This is one of our favorite sandwich fillings. This recipe from Mary McDougall is tasty and easy to put together. I don't remember when it first appeared in print/on-line, but it's been in at least one newsletter and book, probably more than one each.
Sloppy Lentil Joes
This is a quick and easy meal that also reheats well for lunch the next day or two. Serve this stuffed into a bun and eat with your hands, or ladle it over the buns open-face style and eat with a fork. I like to make fresh bread in my bread machine and ladle the Sloppy Joes over the bread.
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 1 hour
3 1/3 cups water
1 onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 ½ cups dried brown lentils
1 15 ounce can crushed tomatoes
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons prepared mustard
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon vegetarian Worcestershire sauce
freshly ground black pepper
Place 1/3 cup of the water in a large pot. Add the onions and bell pepper and cook, stirring occasionally until onions soften slightly, about 5 minutes. Add the chili powder and mix in well.
Add the remaining water, the lentils, tomatoes, and the rest of the seasonings. Mix well, bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and cook over low heat for 55 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Serve on whole wheat buns, or fresh baked bread, with trimmings of your choice.
Unlike Mary, I prefer rolls to bread for this, and luckily I have a source for whole wheat ones made with very little oil. During the cooler weather I do make my own oil-free rolls in my bread machine.
My usual changes to the recipe? Why, none at all. This is one recipe that's perfect as-is. Sometimes I just use 2 cans of rinsed and drained lentils, but only one store in town sells them and they frequently run out. Freshly made lentils taste better, anyway, and I experiment using different lentils. The recipe may say to use the brown ones but I've made this using red (VERY sloppy!), green, and black lentils.
I had a little problem with my lentils, though. I used some from a 3-pound bag that had been opened a few months ago but are dated 2016. After the first half hour I turned the heat back up to a slow boil. They boiled for an hour and a half after that, and not only were the lentils still hard, there was still a lot of water in the pot.
I gave up after another 15 minutes of boiling and added a 6 ounce can of tomato paste to thicken the sauce. The lentils were still a bit chewy, but at least it was more soupy than watery. I only have about a cup of lentils left in the bag. I'll either toss them in a soup that cooks for hours or maybe pressure cook them for twice the time and see if that helps.
Ignoring the firmness of the lentils, the sandwiches still tasted great.
|I tried not to get much sauce in the spoon, and was already soaked into the bread. By the time I picked it up the whole thing collapsed into a soggy mess.|
As for the number of servings, this is one recipe that my serving count matches Mary's. I had 2 sandwiches, my husband had three, and I put half the mixture away in the freezer for a quick meal in the future.