Happy 2014! I’m finally back in the kitchen, and feeling the urge to photograph and share. The holidays were a wonderful whirlwind of family time, sugar, and boozy merriment. Added to that mix was closing on our place (woohoo) and moving (eh). Now it’s time to reset. Clean up the diet, exercise, get my head into permaculture and sustainable agriculture (loving all the free online resources) and enjoy this latest adventure in VT.
I’ve been on a real lentil kick lately. These inexpensive, versatile legumes are a great way to incorporate low-cal fiber and protein into your diet. Salads, stews, wraps, curries. They add a nice earthiness in Sarah’s Winter Abundance Bowl, and they’re a great substitute for meat in sloppy joes.
This recipe uses basics like carrots, onion, garlic, & tomato paste, and then gets a nice kick from chili powder, cumin, & smoked paprika.
Stove-top simmering just feels right in the winter.
What really elevates this sandwich is the condiments – pickles and caramelized onions.
I’d never thought of using them to top much else but burgers. But wow, they really work here.
Stellar winter-time sandwich. And healthy to boot!
Loaded Vegetarian Lentil Sloppy Joes – Ashley’s wonderful blog “edible perspective”
- 1 cup uncooked black lentils (most lentils will work here, w/ the exception of red)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil, or ghee
- 1/2 cup chopped red onion
- 3/4 cup chopped yellow onion
- 1 med-large chopped carrot
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 3 tablespoons mild chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1, 15oz can fire roasted crushed tomatoes (plain work just fine)
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1-1 1/2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 1/2-1 cup low/no sodium vegetable broth
- salt/pepper, to taste
- pickles and caramelized onions, to top
Pick over dried lentils for debris then rinse well and place in a pot with cold water and bring to a low boil. Reduce heat to simmer with a lid cracked for 18-25 minutes until lentils are al dente [tender with a slight bite]. These cooking instructions are for small black lentils (solid black and shiny). Not all lentils cook this quickly. Drain and rinse with cold water.
While lentils are cooking heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Once hot add the onions, sprinkle with salt, and cook stirring frequently until translucent and tender, about 6-8 minutes. Add the carrot and let cook another 2-3 minutes. Add the garlic, chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, and a few good grinds of black pepper and stir for 30 seconds to 1 minute until fragrant.
Slowly pour in the tomatoes and tomato paste and stir to combine. Stir in the apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, and 1/2 cup vegetable broth then bring to a simmer. Add more broth to thin out. Stir in 3 cups of cooked lentils and simmer for 15-25 minutes until thickened and the flavor is to your liking. Add more salt + pepper as needed or cayenne for some heat.
Place pickles on the bottom of a hamburger bun, then scoop the sloppy joe mixture on top, and then top with caramelized onions and the top bun.
Yield – 6-8 servings