Friday, June 19, 2015


Sloppy Joe's were not part of my childhood memories. We did not have them in Quebec (where I grew up) as a staple food. So when I moved with my two year old daughter to Toronto, and then to the USA, it was something new. Everyone seemed to like them, so I had to give them a try. I can see why they're so popular, as it's definitely very tasty!  It was also part of my daughter's childhood's memories, and turned out to be among her favorite things to eat. So when I was testing a vegan version, I had to have her over to be my food tester... she happily obliged!

Sloppy Joe's usually consist of canned tomatoes, a few veggies, spices, and ground meat, all stewed together and stuffed inside hamburger buns. Not the healthiest food on the planet! 
I decided to make a much better version instead using lentils, veggies, fresh tomatoes, and spices. It was both delicious and daughter approved.

Canned tomatoes are one of the worst things one can eat.  Most of the cans contain BPA.  Tomatoes being acidic, will make the BPA release from the can even moreso than any other canned good. Since BPA has been linked to both cancer and many diseases, I try to avoid canned food. Especially canned tomatoes.  It also doesn't hurt that fresh food tastes so much better. 
So here is my healthier version of this American staple. 



For the lentil filling:

1 cup of dried lentils
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion
3 garlic cloves
1 red pepper, core removed and diced
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 carrot, grated
3 medium tomatoes, chopped
Sea salt and pepper to taste

For the sauce:

1 cup of vegetable broth
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped (if they are hard, pre soak them for 30 minutes in hot water to soften)
1/4 cup coconut nectar
1 tablespoon Bragg liquid aminos
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tsp ground mustard
1 tsp ground cumin 
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 medium tomato, chopped
Sea salt and pepper to taste.

For the bread:

6 of your favorite gluten free or whole grain hamburger buns


In a medium saucepan, bring 4 cups of water to boil, add the lentils, reduce the heat, and simmer for 25 minutes. Drain and reserve.
In a large saute pan, heat up the olive oil under medium heat. 
Add the onion, and saute 4-5 minutes until translucent.
Add the red pepper, the celery, the carrot, and tomatoes, season with salt and pepper, and saute another 15 minutes until the vegetables are softened.
In the meantime, place all of the sauce ingredients in a high speed blender, and blend until very smooth.
Add the sauce and the lentils to the vegetable mixture, mix well, and cook for another 5 minutes. 
Season with salt and pepper if needed.
Put some of the mixture between your favorite hamburger bun (you can toast the hamburger bun before stuffing them if you would like) and enjoy.

This will make 6 sloppy Joe's

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