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Sloppy Lentils

Dan was a little hesitant of this recipe when he saw me making it--and I did cheat some from the original to add back in some meat.  If you want to see the original post that got it all started (and go for a truly meat-free meal), see Sloppy Lentils from Passionate Homemaking.

I actually have made a decent number of changes, so here's my version!

Sloppy Lentils
  • 2 c. dry lentils
  • Water
  • A splash of apple cider vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 c. onion, chopped (1 small)
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 large can (approx. 30oz.) diced or crushed tomatoes (I like the smoother results with crushed)
  • 12 oz tomato paste (This is typically two teen cans or one small can--close enough is ok, I hate having leftover tomato paste!)
  • 1 tsp. mustard powder
  • 1 Tbsp. chili powder
  • 3-5 Tbsp of molasses (to taste). Maple syrup would also work well here.
  • 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Hamburger buns, or a hearty loaf of bread (will make closer to 12 hamburger bun sandwiches).  We've served them over baked potatoes, so that's a gluten-free option.
  1. Place lentils in a plastic or glass container, put in a generous amount of water (they soak up a bunch! Think 6c. or more) and a splash of apple cider vinegar.  Soak overnight.  This will allow them to start to sprout just a bit and deactivate any anti-nutrients in the lentils.
  2. The next day, drain and rinse your lentils, place in a saucepan and cover with fresh water.  Simmer for about 30 minutes. 
  3. While your lentils are simmering, melt your butter in a large skillet and brown your beef and saute your onion and garlic.
  4. Add in your tomatoes, tomato paste, and spices and simmer together about 10 minutes.  Add your cooked (and drained!) lentils and allow to simmer together another 10 minutes or so.
This seems like it would take a long time, but it's actually a quick dinner to whip up.  The lentils take some planning and in a pinch, you could just cook them the same day, but I prefer to soak them.  This is where meal planning comes in handy--for example, this week, I made a note on the day before to get them soaking, and soaked extra and stuck them in the fridge so they would be ready to go for another lentil-containing meal later in the week.

For us, I never cook lunch; we just eat leftovers.  This would probably make 2 or 3 meals for a family of 4 (Dan eats like a laboring-man does!), so either save for leftovers, or freeze half for another quick meal later!


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