Thursday, April 23, 2009

Sloppy Sandwiches All Around


Today we had Sloppy Joes for linner (Justin is working evenings, so we have our main meal before he leaves for work). Traditional sloppy joes aren’t a big deal unless you are vegetarian, making the meat-filled sloppiness a bit unappealing.

There are currently three vegetarians living at my house, so I am learning to revamp some of our family's favorite recipes to be meat-free, offering meat on the side several times a week. Or sometimes I just make two main dishes, one with meat and one without. Today was one of those “with and without” days.

Last month I discovered a vegetarian sloppy joe recipe that looked promising. I’m not a big fan of tofu (I will eat it, but it isn’t one of my favorites), so I was looking for a recipe that was tofu-free. I found Sloppy Sams on AllRecipes.com and fell in love. I was able to freeze half (from last month) and reheated them today. Not only is the sloppy sam mixture good on buns, but I've enjoyed spreading it on romaine lettuce and eating it like a taco. I also found a wonderful (I am told) regular sloppy joe recipe as well. This recipe is super easy and went over really well with the masses…Justin ate three sandwiches just himself.

To round out our meal, I attempted some baked curly fries and honey glazed carrots. The carrots were amazing (recipe below). Just enough sweetness without being overwhelming. Now the curly fries could use some tweaking. I neglected to follow the recipe exactly, so they didn’t come out quite right. The recipe calls for boiling the potato curls for three minutes before coating them with the seasoning mix and baking. Well, I set the potatoes in the water before it was fully boiling and didn’t start timing until the water was boiling. Oops, my bad. The flavor was still great; the potatoes just didn’t hold their shape. I’ll definitely make them again, but will follow the recipe exactly next time.

This meal used a few pans (Justin hates when I use every pan in the house) because I made two main meals, but was worth it, I think. The kids all ate their sloppy sandwiches and loved the fries. My kids aren't big fans of cooked carrots, so those just sort of sat on their plates. I need to find another way to get some orange veggies into their system…ooh, sounds like a mission.

INGREDIENTS
3 cups water
1 cup lentils, rinsed
salt to taste (optional)
1 cup chopped onion
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups chopped tomato
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
1/2 cup ketchup
1 teaspoon mustard powder
1 tablespoon chili powder
3 tablespoons molasses
salt and ground black pepper to taste
4 hamburger buns, split

DIRECTIONS
Combine water and lentils in a saucepan; season to taste with salt if desired. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until tender, about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, cook onions with the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat until the onions have softened and turned translucent, about 4 minutes. Add tomatoes and garlic, and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in tomato paste, ketchup, mustard powder, chili powder, and molasses; simmer 5 to10 minutes until thickened.

Drain lentils and reserve cooking liquid. Stir lentils into sauce mixture, adding cooking liquid or water as needed to obtain the desired "sloppy joe" consistency. Serve on buns.

Honey Glazed Carrots
1 lb. baby carrots
salt
2 T butter
1/4 C honey

Boil baby carrots in slightly salted water until tender. Drain.
Melt butter and honey in pan; add carrots. Simmer on low 2-3 minutes, stirring to coat.

1 comment:

Michelle Stille said...

Those sloppy sams sound great! I am going to make some!