fiber, too. What is missing from TVP is fat and cholesterol! Compared with the equivalent amount of ground beef, TVP has about half the calorie content. If you're looking to reduce your meat consumption, follow a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle or just cut back a little here and there, veggie crumbles are a great substitute for ground beef.

Another way to trim your sandwich is to cut out some of the bread. For this recipe we used pita pockets, which are much thinner and smaller than the standard burger or sandwich bun. The pita bread used for this recipe racked up only 90 calories and 1 gram of fat per serving. Serve these sandwiches with a side of fruit and veggies and a few pretzel sticks instead of chips, and you'll be on your way to a slimmer supper!

Slim and sloppy Jane sandwich recipe

Serves 6


  • 12 ounces veggie crumbles
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1 red pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup reduced sodium vegetable broth
  • 2-1/2 cups tomato sauce
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon ground chili powder
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Salt to taste, if desired
  • 3 rounds of pita bread, cut in half


  1. Add the olive oil to a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat. When it's hot, add the onion, red pepper and carrot and cook until the onion becomes translucent.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.
  3. Simmer the mixture for about 20 minutes.
  4. Serve warm in the pita halves.

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