i made them extra schloppy for ye!

Are you sick of being healthy yet? If so, I've got the perfect recipe to get you fired up again. Since I stumbled upon this recipe in Food Network Magazine a few weeks ago, I can not stop making it. It's one of my new favorite go-to's and I'm not even a sloppy joe fan. I think they had me convinced to try it when I saw the pickles on top. 

This recipe is health food masked by comfort. Lentils, carrots, and red bell peppers are mixed with a little ground beef (or turkey if you want to be EXTRA good). It's got a meaty texture and it's packed with veggies and lots of protein thanks to the lentils and meat combo. I've altered the recipe a bit to make it less processed but this recipe is easily adapted to your needs. 

What's better than comfort food that's good for you?! It's secret health!

 Hope you guys are having an amazing 2013 so far. I've had a lot of fun playing with my new lens courtesy of santa! Can't wait to take more amazing shots to share my recipes with you guys this year! What do you think of the new lens?

lentil sloppy joes
adapted from food network
yields 6 servings

2 TBSP olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 carrots, finely chopped
½ red bell pepper, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
½ TSP dried oregano
½ c. dried brown lentils
4 c. water
4 TBSP tomato paste
1 TBSP worcestershire sauce
8 oz ground beef
salt + pepper
6 whole wheat buns
6 slices sharp cheddar cheese
handful of spinach leaves
pickle slices

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium high heat. Add the onion and let soften 2-3 minutes before adding the carrots and bell pepper. Cook until softened then add in your garlic and oregano and cook 1 minute more. Pour in the lentils and give em a good stir before adding your water. Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium low. Add in your tomato paste and worcestershire sauce and let simmer for 40 minutes until the lentils are tender and the water is absorbed. If the lentils are still hard, add in a little more water and keep cooking. 

In another pan, brown your ground beef. Add it into your softened lentil mixture and cook another 5 - 10 minutes to let the flavors meld. Toast your buns or leave em soft… whatever you prefer and add some leaves of spinach, a slice of cheddar, a schlop of the joe mixture and put some pickles on top - voila!

Serve them with your favorite side. I think baked sweet potato fries make the perfect companion!

improv style:
this may seem like a time consuming recipe but most of the cooking is inactive. you can make this a few days in advance so it's a quick meal for the weekday. the mixture gets better with time too, just like spaghetti sauce. 

not a fan of one of the veggies listed? leave it out or substitute it for one of your fav's. if you want to be extra healthy, you could add more lentils and completely replace the meat OR use ground turkey or chicken breast. 

if you don't have tomato paste, you can use ½ c. ketchup or diced tomatoes instead. using beer instead of water would probably be a fun (albeit un-healthy) way to mix it up. 

not a fan of pickles? weird. but i hear you… try pickled jalapenos or fresh ones! you could even chop it up and put it inside the cooking mixture for an extra kick. speaking of heat, put some of your favorite hot sauce in with the mixture. 

you can keep it dairy free without the cheese or use a different cheese like pepper jack, mmmmm! white buns, wheat buns - pick your favorite. lower carb option? make it open faced! SO. MANY. DIFFERENT. WAYS.


  1. I can't get enough of this. Nom nom nom

  2. how can this be made vegetarian?? I LOVE sloppy joes!!

    1. Hi! It can easily be made vegetarian by adding in extra lentils or you could add in some finely chopped portobello mushrooms or any mushroom really. Hope this helps!

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