Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Lentil Sloppy Joe Sliders

Not surprisingly, I have never had a sloppy joe.  It wasn't something we had growing up and it is certainly not something I ever wanted to cook for myself... that is, until I found this recipe for lentil sloppy joe sliders.  Now, before you assume you will hate this recipe, hear me out.  I served these to some legit carnivores and even brought a beautiful platter of them to Ross' housewarming party, and I think it is safe to say that everyone was pleasantly surprised.  Okay, keep reading.

The lentils are a sloppy, saucy number, with bell peppers and spiced with cumin, paprika, mustard and chili powder.  To add a touch of sweetness, there's even some maple syrup.  And the vinegar gives it a little zing.  This is some tasty sloppy joe filling, I tell you.  But there's more.  A lot more.  There's cilantro cabbage slaw!

This is no ordinary cole slaw (I hate slaw).  This is a mixture of garlic, purple cabbage, cilantro, scallions, and carrots (and jalapeños if you're up for it), and they're dressed with lime juice, olive oil, and brown sugar.  It's bright, sweet and salty, and truly makes the sandwich not only beautiful and colorful, but amazingly delicious.  It adds a crunch and the sweetness from the slaw lends itself to the maple syrup in the sauce, so it all goes together beautifully.

Lentil haters, try these.  Even Kenzie, self-proclaimed lentil hater, admitted the sandwiches were pretty good, and when I get Nick and the Cormier boys to happily eat lentils, you know I've got something special going on!  Do yourself a favor and try these sliders.  Cute, delicious, healthy and colorful!

In other news, since when did I move to Alaska?  -30 degrees tomorrow morning with a wind chill!?  I won't complain too much though, since it's already bought us a 2-hour delay!


lentil sloppy joe sliders
from Simply Scratch
serves 12+ (this makes a huge amount!)


for sloppy joes:
1 pound brown lentils
5 1/4 cup water, divided
1/2 cup red bell pepper, finely diced
1/2 cup green bell pepper, finely diced
1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
3 cloves fresh garlic, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 cups ketchup
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1/8 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1/2 tablespoon prepared mustard
1/2 tablespoon white vinegar
24 whole wheat slider buns
for the cilantro cabbage slaw:
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 medium lime, juiced
1 jalapeño, seeded and finely diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 small head of purple cabbage, shredded
1 small bunch of fresh cilantro, chopped
2 green onions, sliced thin
2 carrots, peeled and grated
1/4 teaspoon sea salt


1) Make the sloppy joes: rinse and drain one pound of lentils.  Place them into a large saucepan.  Pour in five cups of cool water, cover, and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 - 20 minutes or until the lentils are tender.  Drain and set off to the side.

2) In a medium bowl, combine the ketchup, chili powder, cumin, paprika, salt, pepper, 1/2 cup water, maple syrup, mustard and vinegar.  Whisk to combine and set aside.

3) Preheat a Dutch oven over medium heat with a tablespoon of olive oil.  Once the oil is hot, sauté the peppers and onions together until soft and translucent.  Next, add in the minced cloves of garlic and cook for 1 to 2 minutes.

4) Reduce the temperature to low and pour in the sauce.  Stir and simmer for 10 minutes.  Add the drained lentils, stir to combine, and heat for 5 minutes or until warmed through.

5)  While sloppy joes are simmering, make the cilantro cabbage slaw.  Combine all slaw ingredients in a large bowl.  Toss well and refrigerate until ready to use (this can be made a few hours ahead of time).

6) Spoon sloppy joe filling onto whole wheat slider buns.  Top with slaw and serve.

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