Life Lesson #536 – Take time every day to say, out loud with words
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how appreciative you are to those you love for all they do
My husband taking a road trip this week
We've done well in his absence, although I admit this evening that 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 and vacuuming, collecting puppies from daycare, the majority of our shopping, and disposing of the bodies after 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 diagonally 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 and easy meal. The filling made into a sandwich one evening, eaten on top of spinach greens and veggies the next.
The lentils took on a rich baked-bean flavor, robust, sweet, yet savory. Not to mention the perfect softness and messiness that traditional Sloppy Joes are made of. They're filling, comforting, and warming. 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 alcohol, water, or vegetable broth will work just as well.
ps: Many variations can be found for vegetarian Sloppy Joe, although I gravitated toward one using a whole food as opposed to those with meat substitutes
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~ Adapted from Whole Foods
Lentil Sloppy Joes
- 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 you're not using beer, water or vegetable broth are great options)
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 cup white or yellow onion, chopped
- 1 green (or red bell) pepper chopped (~ 1 cup)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tsp chili powder
- ½ tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp mustard powder
- 1 (15 oz) can crushed fire-roasted tomatoes
- ¼ cup tomato paste
- 1 Tbsp maple syrup (or 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 + more as needed
- 6 sprouted grain buns (gluten-free if you’re avoiding gluten)
- 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