A proper sloppy joe requires two hands, a big appetite, and focus. If you dare to put your sloppy joe down it is hard to pick up again! So load up with napkins and lean over your plate while you devour this American favorite. We stand by these joes.
NOTE: If you are not using canned lentils, combine 1 1/2cups dry lentils and 4 cups water in a pot. Bring to a boil then simmer for 20 minutes, until the lentils are soft. Drain if necessary.
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
3 cups cooked brown lentils, or 2 (15-ounce) cans lentils, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup barbecue sauce (we prefer Bone Suckin’ Sauce)
1 tablespoon 100% pure maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon liquid smoke, or . teaspoon smoked paprika
2 teaspoons chili powder
4 whole-grain buns
Fixings: butter lettuce, sliced tomato, sliced red onion
In a skillet over medium heat, cook the onion, garlic, bell pepper, and mushrooms until soft and slightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste and diced tomatoes and continue to cook and stir over low heat until all warmed and mixed together, about 3 minutes. Add the cooked lentils, barbecue sauce, maple syrup, liquid smoke, and chili powder, and thoroughly mix. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 more minutes. Taste and tweak mixture to your liking: Add more maple syrup for a sweeter flavor, or more barbecue sauce for a smokier or more fiery flavor. Load the filling onto your whole-grain buns and add your preferred fixings.
For more, check out The Engine 2 Cookbook by Rip Esselstyn & Jane Esselstyn. Published by Grand Central Life & Style. Copyright © 2017 Rip Esselstyn, Jane Esselstyn.