PP Sloppy Joes

Chef:  Del Sroufe
Makes:  6 sandwiches
Prep Time:  30 minutes
Cook Time:  70-80 minutes (50-60 for cooking wheat berries, rest for simmering & date puree 10 minutes)
Total Time :  1 hour 20-30 minutes


  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • ½ green bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 c cooked wheat berries (*see tip)
  • 1 15 oz can tomato puree
  • 1/3 c date puree (*recipe below)
  • 1/4 c ketchup
  • 1 T vegan Worcestershire sauce or tamari
  • 6 whole-grain hamburger buns


  1. Saute the onion, bell pepper and celery in a medium–size skillet over medium heat for 7 to 8 minutes.  Add water 1 to 2T at a time to keep the vegetables from sticking to the pan.  Add the garlic and cook for another minute.
  2. Add the cooked wheat berries, tomato puree, date puree, ketchup and Worcestershire sauce and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens, about 10 minutes.  Season with sea salt and black pepper to taste.
  3. Place the bottom halves of each hamburger bun on a work surface and top with some of the filling.  Place the tops of the buns on the sandwiches and serve.


  1. Wheat berries can be found at natural food stores and online retailers.  To cook them, combine 2/3 c wheat berries and 21 c water in a small sauce pan.  Bring the water to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce the heat to medium, cover and cook for 50-60 minutes, until water is absorbed and the wheat berries are tender.

Date Paste Puree

Makes:  3 c
Prep Time:  5 minutes
Cook Time:  10 minutes
Total Time:  15 minutes


  • 2 c pitted dates
  • 2 c water


Combine the dates and water in a small saucepan.   Cover and cook over medium heat until the dates are tender, about 10 minutes.  Drain and reserve the cooking water.

Puree dates in a blender, adding just enough water to make a creamy consistency.  Let cool to room temperature, then store in an airtight container for up to a week.


  1. Add as little water as possible to the dates to concentrate the sweetness in the puree.  
  2. Date puree is not a 1:1 replacement for sugar and, to the newbie, may not taste as sweet.
  3. If you are trying to use this date puree instead of sugar in your favorite recipes, you may need to cut back a bit on the liquid in your recipe, and it may take a little experimentation to figure out exactly how much date puree to use.

You can use this puree in a lot of dessert recipes.  It is a great way to get your family off processed sugar.


Chef Del Sroufe teaches cooking classes at local venues like Whole Foods, Community Recreation Centers, and The Wellness Forum.   Sroufe is the author of The China Study: Quick & Easy Cookbook, The China Study Family Cookbook, Better Than Vegan, and Forks Over Knives—The Cookbook, a vegan cookbook companion to the acclaimed documentary Forks Over Knives. Learn more at www.chefdelsroufe.com.

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