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Sloppy Lentils

We mentioned before when we made Beef and Lentil Sloppy Joes last August that Sloppy Joes were always a favourite meal growing up. Really, they’re a saucy, sloppy mess of a meal – what kid doesn’t love that?

The last time we made them, we decreased the beef and added lentils to lighten them up a bit and pack in some of the fibre and other nutrients that lentils have to offer. Well, we’ve done it again, but this time, we’ve taken out the beef entirely and made a completely vegetarian version of the classic!

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And of course, we packed it full of veggies for an additional nutrition bonus!

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Now, we know what some of you may be thinking “What? No beef?!?” but seriously, guys, don’t knock it ’till you try it! The flavour is all there, and the lentils add a great texture all their own, it’s really quite delicious.

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Meatless meals are also a great idea if you’re trying to watch your saturated fat intake, or just squeeze some extra veggies in. And they can be just as tasty as their meat containing counter parts!

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So take a leap of faith with us here, guys, we promise you won’t be disappointed! 🙂

Lentil Sloppy Joes

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Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 30min
Serves: 2

Ingredients:

1/2 c. brown lentils
1 1/4 c. water

2 tsp olive oil
1/4 white onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 c. bell peppers, chopped
1/2 c. mushrooms, chopped
2/3 c. frozen mixed vegetables
1/2 tsp smoked paprika

For the Sauce:

1/3 c. tomato paste
1 tbsp molasses
1 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
3 drops of liquid smoke
3-4 tbsp tomato juice
1 chipotle chili in adobo sauce
pepper, to taste

2 whole wheat hamburger buns

Directions:

Put water and lentils into a pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce to medium-low heat and simmer for 25min, or until fully cooked and most of the water has been absorbed.
Heat oil on a  pan over medium heat. Dice onion and add to pan, cooking until translucent. Mince the garlic and chop the peppers and mushrooms and add to the pan along with the frozen veggies.
Add the smoked paprika and cook until tender-crisp, approximately 4-5 min.
Add all sauce ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. (Option: finely dice the chili and stir all sauce ingredients together in a bowl).
Once the lentils and veggies are done cooking, stir the lentils into the vegetables and mix well. Pour the sauce over the mixture and stir until evenly coated.
Divide the sloppy joe mixture over two warm hamburger buns and enjoy!

~twosaucysisters

Do you have a favourite classic recipe that you’ve changed to make healthier? What were some of your favourite meals as a kid? We were huge fans of eggs and toast or cereal for dinner, but we also loved mashed potatoes and whenever our Dad did burgers on the bbq!

Lessons in Curry

A couple of months back, Linsday from Pinch of Yum posted about her favourite lentil recipes, which were all curry (or curry-esque) recipes. We love curry and lentils, so we thought that we would give one of her recipes a try. The problem is, we couldn’t decide which of the 6 recipes we wanted to make, so naturally, we made them all!

Every Monday for 6 weeks we made one of her lentil recipes when we got home from practice, a day we dubbed to be “Curry Monday”. Of course, eventually we had made them all, so what were we to do?

Make our own curry, obviously!

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We’ve made curry plenty of times before, and they we always good, but we found that there was something missing… they didn’t send us to our foodie happy place, nothing so special that we would write down the recipe so we could make it again. Until now!

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So what was it that we did differently? Well, there were a  few things, each that made a big difference:

1. Curry Paste – we currently have a jar of yellow (though it looks red to us!) curry paste, and we’re telling you this stuff is curry-making magic! It may seem expensive, but all you need is a small amount to really take your curry to a new level.

2. We added less spices. I know it seems weird – less spices to a curry dish? But they are supposed to be super-duper spice-filled! We know, that’s what we thought too, but the thing is, curry spices are very strong, and so if you add too many, you just end up with a slightly bitter bowl of curry. Yuck!

3. Added the spices sooner. In the past, we’ve always added the spices much later in the cooking process for fear of the spices losing their flavour. However, while that may be the case with more delicate herbs, not so much with these spices! This time, we added them right off the bat when we were cooking the onions. Cooking or “toasting” your curry spices doesn’t cook off flavour, but more the bitter compounds and flavours that these spices have in their raw state.

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This particular curry also has a special ingredient, one we don’t normally have in the fridge but just happened to be on sale this week.

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Mangoes! 🙂

We don’t know if it’s mango season somewhere, but if it is,  we are very glad it is.

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A full-flavoured, sweet potato and lentil curry with hints of sweetness from the chunks of mango: Dinner time done right!

Sweet Potato and Mango Lentil Curry

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Prep time: 10min
Cook time: 30min
Serves: 2-3

Ingredients:

1/2 c. green lentils
1 c. water

1 c. sweet potato, cubed

1/2 tbsp coconut (or olive) oil
1/2 c. white onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 c. bell peppers, chopped
1/2 28oz can of No Salt Added diced tomatoes
1/2 mango, chopped
1 c. spinach
1/3 c. coconut milk
1 tbsp fresh ginger
1/2 tsp garam masala
1/4 tsp EACH curry powder, cumin, turmeric, nutmeg
1/2 tbsp yellow curry paste (optional)
salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

Put lentils and water into a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 25min.
Cook sweet potato in the microwave until soft, about 5 min.
Heat oil over medium heat in a large sauce pan. Add onions, garam masala, curry powder, cumin, turmeric, nutmeg and curry paste, and cook until translucent. Add the ginger, garlic and peppers and cook for another 2-3min. Stir in tomatoes, mango, cooked sweet potato and spinach  and cook for another 2-3min, until spinach has wilted.
Turn off the heat and stir in coconut milk and cooked lentils and mix until fully combined.
Add salt and pepper and serve over rice of your choice.

~twosaucysisters

Does anyone else have any tips or tricks for when they make curry?