Sloppy Joe Lentil Poser

After I posted about using lentils as an inexpensive, healthier, plant-based protein source, I received a comment asking if I had any recipes using lentils. Ummno, actually. For some weird reason, despite cooking with lentils every week, I didn’t have a single recipe on here that features them! I needed to amend this quickly — it was embarrassing; my pride was at stake. What kind of non-animal eating recipe-making fool am I? Ok. Overly dramatic. But I have been wanting to make a vegetarian Manwich substitute for months, so this finally gave me the incentive. I had an idea of what my method would be, but I got scurred (<– scared, it’s how we spell it in the ghetto. Just fyi.). So I glanced at these two rockin’ recipes from Mama Pea and Post Punk Kitchen, then got overwhelmed, and finally just did what I always do — dumped in whatever the H I wanted. And you know what? It was awesome.

I know, it looks like a lot of ingredients. But it’s easy, and you can totally handle this. Trust. <3

1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 t oregano
1/2 Tb basil
Homemade chili powder mix (recipe below — or use a couple Tb regular chili powder I suppose)
Pinch of cinnamon (literally — a pinch)
1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
2 Tb regular mustard
3 Tb agave, honey, or 100% pure maple syrup
1/2 Tb apple cider vinegar
2 Tb (healthy) ketchup (I use Annie’s agave-sweetened)
A few dashes Chipotle Tabasco (or other hot sauce, if desired)
3 C cooked lentils (sprinkle with salt first) — I used French. Because…they were on sale.
salt + pepper to taste

1) Over medium heat, in a tablespoon or so of extra virgin olive oil, saute onion and garlic until onions are translucent and browning. Reduce heat to medium low.
2) Add oregano, basil, and chili powder, stir.
3) Add all remaining wet ingredients and stir. Add in lentils.
4) Let simmer for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally to keep from sticking.

Homemade Chili Powder Recipe:
1 Tb paprika
2 t cumin
2 t garlic powder
1 t onion powder
cayenne to preference

Mix to combine.

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So. Certainly this can be adapted endlessly to your tastes! For example, you might want to add a splash of barbeque sauce, or add extra lentils for a more “meaty” texture. You can sweeten it more than I did, or add extra mustard like the vinegar-lover in me wanted to. Everyone’s family probably had a different method, so adapt it to your memory’s content : )  Regardless, I strongly urge you to garnish your Sloppy, Vegan, ManGenderneutralwiches with fresh chopped onion. It’s a whole new level, folks. And it’s worth that extra 3 seconds of chop chop chopping. Trust me on this. I think these will become a frequent flyer (to our mouths) in this home. It was pretty stankin’ good, and easy. Oh, and healthy.

As if my very professional-looking photos weren’t convincing enough (and I know they were) [<– joke], here are some nutrition stats for lentils to make you holla for daal…a. (If you didn’t get that, go here. Study up on your ethnic food, yo!)

– 1 cup = ~18g protein (!!!)
– High fiber
– Lowers cholesterol
– Blood sugar stabilizing (high fiber = no sugar overload)
– Pretty much crazy amazing for your heart all-around
– Excellent source of iron (w/out the cost + fat of red meat)
– Uber cheap (Oh, wait, not nutrition-oriented…nevertheless. Win.)
– Outrageously great percentage of daily molybdenum
– Fantastically folate-rich
– Mucho manganese
– Super awesome amount of phosphorous
– Packed with potassium

(See what happened there? Did you see it?)

And for your pleasure…because you know it’s the first thing you think of when I say Sloppy Joes:

FACT: I wanted to either be, or marry, Chris Farley when I grew up.

Yes. My parents worried about me.

Part of Pennywise Platter.

What’s your favorite no-meat dish?

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I’m a writer, new mom and foodie. I love sharing what I know while making others feel beautiful. On this blog, I share my healthy lifestyle, simple meals, fitness tips and experiences.

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Kara Bout It