Saturday, April 27, 2013

Faux Joes (Lentil Sloppy Joes)

I like my Sloppy Joes simple and unadulterated and have ever since I was a little girl.  That's why I used to tear up the school lunch Sloppy Joes but pick at the ones we had at home.  My Grandma made them with this gross sloppy joe sauce with unidentifiable green specks.  Ick.  I was really excited a few years ago when I found a recipe on Food Network's website for Cafeteria Sloppy Joes.  Their version uses regular ground beef which is delicious, but not really the best option for those of us trying to drop a few pounds.  You could definitely use lean ground beef or ground turkey instead, but I had a crazy idea this afternoon: I replaced the ground beef with lentils!  For this recipe, you will need:

3/4 cup of Lentils, rinsed (EDIT: I used green lentils for this. Can't vouch for other varieties...)
2 Cups beef broth (vegetable would probably work too)
Cooking Spray
1/2 Red Onion (or onion of choice)
1.5 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne (optional)
1/2 Cup Ketchup
3 teaspoons Splenda Brown Sugar Blend
1 Tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar
1/4 Cup Water (more if a saucier mixture is desired)

Combine the lentils and beef broth in a rice cooker (or pot) and cook until lentils are tender. Set aside.  Spray a skillet with cooking spray and add the onion and garlic.  Cook until the onion begins to get soft.  Add the lentils to the skillet and stir in the cumin, paprika, cayenne, ketchup, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, and water and simmer until the liquid thickens.  I served mine on a honey wheat sandwich thin, but it would probably be great over brown rice or as a filling for lettuce wraps.  Enjoy!

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