These Lentil Sloppy Joe sandwiches are a plant-based twist on a childhood favorite that is fun for the whole family to make. This recipe comes to us from our friends at The Family Dinner Project.
Cooking Tip of the Week: Lentils are easy to cook because they do not require pre-soaking and take less time than other legumes. If adding salt to your lentils, wait until they are completely cooked. Adding salt to the cooking water will make the lentils tough.
Food for Thought: The exact history of the Sloppy Joe is unknown, but it is popularly known to come from a restaurant, “Sloppy Joe’s”, in Havana, Cuba in the 1930s. The sandwich served there was a variation of “ropa vieja”, a Cuban dish of shredded beef simmered in tomato sauce.
Family Dinner Conversation Starter: If you could create your own sandwich, what would it be called? What ingredients would be used?
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup onion, diced
1 large sweet bell pepper, diced
2 medium carrots, shredded
4 cups lentils, cooked (if using canned lentils, drain and rinse)
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
4 tablespoons ketchup
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
Adult: Dice onion and bell pepper. Shred carrots using grater.
Adult: Cook lentils according to instructions on package.
Together: In a deep skillet over medium heat, sauté onion in olive oil until very soft and slightly golden brown. Add bell pepper and carrots and cook, stirring until the bell pepper begins to soften.
Together: Add lentils and stir. Season with chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper. Cook for 2-3 minutes.
Together: Add ketchup, brown sugar, mustard and vinegar to the skillet. Stir well and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. If the mixture seems dry, add a little water to it. You want the lentils to be saucy, but not runny.