There are so many recipes out there for lentil sloppy joes. All of the ones that I’ve tried are neither savory nor sloppy enough so I decided to take matters into my own hand. I adapted this vegan take on the traditional beef dish from a recipe published in 2005 in my hometown newspaper, The Hartford Courant. This is the best lentil sloppy joes that I’ve ever tasted. The traditional recipe calls for cabbage, which I do love, but I once found myself mid-recipe without cabbage so I substituted bok choi and it was incredible. The bok choi melts into the dish and really gives a smooth and almost creamy taste. I buy baby bok choi in packages of four, which yields about three cups finely shredded. This meal is packed with umami. It’s sweet, it’s sour, and it’s really sloppy.
- 1 cup dried green or brown lentils. Do not use red lentils.
- 2 cups of water or vegetable broth
- 3 cups of finely shredded bok choi
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 celery rib, diced
- 1/2 – 1 red pepper depending on size, diced
- 1 cup of ketchup
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon white vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon of vegan Worcestershire sauce
- 1 Tablespoon dijon mustard
- 1 Tablespoon molasses
- Few dashes of freshly ground pepper
- Prepare your lentils: Rinse lentils very well. Place in small saucepan with vegetable broth. Bring to a boil, then lower heat, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes or until all of the liquid is gone.
- In large skillet, cook onion, bok choi, celery, and red pepper over medium heat until soft, translucent and most of the liquid is gone. Stir in lentils.
- Stir in ketchup and the last seven ingredients. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Spoon onto rolls, or on top of salad or rice. Serve hot!
Photo courtesy of vegancrunk.com.