Youth is wasted on the young, and so are sloppy Joes. That messy meat mix remains in our hearts and memories and here, you can have all the flavor without the meat and the childhood lunchroom traumas. We fill our sloppy Joes with the tastiest vegetarian replacement around: mushrooms, walnuts, and shallot. A sweet tomato sauce and thick Texas toast round out this meal, served with sweet potato rounds. It will make you feel so young (and perhaps that there are songs to be sung).
Peel and cut sweet potato into thin rounds. Finely chop mushrooms. Peel and mince shallot. Coarsely chop walnuts. Mince garlic.
Roast the Sweet Potato Rounds
Using your hands, coat sweet potato rounds with 1 Tbsp. olive oil, ¼ tsp. salt, and a pinch of pepper on prepared baking sheet. Spread into a single layer and roast 20 minutes. Flip potatoes and roast until browned, 4-6 minutes. While sweet potatoes roast, cook mushrooms.
Cook the Mushrooms
Place a large non-stick pan over medium-high heat. Add 1 Tbsp. olive oil, mushrooms, ¼ tsp. salt, and a pinch of pepper to hot pan. Cook, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms release their liquid, 4-6 minutes.
Cook the Sloppy Joe
Add shallot, walnuts, and taco seasoning to pan and cook until fragrant, 1 minute. Add crushed tomatoes, ¾ cup water, ketchup, and honey. Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, 3-5 minutes. Remove from burner and set aside.
Toast the Texas Toast
Combine garlic and 1½ Tbsp. olive oil in a small mixing bowl and brush on one side of Texas toast slices. Place directly on oven rack and toast until golden brown, 4-6 minutes.
Plate the Dish
Place Texas toast on a plate garlic side up and top with sloppy Joe and second piece of toast. Place sweet potato rounds on the side. Serve with napkins. (You'll need 'em!)