Thursday, April 24, 2014

One Pot Tempeh Lentil Sloppy Joes

Hi there!  How's the week going so far?  State testing + Thunder playoffs + OKC arts festival have made it a busy one for us (but mostly fun!).

Tuesday night, I was looking to make something super easy yet slightly different from our usual staples (meaning not some sort of "big bowl" or soup).  I had several packages of tempeh and lots of lentils to use up, so I decided to combine them to make a better-for-you version of the sloppy joe.

I never ate sloppy joes growing up, but, years ago, Jay introduced me to the standard meat + canned sauce version.  They were definitely easy and tasty, but not so high on the nutrition-meter.  However, with a few tweaks and substitutions, you can "healthify" the recipe really easily.  I made these using just one pot and had them on the table within about 30 minutes.  We served them open-faced atop toasted Ezekiel bread with jicama fries on the side (a post on jicama coming soon!).
One Pot Tempeh Lentil Sloppy Joes
Serves: 2-3
Time: 30-40 minutes

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 package (8 oz.) tempeh, crumbled
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 green pepper, chopped
1 rib celery, chopped
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1 cup water
1/2 cup red lentils
1/4 cup ketchup
1/4 cup barbecue sauce
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon (vegan) Worcestershire sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
Hot sauce to taste
1. Heat oil in a large pan over medium heat.  Saute garlic, onion, celery, green pepper, crumbled tempeh, oregano, and red pepper flakes for about 5 minutes, until onion is translucent and pepper has softened.  You can add a few tablespoons of water if ingredients start to stick.
2. Add the water, lentils, ketchup, barbecue sauce, vinegar, and Worcestershire.
3. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and cover.  Simmer for about 20 to 25 minutes, stirring regularly, until lentils are soft but not too mushy. 
4. Add salt, pepper, and hot sauce as desired.
5. Serve on toasted bread or buns. 

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