Sonoran-spiced Sloppy Meatless Sandwich Filling

Makes 4 generous portions


4 oz. raw cashews

3 Tbsp. liquid aminos (or tamari)

4 oz. mushrooms

1 tsp prepared yellow mustard

8 oz. cauliflower

½ tsp red wine vinegar

8 ounces Trader Joe’s Grilled frozen peppers and onions

1 jar (16 ounces) Trader Joes Fire Roasted Salsa (no salt added)

1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

½ tsp garlic powder

¾ cup organic catsup

1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper (optional)

Salt and pepper to taste

½ tsp. each: smoked paprika, cinnamon, cumin, and coriander

1 tsp chili powder


  1. Using a Food Processor, pulse cashews until finely chopped. Remove from work bowl and set aside. Repeat with mushrooms.
  2. Grate or finely chop cauliflower.
  3. Chop frozen bell peppers/onions into small dice.
  4. Put olive oil and a large skillet, heat over medium-high until oil shimmers. Add chopped onion/bell peppers and cook until softened and liquid has evaporated. Reduce heat to medium.
  5. Add spices and continue to cook over medium heat until spices are fragrant.
  6. Add chopped cauliflower to skillet. Cook, stirring gently for 3 minutes. Add cashews and continue cooking for another 2 minutes. Finally, stir in mushrooms and cook for 2 more minutes.
  7. Stir in liquid aminos, mustard, and vinegar; mix well. (At this point, the mixture can be used as “meat” in tacos, burritos, lasagna, etc.)
  8. For sloppy meat filling, stir in salsa and catsup. Continue cooking, uncovered over medium-low heat for 10 minutes.
  9. Serve on whole wheat buns or over a cooked whole grain such as barley.

Recipe notes

  • Amino liquid, soy sauce, and mushrooms all provide a flavor called umami that is associated with meat.
  • If you prefer, you can use eight ounces of riced cauliflower instead of chopping your own.
  • If you don’t have smoked paprika, sweet paprika will do, but won’t provide as much heat.
  • The prepared mixture can be portioned into jars and frozen for up to 3 months. Defrost in refrigerator overnight. Put in microwave-safe container and reheat gently on 70% power.
  • 5-spice seasoning is comprised of equal parts: chili powder, cinnamon, coriander, cumin, and smoked paprika

If you would like more ideas on how to make your diet more plant-forward, plan to attend my free lecture Wednesday, March 6 at 1 p.m. in the Mariposa Room at Desert View.

Nancy Teeter is a SaddleBrooke resident and registered dietitian nutritionist.