"The wise man should consider that health is the greatest of human blessings. Let food be your medicine."
- Hippocrates

May 18, 2012

Sloppy Joes

I remember when I was a kid, one of my favourite meals was Sloppy Joes. They were basically spaghetti sauce with ground beef added until it was thick enough to stay put on the bun. Oh my, I loved this meal! This version is much healthier and let's just say, a bit more refined. It combines earthy lentils with the delicate crunch of walnuts. It's got a tomato base, but not overly so, allowing the rest of the flavours to shine!

This recipe is from one of my favourite cookbooks, the Get Healthy, Go Vegan Cookbook from Dr. Neal Barnard, he's the founder and president of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. The original recipe was for stuffed cabbage (which are also amazing), but I had some leftover filling one day and decided to serve it on a whole grain bun and call it a Sloppy Joe! I've since made a few adjustments to the original recipe to better fit my memory of what this classic sandwich tasted like. And just like my memories, this sandwich is a little messy, so have napkins nearby!

We love these in our house and usually prepare a double batch whenever we make them...leftovers can be frozen in individual servings and thawed for a quick and satisfying lunch or dinner!

1 onion, chopped
1/4 cup vegetable broth or vegetable oil for frying
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 can tomato paste (more if you like your sandwiches more tomato-y)
2 cups water
1/2 cup crushed walnuts
1/2 cup dried brown lentils
1/2 cup long-grain brown rice (e.g. brown basmati)
3/4 teaspoon salt whole grain burger buns

1. Over medium heat, saute onion in with oil or broth until they brown. Add the garlic, cumin, black pepper, and coriander then saute for two minutes. Next, add tomato paste and saute for three minutes while stirring. Mix in two cups of water and bring to a boil.

2. Add in walnuts, lentils, and the rice. Cover until water boils again and reduce the heat to low. Cook for thirty minutes or so until lentils and rice are tender. Depending on how you like your Sloppy Joe consistency, you may need to add a bit more water near the end of cooking time to thin it out a bit.

3. Spoon mix onto whole grain buns (toasted is a nice touch). Enjoy!