Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Crazy Good Vegan Sloppy Joes

Me and Aaron cook a meal together every day, and we try to share pics on Instagram and Facebook whenever we can. For a while now lots of people have been asking us to share the recipes. Since we tend to be very detail oriented, we really like doing full step-by-step recipes, with pics to go along with each step, like all of the previous recipes we've shared here. But sometimes we're in a bit of a rush or it's too late in the day to get good lighting for all the pics. 
But we've been eating so much good stuff that I'd love to share with you guys…So I figured- What the heck...we'll share the simplified versions! I wanted to start with these Crazy Good Vegan Sloppy Joes because they are the epitome of simple. We made them last night and as the title states...they were Crazy Good. They are so good, that while eating them you will already be planning when and how you're gonna eat the leftovers. 
Yes, they are vegan…but you lose none of the tasty goodness of traditional sloppy joes. I'd say the only thing lacking in these is grease. And that's something we could all do without anyway. 
Me and Aaron like really good food…we are foodies for sure. So I promise that most meat eaters will wholly enjoy our meat free meals. These are a great option for Meatless Monday.
We've seen recipes for meatless sloppy joes made with veg/faux meat crumbles, but we really liked this one because it was made with lentils instead. We love lentils. They have a great taste before you even add any seasoning…sorta peppery and broth-like. Plus they have great texture. So we took the aforementioned recipe and added some of our own flavor touches…and we love how they came out.

Here's what you'll need:

1 cup uncooked green lentils
4 cups water
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced small
1 green pepper, diced small
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chili powder or ancho chili powder (we prefer ancho chili powder)
2 teaspoons oregano (we used Mexican oregano)
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon black pepper (optional)
1 teaspoon salt
8 oz can tomato sauce
1/4 cup tomato paste
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon yellow mustard

We served ours on ciabatta rolls that we toasted in the oven, but when it comes to rolls and breads it seems like everyone has "their thing". And I get it. So go with whatever you'd like…kaiser rolls are great, burger buns, maybe go open faced, maybe go with biscuits!

1. Ok, first put the lentils in a sauce pot with four cups of water, cover, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, lower the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes until the lentils are soft. Then drain and set aside.

2. Now, in another pot, heated medium, add your olive oil. Once the oil is hot, sauté the onion and green pepper until softened, about 7 minutes. Now add the garlic and sauté for a minute more. To this add your cooked lentils, chili powder, oregano, cumin, smoked paprika, black pepper and salt. Stir to mix through. Then stir in the tomato sauce and paste, and cook for about 10 more minutes.

3. Add the maple syrup and mustard and stir until heated through. Then turn off the heat and let it sit for a few minutes so the flavors meld. Then serve!

We plated ours with a simple spinach side salad with cherry tomatoes, sliced carrot, and red pepper dressing. The fresh greens were a great contrast to the yummy indulgent sloppy joes. We love the signature sweetness of sloppy joes, and for us the smoked paprika made all the difference.  Also, as I said above, we really loved the texture of the lentils…they're soft but have a teeny bit of bite.
And our rolls weren't huge, but they weren't tiny either…so both of us felt like we could eat more but not an entire sandwich more. So we dished a little extra "Joe" on our plates right next to our sandwiches to eat with a fork. I recommend this tactic. :)

Ok, hope you love these! Let us know if you do!
xo, Jenny & Aaron


  1. love sloppy joes! of course I like them with beef in them.. Im sure yours are way more healthy though. I like the way you guys live and work together. do you ever get mad at each other and fight? lol... you dont have to answer that. Tony and I very rarely fight.. but we get really annoyed with each other! lol! have a great day!!

    1. Hey Viv! You are such a doll! Thanks so much!! Ha.. . of course we have our days…like anyone else, but we are partners in everything. Gotta say no to bad vibes. ha! Love ya!

  2. Looks yummy! I am a vegetarian, I love finding new recipes :)

    1. Hi Thanks so much! We love trying new things as well! These are really really good! Hope you give them a try! Happy Cooking! : )


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xo Jenny & Aaron