Vegan Sloppy Joes — Tangy on the taste buds and hearty in the belly. These scrumptious sandwiches satisfy the healthiest of appetites with generous amounts of protein and an abundance of rich flavor!
It’s summertime here in the DC area, and along with the cruel heat and humidity come days seeking relief by the pool, lake or beach. But that doesn’t mean that bellies aren’t lookin’ to be filled!
You can’t lose with these completely plant-based gluten-free sloppy joes. There are no added sugars or sweeteners in this dish, and only one teaspoon of oil, so you can enjoy them to your heart’s content. And with all of the texture and taste of traditional joes, they will pair up perfectly with anything from a fresh-squeezed glass of lemonade to a tasty little sauvignon blanc.
Vegan Sloppy Joes
Lentils make a super base for Sloppy Joes. They are quite filling and have a nice dense texture making them an excellent substitute in recipes traditionally containing meat. Not only are they packed with plant-based protein and low in calories and fat but they are filled with many other nutrients like potassium, magnesium and iron.
A plentiful amount of soluble fiber helps trap glucose from carbohydrates thereby slowing its digestion. Because of this, lentils are believed to have a very low impact on blood sugar compared to other grains and carbohydrates and even thought to help stabilize blood sugar overall.
Making it Sweet Without Sweetener
I think we (the plant-based/vegan community) are getting better at making sweets which don’t always require adding the sweet. But probably not as much in the savory dish department.
I had two goals in mind when I created this recipe. First, I wanted to (let’s say the Nutritionicity mantra!) recreate a traditional recipe making it nutritious and delicious while tasting just like the original version. And second, I wanted to give it that classic Sloppy Joe tangy/sweet flavor without the addition of sugars/sweeteners.
So here’s how I did it! In the sweet recipes we use things like dates, bananas, or applesauce–fruit with natural sugar content to bring the sweetness to the party. How do you do that in a savory dish? Well, veggies of course!
I added carrots, and instead of using the traditional green bell pepper, I use a red bell pepper which is also known for its sweetness. When cooked, both of these veggies become mild in flavor but offer up quite a sweet taste. Adding more nutrients and whole food based sugar without disrupting the traditional blend of flavors in the dish. Perfect!
Benefits and Options of Lentil Sloppy Joes
I am really happy–thrilled actually–with the outcome of this recipe. This dish is very inexpensive, satisfying and easy to make. The recipe prepared as in the recipe card makes it kid-friendly, as well.
That said, I know I will be trying a kicked-up version in the future. Hello, chili flakes! Sloppy Joes are great served on a nice gluten-free roll or baguette, but I think the mixture would be awesome served over pasta as well. Tonight I am going to try making a wrap with some nice large leaves of romaine lettuce. Never hurts to throw some leafy greens in there too!