Lentil Sloppy Joes (Vegan)

Full disclaimer: I am not a sleep specialist (in fact, I’m about as far away from a sleep specialist as one can be), but I venture to claim there are three main types of exhaustion: the good, the bad and the ugly. 

Vegan Lentil Sloppy Joes // www.WithTheGrains.com

The ugly is the deep, bone-numbing exhaustion of sadness, when sleep is a necessity and an escape from reality. Being awake means facing the puffy eyes of sorrow and the horrible waves of realization that the nightmare is real. Bad exhaustion is the run-of-the-mill result of irresponsible bedtime habits, the consequences of a night too thoroughly enjoyed, or giving too much of yourself for someone else’s cause, i.e.: “yeah, I’m going to need you to come in this weekend.”

Vegan Lentil Sloppy Joes // www.WithTheGrains.com

The good type of exhaustion comes from giving of yourself in a fulfilling way- giving life to an idea that had lodged in the brain long past checkout hours, volunteering for a good cause, making art, etc. Lately, I’ve been exhausted in the good way. I have given my all to projects of the heart while juggling the bill-paying sorts of projects, and I feel proud of that (albeit slightly guilty for neglecting this here blog a tad). 

Vegan Lentil Sloppy Joes // www.WithTheGrains.com

To extend this classification game even further, I argue the same categories describe vegan food. The ugly- I’m looking at you tofurkey! The bad- the general array of over processed products masquerading as processed meats- why fake bologna, why? Seitan plus liquid smoke in NO way equals bacon! NO THANK YOU! The good? Legume and vegetable heavy dishes that leave you in a similar state of disbelief as when you discovered some standard looking white person was Canadian. They fool us every time!

Vegan Lentil Sloppy Joes // www.WithTheGrains.com

These sloppy joes are the good kind of vegan. They’re healthier than the originals yet still fill you with all the comforts of childhood. After all, slap enough ketchup on something, and it’s sure to rekindle some element of childhood, right? (I’m fairly certain Heinz invented sloppy joes. They’re really just ketchup carriers.) Even though they pack a meaty taste, they don’t feel like imposters in the way fake bacon does, so dig in meat eaters and vegans alike. Then, get some sleep!

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Lentil Sloppy Joes (Vegan)
Adapted from truRoots

About This Recipe: Lentils pack enough meaty flavor to make these sloppy joes taste like the real thing. Be sure to use an organic ketchup to avoid corn syrup and excess sugar. This is a good way to use some of those last peppers from the garden.


1 Tablespoon coconut oil
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/3 cup finely chopped green & red bell peppers
3 1/4 cups water
2 cups lentils (recommended: truRoots® Organic Sprouted Green Lentils)

1 1/2 cups organic ketchup
2 teaspoons mustard
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

hamburger rolls for serving 


Melt coconut oil in large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and peppers. Saute until softened. Add water. Bring to boil over high heat. Reduce to simmer. Stir in lentils. Cook 25 to 30 minutes or until lentils are tender.

Add ketchup, mustard, vinegar, salt and pepper. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes or until slightly thickened.

Serve on hamburger rolls.


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