Confession: I've never actually had a real sloppy joe. This looked like a nice healthy version and I must say I was impressed. It was very filling and had a mild flavor. It would be easily customizable with a squirt of bbq or hot sauce. I loved all the veggies that the recipe sneaked in. Since I was a very picky eater as a small child I look at this as practice for future small children...karma sucks.
Notes: after the lentils cooked it was till very watery so I siphoned off a cup of water/broth. I did not have to add the additional cup of water at the end. I also couldn't find brown lentils so I used red. Supposedly brown lentils have a more "meaty" texture. I swapped out the beef for ground turkey and used almost double the meat on account of Mr. Lawyer.
Lentil Sloppy Joes
(from the Food Network Magazine)Ingredients:
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 small onion, finely chopped
1 small carrot, finely chopped
1/2 bell pepper (red or green), finely chopped
1/2 cup ketchup
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1/2 cup dried brown lentils, picked over and rinsed
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
8 ounces ground beef (or turkey)
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
6 whole-wheat hamburger buns, toasted
6 slices cheddar cheese
Sliced pickles and/or pickled jalapeno peppers, for topping (optional)
1. Heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion, carrot, bell pepper and 2 tablespoons ketchup and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are slightly soft, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, 30 seconds. Add the lentils, oregano and 4 cups water; bring to a boil and cook 5 minutes, then reduce the heat to medium low and simmer until the lentils are tender and the water is absorbed, 35 to 40 minutes (add up to 1 more cup water if necessary). Season with salt and pepper.
2. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the beef and cook, breaking it up with a spoon, until it begins to brown, about 2 minutes. Add the Worcestershire sauce and the remaining 6 tablespoons ketchup and cook, stirring, until combined. Add the lentil mixture and 1 cup water (**I did not need to add the extra water**) and cook, stirring occasionally, until the lentils are soft and the mixture thickens, about 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Fill the buns with the cheese and lentil mixture. Top with pickles and/or pickled jalapenos.