Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Snobby Joes

IMG_7221 copy My husband likes to eat healthy food just as much as junk food, most of the time, but sometimes I say I’m cooking vegan and get that face from him that says, “Vegan?! Gimme some MEAT.” Now that I’ve said this he will claim that he never prefers meat over animal-free meals, but I see pretty clearly which foods become leftovers and which ones don’t.

So even though we might have a dinner where we’re not fighting over the last strip of flesh from the bowl, we walk away feeling full without our bowels bloated out for the next three hours. I actually really enjoy that.

This is one of our favorite vegan meals, especially because it is really easy and takes about 20 minutes to prepare, tops. The only thing it isn’t easy on is the eyes. I know. It tastes WAY better than it looks. PROMISE! It’s delicious. And I swear that I could trick a kid into thinking these are actually real sloppy joes. It tastes exactly right. These lentils are also very yummy with tortilla chips. I’ve served this meal to vegan skeptics, and one of our especially carnivorous friends was asking me for my leftovers the next day.

Snobby Joes (serves 4-5) from Veganomicon

  • 1 C red lentils (brown lentils are fine too—I just like the color of the red better—you also have to cook the brown lentils just slightly longer)
  • 4 C water
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 green pepper, diced (optional)
  • 1 8 oz can tomato sauce
  • 2-3 T maple syrup (the real stuff)
  • 1 T yellow mustard (the fake stuff, not Grey Poupon or the powder)
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • Chili powder, to taste (I use about a scant tablespoon)
  • salt, to taste
  • french bread, sliced; or hamburger buns
  1. Cook the lentils and water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, then turn heat down and simmer for 10 or so minutes until tender. Drain.
  2. While lentils are cooking, heat olive oil in a large skillet until hot over medium high heat. Add onions, garlic, and pepper. Saute for about 7 minutes, until golden brown.
  3. Add lentils to the pan. Add tomato sauce, maple syrup (taste to decide how much sweetness you need), mustard, oregano, and chili powder. Stir well, and cook until flavors meld together and the sauce thickens, about 10 minutes. Add salt to taste.
  4. Serve with bread. I prefer an open-faced sandwich so the mixture doesn’t squirt out of the sandwich.