Tag Archives: lentils

Fast and Easy Vegan Sloppy Joes

FullSizeRender-4We have an a bunch of extra hamburger buns at the house post-Memorial Day gathering. We already had veggie burgers one night, so I had to think up something else for the rest.  I decided to try a new sloppy joe recipe, did a quick Google search and came up with one on jamieoliver.com. I had everything on hand already — even better.

You can get these on the table in less than an hour —  you can’t beat that. These are actually very similar to the crockpot lentil sloppy joes I made on Fox 2 Detroit a few years back, but are even easier with fewer ingredients. One difference is the balsamic vinegar. At first thought it seemed strange, but you know what the difference is between, say, ketchup and tangy barbecue sauce? Vinegar. It really gives it a nice sweet and tangy flavor at the end.

FullSizeRender-5These will be in the family rotation for sure. I thought they could use a little more flavor. Though the garlic was my own addition, I think next time I’ll add more seasoning — more cumin, more chili powder and go from there. They were, indeed, sloppy. I don’t think I could have cooked them down anymore to be less sloppy, but next time I might try. Really, I think that’s just how it goes. Be sure and have a good solid bun — you’ll probably still need a fork in the end.  If you’re eating open-faced, you’re all set I guess.

The whole family took these down — baby included (sans bun of course). We ate them with a common side dish around here — pan roasted lemon green beans.

• 1 Tbsp. olive oil
• 1 small onion, diced
• 1 small red or yellow bell pepper, diced (I did 3/4 red and 1/4 green because it’s what I had)
• 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
• 2 garlic cloves, minced
• 1 tsp. cumin
• 1 tsp. chili powder
1 c. French lentils (I did a mix of green and brown)
• 3 c. water
• 28 oz. tomato sauce
• 3 Tbsp. tomato paste
• 1 tsp. Sriracha hot sauce (optional… I omitted this for the kids. The baby actually does alright with spice. The older babe, not a fan.)
• 1 tsp. salt
• 2 tsp. balsamic  vinegar
• buns
• optional toppings: onions, pickles, avocado, coleslaw, etc.

1. Heat the olive oil in a medium, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add onion, pepper and celery. Cook, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes or until softened.

2. Sprinkle in cumin and chili powder and cook an additional minute. Then add tomato paste and stir to incorporate.

3. Add lentils, water, tomato sauce and hot sauce, if using. Increase heat to high and bring to a simmer. Lower heat so it’s just bubbling and cook uncovered 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. (I accidentally left covered, so my cook time was longer.) Add more water if it cooks out before 30 minutes is up.

4. Taste and if they are tender (they should be a little ‘al dente’ — have just a little bit of bite left), add salt and vinegar. Serve on buns or open-faced on toast.

Vegan Crockpot Lentil Sloppy Joes

I made vegan crockpot lentil sloppy joes on Fox 2 Detroit’s morning show for their Meatless Mondays segment. Check it out!


Crockpot Lentil Sloppy Joes: MyFoxDETROIT.com

A Trio of Indian Goodness

This is the second meal I made from magazines I had the time to read recently due to some time in the doctor’s waiting room and it was great! Two of the recipes are from a spotlight on Indian food in this month’s Vegetarian Times and the other comes from an article on do-it-yourself takeout in a recent Whole Living magazine. All of it was beyond easy and delicious!

I’ll get right to it! As the bread should be cooked right before serving, I’d do it last. I’ll do it in the order, I prepared it, which worked out great.

This may be the longest blog post of all time, but I thought these three things went so well together that I had to post them together!

Stewed Lentils with Yogurt, Cucumbers, and Green Chiles
To serve, ladle the lentils over brown rice, top with some plain, Greek yogurt or soy yogurt and top with cucumber mixture. Sprinkle with cilantro leaves.

