vegan sloppy joes

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When I was a kid, I used to get overly excited when the cafeteria would serve Sloppy Joes for lunch. I would always go in for seconds even though that was frowned upon. My mom attempted to make them one time and they were just not up to the elementary school cafeteria caliber. I moved on to middle school and then high school and the Sloppy Joe became a distant memory. I hadn't thought of it until the other day when I was dreaming up recipes to make for a 4th of July bbq and I immediately started to crave my childhood fave. One of the biggest misconceptions about being vegan is that it's either a very boring diet of only salads or it's vegan junk food. However, there is this sweet spot right in the middle that is food that's really nourishing, flavorful and comforting. That is one of the best parts of being vegan- you can take unhealthy concepts, swap out a few ingredients and turn them into a very healthy alternative that you can feel good about eating. This recipe is an excellent example. The regular version is full of cholesterol, saturated fats and sodium. This lentil Sloppy Joe actually helps lower bad cholesterol and reduces the risk of heart disease! 


1 cup of Lentils
1 pint of Cherry Tomatoes
1 Red Bell Pepper
½ of a large golden onion
1 clove of garlic
1 tsp of cumin
Whole Grain or Gluten Free Buns


-In a large sauté pan cook tomatoes, pepper, onion, garlic, and cumin with a drizzle of olive oil over medium heat
-After a few minutes, when the tomatoes have become tender and gently press down on them with a large spoon. 
-In a medium saucepan add the lentils to 3 cups of boiling water. Reduce heat and simmer for 4 minutes. Remove from burner and cover for 2 minutes. Drain extra water if necessary.
-In a blender, pulse the tomato mixture so that it resembles a chunky tomato sauce
-add the mixture back into the sauté pan and stir in the lentils. Let cook for a few minutes to let the mixture thicken
-Serve on Whole Grain or GF buns topped with fresh vegan coleslaw