Saturday, August 20, 2011

Sloppy Joes

I remember the first time I ever had a Sloppy Joe.
I was at a friend's house in elementary school,
and all I could think about was why on earth my mom 
never made this delicious meal for us.
As soon as I got home I told her about the amazing dinner I had,
and my question was answered.
"That's dog food", my mom told me without looking at me, 
or blinking, or having any consideration for my taste buds.
And then I realized she was right.
Especially when it comes from a can,
which was the way I had it that night.
I didn't have another Sloppy Joe again until 
I was a liberated married woman with my own kitchen.
But that time I made them from scratch, and they were delicious. 

Since I become vegetarian, (and later vegan),
I've been on this massive hunt for a veggie sloppy joe recipe.
Many I didn't try because they looked so darn strange.
Tonight I finally tried this one.
After a long day of scrubbing every square inch of my house,
(I felt like I was hanging from the ceiling at one point),
running errands, and taking care of my parents senile dog,
I was looking for something quick to make
with ingredients I had on hand.
I like this recipe because it doesn't require a lot of effort.

I have so many lentils on hand, 
I'm always looking for a way to make them semi interesting.
And here we have it,
My husband went so far as so say this recipe wasn't missing the meat.
What?! Sounds good to me!
We put our Snobby Joes on top of toasted Kaiser rolls.

I can see why they called them Snobby Joes.
They are so much better than the sloppy ones.

I used 2 teaspoons chili pepper instead of 3 tablespoons 
(cause I've been weak since my last pregnancy),
and 2 tablespoons maple syrup instead of 3. 
Still totally yummy!

Image courtesty Seitan Is My Motor
Everyone loves Sloppy Joes! This version thinks its better than everyone because it contains no meat. And there’s no soy, either. Lentils are the perfect texture for vegetarian sloppy Joes.
1 cup uncooked green lentils
4 cups water
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced small
1 green pepper, diced small
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons oregano
1 teaspoon salt
8 oz can tomato sauce
1/4 cup tomato paste
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon yellow mustard
4 to 6 kaiser rolls or sesame buns (optional – for serving)
Put the lentils in a small sauce pot and pour in 4 cups water. 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 soup pot over medium heat. Saute the onion and pepper in the oil for about 7 minutes, until softened. Add the garlic and saute a minute more.  Add the cooked lentils, the chili powder, oregano and salt and mix. 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, or go ahead and eat immediately if you can’t wait.

Happy Chow! 


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