Lentil Sloppy Joes

Sloppy Joes without the guilt
Sloppy Joes without the guilt

Hot comfort food without all the guilt. That’s right, it’s a miracle. You can make these vegan, unless you put a slice of cheese on the bottom of the bun like I do. It’s a great substitute for meat on Fridays during lent, or if you have a Meatless Mondays tradition. Or if you have a fussy vegetarian friend.

No joke though, my grandma once asked me if vegan was a disease. I can see why she would think that. She grew up in a time where you eat everything that your parents can afford to put in front of you. The only dietary restrictions were the occasional peanut allergy. When she asked about it, I replied, “kind of.” I’m not sure how to explain to her that people have good food readily available, but choose to not eat it. She just wouldn’t understand. I wont even get into it with her about gluten intolerances.

Personally, I love lentils. I crave them constantly. I’ll often use them as a substitute for ground beef. I’m not a vegetarian, but meat can be expensive sometimes.

I used to buy Manwich, but after reading the label, I decided to tinker around with making my own. Manwich has bad-for-you ingredients like high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, added sugar, and about 500mg of sodium per serving. It’s just too much for me to stomach.

This recipe serves 8.

What You’ll Need:

  • 2 cups of lentils
  • 1 diced onion
  • 1/2 diced red pepper
  • 1/2 diced green pepper
  • 2 tbs coconut oil (or whichever oil you prefer)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 6-oz can of tomato paste
  • 1 cup of ketchup
  • 3 tbs yellow mustard
  • 3 tbs chili powder
  • 1 tbs cumin
  • 3 tbs molasses
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 hamburger buns (I used the onion and poppy seed ones from Whole Foods)

Let’s Get Cooking:

  1. In a saucepan, mix lentils into 6 cups of water. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a medium heat while covered. Stir the lentils occasionally so that they won’t stick. Theyv cook up in about 25-30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat coconut oil over a medium heat.
  3. Add onions to the oil and sauté for about 4 minutes, until translucent-ish.
  4. Add garlic and red and green peppers to the onions and sauté for about 5 more minutes.
  5. Stir tomato paste, ketchup, mustard, chili powder, cumin, and molasses into the vegetable mixture. You have now made the sloppy joe sauce.
  6. Simmer the sauce for about 5-10 minutes until it thickens.
  7. Drain the lentils and stir them into the sloppy joe sauce. If you feel that the sauce is too thick, add some of the lentil water until you have reached you preferred sloppy joe consistency.
  8. Serve on a toasted hamburger bun (with a slice of cheese if you like) and enjoy.

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