Lentils and eggplant add meaty texture in this vegan sloppy joe recipe with all the flavor you expect in your sloppy joes. Quick and easy to make ahead or to cook for a weeknight meal. A kid-friendly meal you can eat with your hands.
Place the sliced onion in a colander. Boil 2 cups of water. Pour over the. onions and let them sit for five minutes.
Place remaining ingredients for the onions in a jar or glass storage container and stir to dissolve the sugar.
Add onions and store in the refrigerator. They are ready after 30 minutes but have more flavor the longer they sit.
Sloppy joe filling
Heat oil in a medium saucepan or deep skillet.
When hot add onion and garlic. Cook 3-4 minutes stirring constantly. Add bell pepper, tomato and eggplant, cooking until veggies begin to soften, about 5 minutes.
Add ketchup, water, mustard, chili powder, Worcestershire sauce and red pepper flakes. Cover and cook for five minutes on low heat, taste and add salt and pepper.
Add lentils and cook for five minutes to heat lentils through.
Heat buns if desired in microwave or hot oven.
Serve lentil sloppy joes on buns and top with pickled onions.
Inspiration for the pickled onions came from here.Tips for BEST resultsIf cooking lentils from scratch don’t overcook them. They will continue to cook a bit more in the recipe and you don’t want them turning to mush. The sauce brings a sweet zesty flavor to the recipe, but if you want to reduce the sweetness, substitute tomato sauce for the ketchup. I suggest starting with half ketchup and half tomato sauce and taking it from there. Choose whole wheat buns for a heartier flavor and more nutrition.Use a fresh eggplant. They get bitter sitting around for a while. If you think your eggplant might be on the old side you can reduce the bitterness by peeling the eggplant, cutting it into slices, salting the tops with sea salt and let them sit for 30 minutes. When the time is up, wipe off the extra water that forms on the eggplant and the salt. Continue with cutting the eggplant into small pieces.Serve it up with a delicious side dish such asCrispy oven baked french fries orQuick and easy roasted corn salad.