I am always looking for ways to cut down on our food bill and dried lentils really help out a lot. They are very inexpensive, don’t require soaking, and are easy to incorporate into a variety of meals. Sometimes it can be challenging figuring out how to use a new ingredient, but I have found that we can easily switch them out for ground beef in a lot of dishes. As I experiment and come up with yummy lentil dishes, I’ll post about them so you can try them out too!
The inspiration for this sloppy joe recipe came from Namely Marly. I modified it to suit our tastes, that and I can’t stick to a recipe to save my life! Not only is this recipe super easy, it’s also slam full of veggies and vegan!
By the way, please excuse the horrid photos. One of the mini mafia absconded with my camera and I had to use my phone. Anyhow, on to the deliciousness!
1/2 lb lentils (about half a bag)
4 garlic cloves
2 large peppers (I used banana and bell, but any combo will do)
1 medium onion
1 1/2 c. rough chopped cabbage
2 medium carrots
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can tomato paste
oil (vegetable, olive, canola, etc.)
1 tsp parsley
1 tsp oregano
1 1/2 Tbs chili powder
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp smoked paprika (REALLY adds to the flavor)
2 Tbs brown sugar
1. Cook lentils as directed, drain and set aside.
2. Finely chop all vegetables. (I’m a food processor junkie, so I just threw everything in there instead of doing it all by hand)
3. Heat oil in a pot on med-high heat.
4. Add in chopped vegetables and cook for 5-10 minutes, until soft.
5. Stir in diced tomatoes and tomato paste. (Put the diced tomatoes in the food processor for a just a few seconds if you don’t want chunks. Literally, a few seconds, or they’ll end up like sauce)
6. Add in all seasonings, stir well, and cook for 5 minutes.
Just serve it up on buns like you would a traditional sloppy joe. We didn’t have any in the pantry, so I went with plain ol’ sliced bread, but it was still delicious.
Not only is this recipe quick and easy, it’s also loaded with good stuff. You can really use any vegetables you have in your fridge. I’m not one to go out and buy specific ingredients for a recipe, I just throw in whatever we have around here. The brown sugar can be left out if you want, I just add it in because I find it helps get rid of that canned tomato taste. The smoked paprika REALLY makes the flavor pop, it tastes completely different than regular paprika. We ended up with sandwiches for all 8 of us, and enough leftover to make at least another 4 for lunch. The kids were eating it straight out of the pot, so you know it was tasty!