Better Off Well




Lentil Joes: Vegetarian Sloppy Joes

If there is one thing I loved more than my SPAM on Wonder Bread growing up, it was Sloppy Joes. I'm pretty sure my mom made those, and with bell peppers and onions that didn't come from a can. The longer your Joes sat, the mushier the buns got. Ahhh...those were the days. While my tastes are somewhat more refined now, I am not above a Sloppy Joe now and then. I do, however, make them in a way that fuels my body, so I use better ingredients. Heart-healthy lentils are packed with iron and protein, to give us energy, and lots of fiber to help reduce cholesterol. Combined with the health benefits of mushrooms, tomatoes, and garlic and onions, these Joes ain't so sloppy anymore.

Be sure the tomato sauce you use doesn't have high-fructose corn syrup or added sugar. If you can't find any, make your own or just use another cup of chopped tomatoes. You may want to add a little vegetable broth, in that case.

Time Saver: Cook lentils ahead of time.


1 1/2 c coarsely chopped mushrooms 1/2 c chopped onion 1/2 c diced celery 1 garlic clove, minced 1 c cooked green lentils (till al dente, not mushy) 1 c chopped tomatoes 1 c tomato sauce* 2 tbs tamari (or gluten-free, non-gmo soy sauce) 2 tsp teriyaki sauce 2 tsp Dijon mustard Sourdough bread or romaine lettuce for serving

*I use the Whole Foods brand Italian Basil sauce. If you only have plain tomato sauce, add 1 tsp each marjoram, oregano, thyme, basil, parsley, and sea salt.


In large skillet over medium heat, sautΓ© mushrooms, onions, and celery for about 7 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 2 minutes longer. Fold in rest of the ingredients and reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer for about 20 minutes. Serve 1/2 cup filling per bun or wrap.