Yes indeed, the 4th of July is drawing ever closer and I’m sure you are finalizing the plans for all of your festivities for the day. But when you were planning out your menu, did you have a vegetarian option in mind? If not, perhaps you might be willing to consider these Lentil Sloppy Joes.
This vegetarian rendition of that childhood favourite will have your guests jumping for joy. Hearty, spicy, and somewhat remniscent of baked beans, I’m telling you folks won’t be missing the meat at all. Now your hard core carnivores might disagree, but I’m sure you’ll have them sorted with some ribs, pulled pork, hot dogs or burgers. Meanwhile, the meatless crowd will be delighted while tucking in to these filling and very satisfying, protein packed sandwiches. The fresh avocado is wonderful as a topper adding both great flavour and texture.
And if you are serving that lovely Carolina Style Pulled Pork I blogged about last week, you might have some coleslaw around, which would likely also be quite tasty perched atop this vegetarian creation. And while these are great in a summer cookout setting, they are so easy to make and delicious to boot, I’m sure we will be seeing them year round in our house!
Lentil Sloppy Joes
recipe slightly adapted from: Veggies By Candlelight
- 1 cup uncooked lentils (brown or green) .. soaked a few hours (or overnight) .. drained & rinsed
- 4 cups Smithwick’s Ale (** if not using beer .. water,vegetable or beef broth are great options)
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced small
- 1 red pepper, diced small
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 Tablespoons chili powder
- 8 oz can tomato sauce
- ¼ cup tomato paste
- 2 Tablespoons maple syrup (if you prefer a sweeter sauce add one more tablespoon)
- 1 Tablespoon yellow mustard
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper (or to taste – we like it peppery so I added 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper as well)
- Toppings of choice (Tabasco, pickles, onions, sauerkraut, coleslaw, avocado slices, etc .. )
Put the lentils in a small sauce pot and pour in 4 cups beer or cooking liquid of your choice. Cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, lower heat and simmer for about 20 minutes, until lentils are soft. Drain and set aside.
About 10 minutes before the lentils are done boiling, preheat a medium sized sauce pan over medium heat. Saute the onion and pepper in the oil, until softened.
Add the garlic and saute a minute more.
Add the cooked lentils, and the the rest of the spices (except the maple syrup & mustard). Stir gently until just combined.
Add the tomato sauce and tomato paste. Cook for about 10 minutes.
Add the maple syrup and mustard and heat through.
Turn the heat off and let sit for about 10 minutes, so that the flavors can meld.
Lentil Sloppy Joes brought to you by: Runcible Eats (http://www.leaandjay.com )