Life Lesson #5369
Take time every day to say .. out loud with words ..
how appreciative you are .. to those you love .. for all they do
The Chef taking a road trip this week
We've done well in his absence .. though I admit this evening .. a bit of weariness has set in. The realization of all the things he takes care of .. so I don't have to .. cleaning kitty boxes & vacuuming .. collecting puppies from daycare .. the majority of our shopping ..
disposing of the body when a kitty's been hunting in the night (!!)
Somehow though .. it's bigger than the task lists of life
The quiet voice whispers in my ear as I sleep diagonal in the bed .. “Yes .. I could do it all on my own .. of course I could” But at the end of the day .. life sure is nicer with a partner.
We love you .. come home soon ..
We'll have dinner waiting
I hadn't planned on cooking much in his absence .. but decided a little something could never hurt. A quick & easy meal .. the filling made into a sandwich one evening .. eaten on top of spinach greens & veggies the next.
The lentils took on a rich baked-bean flavor .. robust .. sweet .. yet savory. Not to mention the perfect softness & messiness that traditional Sloppy Joes are made of. They're filling .. comforting .. and warming .. and yet you feel light enough after dinner .. to head out for an evening walk.
A quick note .. for an additional level of complexity .. I grabbed a Boston Lager to cook the lentils in. However, if you prefer not to cook with booze .. water or vegetable broth would work just as well.
ps: Many variations can be found for vegetarian Sloppy Joe .. though I gravitated toward one using a whole food as opposed to those with meat substitutes
~ Adapted from Whole Foods .. here
- 1 cup brown or green lentils, soaked for a few hours (or overnight) and rinsed
- 2-3 cups Boston Lager, or dark ale beer (** if not using beer .. water or vegetable broth are great options)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup white or yellow onion, chopped
- 1 green or red bell pepper, chopped (~ ¾ to 1 cup)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tsp chili powder
- ½ tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp mustard powder, dried
- One 15-ounce can crushed, fire-roasted tomatoes
- ¼ cup tomato paste
- 1 Tbsp maple syrup (** or organic brown sugar)
- 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- ¼ to ½ tsp sea salt (** adjust according to taste; how much is needed will also depend on the tomatoes and tomato paste you use)
- ¼ tsp black pepper (or to taste)
- ½ cup vegetable broth (or more as needed)
- 6 sprouted grain buns (** or gluten-free bun of choice if following a gluten-free diet)
- Toppings of Choice
- Tabasco sauce, sriracha, pickles, onions, sauerkraut, coleslaw, avocado slices, etc ..
- Place lentils in a large pot, and cover with beer (enough so that there's at least a full inch or two of water above the lentils).
- Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer.
- Cook for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the lentils are chewable, but still have some firmness to them. Drain them and set aside.
- Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.
- Add the onion and pepper, and cook for 5 to 8 minutes, or until the onion is soft and clear, stirring frequently.
- Add the garlic, chili, paprika, and mustard, and continue cooking for another minute or two, until the garlic is quite fragrant.
- Add the lentils, fire-roasted tomatoes, tomato paste, brown sugar or maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, salt, and pepper.
- Bring the mix to a simmer, adding more broth as needed.
- Simmer until the mixture has thickened to your liking, about 15 to 20 minutes
- Remove mixture from heat and allow to cool for a few minutes.
- Divide sloppy joes onto the buns and top with toppings of choice, including some Tabasco or sriracha for heat, if desired. Serve
% Protein: 14
% Carbs: 71
% Fat: 15