I love sloppy joes... they remind me of summer, and vacations, and sitting around the table with my family laughing. Unfortunately, I do not actually really like beef, which as you may remember is a pretty core component of your standard joe.
There are a lot of recipes for lentil based sloppy joes out there, and, as you may remember, I really really like lentils, for both their diversity and their budget friendliness and also, because they have no fat and are super high in protein and fiber. Here is the recipe I went with....
1c lentils- cook in 4c water (or 3c water, 1c broth) until soft
1 medium onion, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic (or some of the pre-chopped stuff)
red pepper to taste (I bet you need more than you think)
1 tsp salt
1 16oz can tomato sauce (I like 'em saucy. some people might use less)
4oz tomato paste
2 tblsp brown sugar
1 tablespoon mustard (or, if you're me and your mustard was elderly and questionable, some mustard seeds, vinegar, tumeric and salt to make some fake-out mustard. why don't I own mustard powder when I feel like I have every other spice known to man? the world may never know)
Basically, brown the onions, peppers, and garlic. Add the spices, then put in the cooked lentils, tomato products, mustard (or bastardized mustard), and sugar. Let it all get to know each other for a while. Then, serve it over the carb of your choice (see below)
You could use any kind of bun, bread, or even rice. If you're wondering what I used (not having any regular bread products on hand), its a paratha a layered Indian flatbread thats super delicious. Unlike my previous flatbread making attempts, I bought this frozen at the Indian grocery and am completely happy about it.