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Sloppy Joes

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I, for one, have never been a big fan of Sloppy Joes. Aside from reminding me of smelly cafeterias, something about oily ground beef  just never did it for me — call me crazy. So even I surprised myself when I decided to try this recipe out from one of my recent cookbook purchases, Veganomicon (which by the way is AWESOME. Get it!). The key is using all the same spices and flavorings of normal Sloppy Joes but replacing the beef with lentils. Pretty smart, huh? These came out deeelicious. I served them open-faced on toasted whole wheat hamburger buns. Definitely not as, er, sloppy (?) as the original, these have a nice little kick and the recipe makes a lot…so plan on leftovers.

What You Need: (8 Open faced or 4 Sandwiches)

I cup uncooked lentils

4 cups of water

1 tbsp olive oil

1 medium yellow onion, diced

1 green bell pepper, diced

2 cloves of garlic, minced

3 tbsp chile powder

2 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp salt

1 8 oz can tomato sauce

1/4 cup tomato paste

3 tbsp maple syrup

1 tbsp yellow mustard

whole wheat buns

What You Do:

First thing: cook the lentils. Pour the lentils and water into a small saucepan, cover, bring the water to a boil, lower heat and let cook covered for 20 minutes.

About 10 minutes into the lentils cooking, pre heat a medium saucepan over medium heat, and sautee oil, onion and pepper for about 7 minutes, stirring often. Add the garlic and sautee for one more minute.

The lentils should be done by now. Once you’ve drained them, add them to the onion, pepper and garlic saucepan. Add chile powder, oregano, and salt. Add tomato sauce and paste. Mix and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring every so often to make sure things don’t stick to the bottom. If things are looking a little dry add a splash or two of water. Add the maple syrup and mustard, mix everything for another minute, turn off heat and let everything sit for about 10 minutes.

Serve however you’d like: open-faced on whole wheat buns, on toast, eat it plain – whatever! I topped mine off with some sirracha, as I like my food extra spicy.

Enjoy!

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