You probably already know the many benefits of eating fewer animal products and adding more plants to your daily diet. Maybe you’re like me and are always on the lookout for more vegetarian meals but aren’t sure where to find tasty, uncomplicated plant-based recipes.
A good place to start is to replace some of your meat with lentils. Lentils are not only delicious, they’re also nutritious — just what the doctor ordered!
One cup has about:
18 grams of protein
15 grams of fiber
Lots of other nutrients like magnesium, phosphorus and folate.
They’re super easy to prepare too.
This updated version of the classic Sloppy Joe has the taste and kick of the original meat dish along with so many additional health benefits.
I served mine over sweet potato rounds because I love sweet potatoes! But you could also use a nice whole grain English muffin. Add a big salad and you’ve got yourself a satisfying meal. This recipe is adapted from The Minimalist Baker.
Vegan Sloppy Joes
1 cup green lentils, well rinsed
2 cups vegetable broth or water
2 Tablespoons olive oil plus more for brushing sweet potatoes
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 onion, minced, plus more for serving
Sea salt and black pepper to taste
15 ounces crushed tomatoes or tomato sauce without added sugar
1 tablespoon raw sugar
1 tablespoon vegan-friendly Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons chili powder or more to taste
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1-2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/4” rounds. The bigger the rounds, the better since they are the “buns.”
1. Preheat the oven to 425. To a medium saucepan add liquid and rinsed lentils and heat over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer and cook uncovered for about 20 minutes or until tender. Drain and set aside.
2. When the oven is heated, place the sweet potato rounds on a baking sheet and brush both sides lightly with olive oil. Cook in preheated oven for about 20 minutes. Flip the rounds and continue cooking for 5 minutes or until lightly browned on each side. Remove from oven and set aside.
3. In the meantime, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot add oil, onion, garlic and bell pepper. Season with a pinch each of salt and pepper and stir to combine. Sauté for 4-5 minutes, stirring frequently, or until the peppers and onions are tender and slightly browned. Add the tomatoes, sugar, Worcestershire sauce, chili powder and cumin. Stir to combine.
4. Once the lentils are cooked add them to the skillet and stir to combine.
5. Taste and adjust flavor as needed, adding more chili powder for smokiness or salt and pepper.
6. Serve the mixture on the sweet potato rounds. Top with diced onion if desired. Enjoy all the healthy goodness!