Slow Cooker Vegetarian Lentil Sloppy Joes ♥

Slow Cooker Vegetarian Lentil Sloppy Joes
Today's easy veg(etari)an recipe for the slow cooker: Sloppy joes made with lentils instead of ground beef. Beautifully seasoned with pantry ingredients. Just a little bit spicy, easy to make it even spicier. Low carb. Weight Watchers 1.5/3 points. Not just vegetarian but vegan and not just vegan, "Vegan Done Real".

I l-o-v-e food blogs. If truth be told, I follow hundreds a few posts at a sit-down, really reading, stopping to appreciate the photos, the stories, the curiosity and the expertise, the response of the community and yes, the recipes too. Following my fellow local St. Louis food bloggers is especially cool. I've met many face-to-face so catching the inside bits about special ingredients, shopping finds, neighborhood doings, life changes, it's like the best jigsaw puzzle. Our St. Louis food blogger Facebook page is less puzzle, more dutiful reporting of recent recipes. Most slip by but the idea of sloppy joes made with lentils instead of meat really caught my attention. Our friends Denise and Craig are omnivores but actively hunt out meatless main dishes. When Denise called her experiment with vegetarian sloppy joes "THE" best vegetarian dinner for a carnivore, I knew that sooner than later, I'd be turning hot lentils into buns.

Call me glad I did! Regular readers know that slow cookers, tastewise, often disappoint me. NOT HERE! The lentils and seasonings both stand up to the heat, the flavor is great, the texture is great, the combination is wonderful. And meaty brown lentils really do mimic the traditional texture of sloppy joes, you won't "fool" a carnivore but these are excellent.

Readers, do you follow food bloggers from your own city or state? It's really fun! More and more are organizing a bit, a Google search might well lead to lists like this one for the St. Louis Food Blogs. Give it a try!

Also just FYI I'm loving the regular slow cooker inspiration from Slow Cooker from Scratch, a collection of real-food recipes for slow cookers, the brilliant idea from Kalyn Denny of Kalyn's Kitchen. Check it out too!

RECIPE for SLOW COOKER VEGETARIAN LENTIL SLOPPY JOES

Hands-on time: 15 minutes
Time to table: 3 - 8 hours
Makes 4 cups

1 cup (185g/6.5oz) dried brown or green lentils
1-1/2 cups (323g/12oz) vegetable broth
1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon (75g/2.5oz) tomato paste
1 onion, chopped fine
1/2 red or green bell pepper, chopped fine
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1-1/2 teaspoons oregano
1-1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika (don't skip this)
2 teaspoons dried parsley (I used DIY Dried Herbs)
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Cayenne pepper to taste (I used 1/16t)

Stir all ingredients together right in the slow cooker. There's no need for measuring cups, just eyeball or get out the kitchen scale for the lentils, broth and tomato paste! Cover and cook on high for 3 - 4 hours or on low for 7 - 8 hours. Check for consistency, it might be necessary to take the lid off for the last 30 minutes or so.

Serve in buns or as a side dish. Keeps for a week or more, easy to rewarm.

ALANNA's TIPS & KITCHEN NOTES
Don't be surprised if people begin to ask, "What smells so good? Is that dinner?"
No red lentils for this dish, they would cook to mush.
I cooked the lentils in a just-replaced slow cooker. On heat setting "4" of 5, the lentils were cooked in 2 hours but it took another hour to reach the right texture.
A poblano pepper would work too, adding a touch of underlying smoky heat.



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MORE FAVORITE LENTIL RECIPES
~ Oven-Cooked Lentil Soup ~
~ Summer Lentils ~
~ Julia Child's Lentil Salad ~
~ more recipes with beans & lentils ~
from A Veggie Venture

~ Simple Lentil Salad with Seasonal Vegetables ~
~ Lentil Soup Vincent ~
~ Two-Way Lentil Skillet ~
~ more lentil recipes ~
from Kitchen Parade, my food column

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famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.
© Copyright Kitchen Parade 2013


16 comments:

I LOVE food blogs too. And how I loved meeting you and some of the other STL food bloggers in person. Sadly, I've yet to find a food blog based in my new little town.

I'll have to bookmark this recipe- looks wonderful.

This looks great!! Do you have any recommendations for vegan restaurants in the STL area?

This is cooking as I write and you were correct--it smells mahvelous!!!!

Nupur ~ Hello friend! Maybe you can find some sort of food-obsessed group? And then one of them will start a food blog?! So nice to hear from you!

Diane ~ Y'know, I don't. Anyone else?

Carmen ~ Oooo, you are quick-quick! Doesn't it smell so so good?!

I follow maybe a dozen food bloggers, but I hadn't thought of searching for local bloggers. I try eating local, so why not cook local too, so to speak? Thanks for the inspiration!
As for slow cookers, try this: http://www.indianasapplepie.com
Anupy even has a VEGAN slow cooker book available. Her recipes are brilliant: lots of flavor, easy and real. Since you're in St. Louis you shouldn't have trouble finding some of the more exotic ingredients either.
Thank you for the pictured serving suggestion; lentils with a sliced tomato and greens. A slice of sweet onion would also be welcome, I think.

This is a great recipe! This has been on my (mile long!) "to make" list since I saw it on Denise's blog. Now that you're raving about it too, I really need to get busy and make it!

This looks really good; I'm loving lentils lately. And thank you so much for the shout-out for Slow Cooker from Scratch!

You are certainly your mother's daughter! She made a lentil sloppy joe recipe for my 8th grade slumber party, and I was horrified. Nobody liked them, and it was just too, too different for my "i-just-want-to-fit-in" feeling in junior high. This recipe looks great, though, and I'll be sure to try it!

80KD

The photo alone of the lentil sloppy joe is enough to make my mouth water. I just discovered your blog and it's clear to see a lot of love and passion go into it. As a vegan I appreciate your classification of those recipes that are "vegan done real." thanks.

I tried this and it was delicious. Just go easy on the chili powder. Was a little spicy for my taste. I might of gone a little heavy on the cayenne.

This was a very good recipe but did not taste like the sloppy joes I remember from childhood. I do a lot of vegetarian adaptations so I try to replicate the original as closely as possible. I think the critical omission here would be dried mustard powder.

I made this recipe as directed and it came out more as a Mediterranean lentil stew. Delicious, just not what I was expecting :) Thanks for posting!

Are the pointplus plus per half cup? the nutrition lines at the end are a bit smooshed on my screen. so just wanted to clarify.

Hi Randal ~ Yes, it's a half cup for the points. I'm also concerned/interested in what's happening with the "scrunchiness" -- what browser are you using on what platform? If you don't mind sharing, I'd love to know -- thanks!

HoHo, can't wait to give this one a go!

Great topped with a dollop of greek yogurt. Carnivorous hubby tried this the other day (slathered with some melty cheese, of course) and LOVED it.

I like my joes a little sweeter, so I added a couple tbsp of ketchup and 1/4 cup of sugar and it was PERFECT

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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe, whether a current recipe or a long-ago favorite. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. ~ Alanna