Me: Good morning everybody!
Condiments: Hi Alison!
Me: Who wants to be turned into dinner tonight?!
Crock Pot enters stage left
Me: What about you, Crock Pot? You wanna play too?
Crock Pot: Yeah, sure. I guess so.
Me: [ignoring Crock Pot’s unenthusiastic response] OK, then – listen up.
Today is a full day. We’ve got a jam packed schedule of hiking with friends this morning, a meeting tonight, not to mention the usual house work plus tidying up for visitors tomorrow and hopefully squeezing in a ridiculous blog post where I pretend my condiments are actors in this weird dinner time play I’m putting on.
In short, I don’t have a lot of time to mess around for dinner today – so chop chop!
Condiments and Crock Pot: Got it!
Me: Here’s the plan. We’re putting on the Vegetarian Lentil Sloppy Joe Show – Crock Pot Style.
Crock Pot: [blushes]
Me: Now this is normally something I would make on the stove top, but I think we can do this in the crock pot. It’s just lentils and the odd combination of condiments that create a sloppy joe flavor after all.
Having dinner nearly ready by the time we get home later today would save me a lot of time. Crock Pot could be just the ticket. Let’s give it a whirl, shall we?
Condiments: [more cheering]
Me: Alrighty then – on with the show! Into the crock pot you go.
Me: OK, Ketchup and Mustard – that’s enough showing off. Not funny.
[Crock pot turned on low. Actors exit stage right.]
FIVE HOURS LATER
[Alison and kids return late afternoon. She enters the kitchen and samples lentils to test for done-ness and seasoning. Upon tasting, she realizes they need salt. It then occurs to her that an important ingredient was forgotten this morning.]
Cue Dramatic Music. DUN DUN DUN!
Enter Braggs Aminos
(Soy sauce makes a great understudy, FYI.)
Me: [voice over/thinking] This is good but still needs something more… when I make this on the stove, I usually start by sauteing onions, garlic and bell pepper in coconut oil. I could probably still do that and just add it to crock pot now, don’t ya think?
[Alison begins cutting up onions]
[voice over continues] Hey, why is it so quiet upstairs all of a sudden? What are those kids up to? I wonder what The Biggest Loser will be like without Jillian this season. I should probably start a load of laundry. Oh I need to cut up those bananas and put them in the freezer too. Oooo my elbow itches.
Onions, Garlic and Coconut Oil: [chopped and sauteed, once soft they are added to crock pot to join the lentils and condiments for the last hour or so of cooking]
TWO HOURS LATER
The Husband pulls in the driveway, Ezekiel rolls thrown into toaster oven, corn on the cob dropped into pan of boiling water, pots and pans are banged around for dramatic effect, cue dishes, cloth napkins, silverware, food piled onto plates…
TA DA! Lentil sloppy joes for dinner is served!
Take a bow everyone! We did it!
Curtain drops, time to eat.
Vegetarian Lentil Sloppy Joes – the recipe, uncensored and uncut
1 lb red lentils, rinsed and drained
28 oz pureed (or diced) tomatoes
1/2 c ketchup
2 – 3 Tbsp mustard
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp Braggs Aminos (or soy sauce)
2 Tbsp maple syrup
1 Tbsp chili powder (more or less to taste)
2 Tbsp coconut or olive oil
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 onion, diced
Add lentils and condiment ingredients to crock pot. Stir to combine and cook on low 6 – 7 hours. (I’m guessing cooking time could probably be cut in half on high?) Closer to serving time, saute onion and garlic in oil and add to crock pot. Turn crock pot to high for the last 1 – 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
You can also cook this on the stove in less time. Saute garlic, onions (and peppers or other veggies if you life) in the cooking oil of your choice. Add lentils and tomatoes and condiment sauces. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer, cook until lentils are soft. Red lentils cook faster (30 – 40 minutes), brown lentils take longer – probably closer to 60 – 70 minutes.
Halve this recipe as needed. And yes, I agree – it’s crazy that mustard, ketchup, apple cider vinegar, Braggs amino acids and chili powder can make lentils taste like sloppy joes. I can’t explain why, but they do.
Special thanks to MacKenzie for commenting on my lentil sloppy joe recipe over the weekend – I’d totally forgotten about this one!
P.S!! Just in case you haven’t heard enough out of me in one day – head on over Holly the Healthy Everythingtarian for a guest post about blogging that I wrote for one of my most favorite bloggers in the healthy living blogosphere!