There are few things that make me happier than good food, especially when it’s a vegetarian replacement for something that I spent my entire meat-eating life loving. Which is why I was so so SO happy that this recipe came out the way that it did.
It all started when I was sitting, thinking, “Okay, Natalie, you can’t live off of only carbs. But you also have virtually nothing in the cupboard.” Having nothing at-hand is usually a recipe for healthy-ish eating disaster. But, I put on my creative hat and figured it out.
I started with a base. Pasta was the base for a pan sauce dish earlier this week, so, pasta was out. But with noodles out of the question, I was left with lentils… I really like lentils, but sometimes it’s hard for me to think of lentils as not-soup. And it’s too warm for midday soup. So, I continued to get creative and BINGO: sloppy joes. I used this recipe for inspiration, but then I realized, I was way too lazy to make that work, and I improvised. If you want an extra fresh, veggie-filled recipe, then I recommend you use this recipe. But if you’re lazy like me, and have some spices on-hand, then this double decker vege joes recipe is for you.
What You Need:
2 cups cooked lentils
1 can tomato paste (these cans are usually half the size of standard cans)
2 TBSP dried, chopped onions (in the spices section)
1 TBSP garlic powder
1 tsp black pepper
2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp salt
What You Do:
Cook your lentils according to the package directions and wash them thoroughly
Mix everything together, lightly mushing the lentils
Put onto a bun, top with your choice of cheese (if desired) and enjoy!
Messiness: This was surprisingly wayyyy less messy than i thought it was going to be. With these proportions, the paste holds the lentils together really well, causing it to be less messy than your normal joes.
Budget: Since I had everything at home, it cost nothing! In general though, lentils are fairly cheap, as are the rest of these ingredients
Simplicity: If you’re okay boiling water and stirring things, then you can make these. I also really like this recipe because the ingredients hold together so well you can easily make it into meatballs, faux taco meat, or whatever else your mind can come up with.
Deliciousness: While the taste of a lentil is a far cry from the taste of ground beef, texture-wise, they’re fairly similar. That said, you can easily swap spices in or out of this to make it a meatball sub-type sandwich (which I love equally as much as sloppy joes).