I've mentioned "Sloppy Sams" (a.k.a vegan sloppy joes) numerous times on this blog, but I've never actually devoted a post to the recipe for them!
I originally got my inspiration for Sloppy Sams from Recipes for a Small Planet, one of the first vegetarian cookbooks I'd ever owned. (In case you didn't know, I was a vegetarian for about 12 yrs - from 1993-2005, and when I started out I had NO idea what vegetarians ate. I just ate dairy. But after a while, I knew I had to expand. That's when Recipes for a Small Planet
and The New Enchanted Broccoli Forest
entered my life - and changed it forever!)
Over time, I've adapted the old sloppy sams recipe to fit my family's preferences better.
Here's my recipe:
1 small onion, diced
1-2 celery stalks, diced
1 small summer squash, diced or shredded (this can be omitted or replaced with any vegetable you like)
1-2 red/orange/yellow peppers, diced or chopped coarsely
4 cloves garlic
500g red lentils, sorted and rinsed
4 (or so) cups water
300g tomato paste
1/8 cup maple syrup or sugar, or more or less, depends how sweet you want it!
apple cider vinegar, to taste
pinch of cinnamon
salt, pepper, to taste
Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and vegetables, stirring occasionally. Add garlic after a few minutes. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, till everything just begins to brown. Add water to pot, then add lentils. Stir well, and raise the heat. Bring mixture to a boil, then lower the heat to simmer for 10 min or so (until the lentils soften). Add water as needed. When the lentils are soft and the mixture is still liquidy, add tomato paste, maple syrup/sugar, vinegar, and seasonings. Mix well. Simmer for another 5 minutes or so. Serve warm on rolls or in pitot.
This recipe is really versatile, you can leave out or replace vegetables with others you prefer. You can add shredded carrots and omit the summer squash. You can leave out the peppers if you don't like them... the possibilities are endless.
Let me know if you decide to make my Sloppy Sams for your family!