About ten years ago, my wife got me to start experimenting with vegetarian food. I started with what I knew best: boxed things. Fantastic Foods has a few tasty boxes, such as mixes for sloppy joes and tacos.
The back of the sloppy joe mix had a recipe for some insane sort of “sloppy joe french bread pizza”. We enjoyed it. We made it frequently. Easy enough, since the recipe was right there on the box.
Then one day the recipe was gone from the back of the box. It had been replaced by something far less decadent. We were disappointed, but not defeated. The recipe was on the Fantastic Foods Web site. We wrote it down and carried on, making it a couple times a year for a few years.
Then we moved. We lost the copy we had written down. Worse yet, the recipe was no longer on the Web site! And because it had been a while since I made it, my memory of the details was lost. We despaired - but we were not defeated. I spent the better part of an evening digging through the history of the Fantastic Foods site on archive.org until I found my prize. This time I saved it online in multiple locations, as a cheese-obsessed squirrel might. And now we can enjoy this whenever we want.
Anyways, here’s the recipe. A couple folks have asked for it recently. The carnivores among you can experiment with using meat in place of the sloppy joe mix. The vegans could use melty soy stuff instead of cheese. Hardcore vegans could replace the French bread with - I’m not sure, really - sprout bread or something?
Fantastic Foods Sloppy Joe French Bread Pizza
- 1 package Fantastic Foods Sloppy Joe Mix
- 1 loaf French bread
- 1 14.5-oz. can basil & garlic diced tomatoes
- Fresh basil, chopped (optional)
- 12-oz. can diced black olives
- 1 cup Cheddar cheese, shredded
Preheat broiler. Drain tomato liquid and reserve. Prepare Sloppy Joe mix using ¾ cup tomato liquid and ½ cup water in place of water called for in directions. Add drained tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes. Halve French bread loaf lengthwise. Spoon ½ of Sloppy Joe mixture onto each bread half. Sprinkle basil and black olives over mixture, then top with shredded cheese. Broil until cheese melts, being careful not to burn. Slice and serve.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Baking/cooling time: about 5 minutes
Oh, one thing I like to do is toast the halved loaf under the broiler for maybe a minute. It’s just enough to get some crispiness, which I think goes well with the hot melty mess up top.