Monday, June 11, 2012

Meatless Monday: Lentil & TVP Sloppy Joes

One of the comfort foods I used to miss from my meat-eating days was sloppy joes. I've experimented with a variety of ways to make vegetarian versions, and the Lentil and TVP sloppy joes I threw together the other night were easy, delicious, and full of good stuff like protein and fiber. This recipe takes about 30 minutes and makes at least a dozen sloppy joes (I'm guessing closer to 18, since we've eaten a total of 6 so far and there is well over half left), so consider halving it unless you don't mind eating leftovers for a few days! This would also be great to make ahead and put in a crock pot for a vegan potluck entree!

What You'll Need:

  • One cup (dry) TVP (textured vegetable protein)
  • One cup (dry) Lentils (I used red, but any lentils will do)
  • One onion
  • One tomato
  • One can sloppy joe sauce (or packet of powder seasoning, or your own favorite sloppy joe sauce recipe)
  • Additional veggies (optional-I used celery and garlic scapes)
  • Cooking oil of choice (as usual, I choose coconut)
What You'll Do:
  • Start by preparing the lentils and tvp. For the lentils, sort and rinse, then bring to a boil and continue to boil, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes. (This is not how you'd typically prepare lentils, but cooking them this way makes them break up and get a bit mushier, which lends itself better to the sloppy joe texture, in my opinion.) For the TVP, add 3/4 cup boiling water (I just boil mine in the microwave) to the cup of TVP, stir well, and let sit for about 10 minutes.
  • While the lentils are boiling and TVP is sitting, dice up all of your veggies.
  • Heat about 2 tbsp oil in a large skillet over Medium-High heat.
  • Add onions and cook for a few minutes. When the onions begin to soften, add other veggies (if using), except for the tomato. Cook until veggies begin to soften slightly.
  • Add TVP to pan and toss with veggie mixture. Cook for about 5 minutes.
  • Drain lentils and press lightly to remove excess water, add to pan and cook for about 5 minutes.
  • Add sauce and tomato, stir well, lower heat to low and cook for 5-10 minutes.
  • Serve on buns or in pita pockets with your favorite toppings! (As you can see, I recommend pickles and jalapenos!)

If you have a favorite (vegetarian) recipe for sloppy joe sauce, will you share it in the comments? I'd love to get away from the canned stuff! :)

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