Savory, smoky and perfectly sweet Vegan Sloppy Joes made with fresh, simple ingredients.
2 cups Water
1 cup Green Lentils, well rinsed
2 Tbsp Olive or Grape Seed Oil
1/2 White or Yellow Onion, minced
2 cloves Garlic
1/2 Green Bell Pepper, diced
1 15-ounce can Tomato Sauce
1-2 Tbsp Coconut Sugar
1-2 Tbsp Vegan-Friendly Worcestershire Sauce
1-2 tsp Chili Powder, to taste
1 tsp Ground Cumin, to taste
4-5 Gluten Free or Whole Wheat Hamburger Buns
Sea Salt and Black Pepper, to taste
To a small saucepan, add liquid (I used 1 cup water, 1 cup vegetable broth for added flavor) and rinsed lentils and heat over medium-high heat.
Bring to a low boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook uncovered for about 18 minutes, or until tender. The water should have a constant simmer (not boil). Drain off any excess liquid and set aside.
In the meantime, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add oil, onion, garlic, and bell pepper. Season with a pinch each salt and pepper and stir to combine.
Sautè for 4-5 minutes, stirring frequently, or until the peppers and onions are tender and slightly browned.
Next add tomato sauce, coconut sugar, vegan worcestershire sauce, chili powder, cumin, and paprika (optional). Stir to combine.
Once the lentils are cooked, add them to the skillet as well, and stir to combine.
Continue cooking the mixture over medium-low heat until completely warmed through and thick, stirring occasionally - about 5-10 minutes.
Taste and adjust flavor as needed, adding more chili powder and/or cumin for smokiness, salt for saltiness, coconut sugar for sweetness, or worcestershire for depth of flavor.
Serve the mixture on toasted buns with sliced onion. Best when fresh, though leftover sloppy joe mixture will keep in the refrigerator up to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave, or on the stovetop, adding water if the mixture has dried out.