For the lentils:
• 1 tsp. whole cumin seeds
• 2 Tbsp. olive oil
• 1 c. diced onion
• 4 cloves minced garlic
• 2 Tbsp. minced ginger
• 1 tsp. ground turmeric
• 5 c. water
• 2 c. red lentils
• kosher salt

1. Heat saucepan over medium heat, then add cumin seeds and toast until fragrant, about 1 minute, swirling pan constantly. Set seeds aside.

2. Heat oil and add onion, garlic and ginger. Cook, stirring, until onions are tender, about 6 minutes.

3. Add turmeric and toasted cumin seeds. Cook 1 minute.

4. Add water and lentils. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and partially cover. Cook until lentils are tender and mixture thickens, about 15 minutes. Season with salt to taste.

For the garnish:
• 1/4 c. diced onion
• 1 c. cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
• 1 green chile (I went with a serrano), thinly sliced/diced
•  1/4 c. chopped cilantro, with whole leaves for sprinkling (I forgot the whole leaves)
• 1 Tbsp. white vinegar

Combine all ingredients (except whole cilantro leaves!). Put together and enjoy! This is a really mild, flavorful dish. The garnish really brightens it up (I’d recommend it for other dishes as well).

Okra and Onions
If you’ve never had okra or think you don’t like it, try this recipe. It’s easy and delicious!

• 2 Tbsp. canola or vegetable oil
• 1/2 tsp. whole cumin seeds
• 1 medium onion (about 1 1/2 c.), diced
• 12 oz. frozen okra, thawed (I didn’t manage to thaw very much and it was fine, for what it’s worth!)
•  2 tsp. ground coriander (I ran out a little short, so I used a big of garam masala too)
• 3/4 tsp. salt
• 1/2 tsp. ground turmeric
• 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper, or to taste
• 1/2 tsp. amchoor or 1 tsp lemon juice (I couldn’t find amchoor, so I went with the lemon juice)
• 1/2 tsp. sugar

1. Heat oil in skillet over medium heat. Add cumin seeds and cook 10 seconds. Add onion and saute 3 minutes.

2. Stir in okra, then coriander, salt, turmeric and cayenne pepper.

3. Cover and cook 10 minutes, stirring once or twice.

4. Stir in amchoor/lemon juice and sugar.

Onion-Stuffed Flat Bread
This bread is easier than you would think and took no time to make! Basically, you can make this while your okra is simmering and you’ll be ready to roll. I am already dreaming up what else I could stuff into this dough and fry to maximum deliciousness.

•  2 c. finely chopped red or white onion
• 1 tsp. ground coriander (again, I was out at this point, so I used garam masala. It was good!)
• 1 tsp. finely chopped jalapeno or chile (I went with serrano again)
• 1/2 tsp. amchoor or 1 tsp. lemon juice (again, the lemon juice)

• 2 c. atta (Indian whole wheat flour) or whole wheat flour (I went with the whole wheat flour, which I already had on hand)
• 1/2 tsp. salt
• 3 Tbsp. canola or vegtable oil, plus more for greasing griddle

1. Make filling: combine all ingredients in a bowl.

2.  For dough, pulse flour and salt in food processor until combined. Add 1 1/4 c. water and process 2 minutes or until smooth. Cover and let stand 10 minutes.

3. Roll dough into eight balls (I halved this recipe and made 4, which was plenty for 2 people), then dust with flour. On a floured silpat or counter, roll out each ball into a 3-inch circle.

4. Place about 2 tablespoons of filling into the center of each circle. Join dough edges together, crimp tightly.

5. Flatten so seam is in the center, dust with flour, then flip it so the seam side is down. Roll out again to a 6-inch circle.

6. Oil iron griddle or heavy skillet and heat over medium heat. Cook dough circle (or oval in my case!) 1 to 2 minutes, or until bottom browns and is firm.

7. Flip and cook 1 to 2 minutes more. Here the directions said to oil the bread before flipping, etc., but I’d just use common sense and oil bread or pan as needed. I think I ended up with less greasy fried bread by holding back a little… Cook second side 1 to 2 minutes and press down firmly to get nice and brown. Serve hot or at room temperature.