Saturday, March 19, 2011

Weekend Cooking: Lentil Seitan Sloppy Joes

Although we're trying, weekly Vegetarian Night (should I call it Meatless Monday?) has not become a tradition. I've experimented with several tofu, bean, and pasta recipes, but my husband prefers a more traditional dinner. This week, we finally hit on a winner.

Margaret got Kim Barnouin's Skinny Bitch: Ultimate Everyday Cookbook for Christmas and immediately requested the Lentil Seitan Sloppy Joes. Huh, seitan? What is it and how do you pronounce it? After learning seitan is actually wheat gluten, I dragged my feet another month before discovering it readily available at the local Wegmans. The real surprise came when my husband declared them better than "regular" sloppy joes.

(from Skinny Bitch)

1 1/2 cups (360ml) water
1/2 cup (170g) dried lentils, rinsed
1 Tablespoon safflower oil
1/3 cup (55g) minced onion
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and finely chopped
1/2 cup (85g) seitan, finely chopped
1 (6 ounce/170g) can tomato paste
1 Tablespoon dijon mustard
1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 Tablespoons tamari
1/4 cup (60ml) ketchup
6 whole wheat burger buns
1 avocado, sliced
pickles, sliced for garnish

In a medium saucepan, heat the water over high heat. Once the water is boiling, add the lentils. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer until tender, about 30 minutes.  In a separate saute pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat and saute the onion, bell pepper, and carrot until tender, about 10 minutes.  Add in the seitan.  Add the tomato paste to a blender or the work bowl of a food processor and puree.

In a medium bowl, mix together the tomato puree, mustard, vinegar, tamari, and ketchup. Then add the tomato mixture to the pan of vegetables. Combine thoroughly. Drain the lentils, but save the cooking liquid in case it's needed. Add the lentils to the pan of vegetables and simmer 5 minutes. If the mixture seems dry, add some of the cooking liquid.

Toast the burger buns. Serve the mixture on the toasted buns with  avocado slices and sliced pickles.

This is my March submission for The Foodie Challenge: Whip Up Something New.  Elise is collecting links for this month's recipes.

Weekend Cooking, hosted at Beth Fish Reads, is open to anyone with a food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, fabulous quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button, head over to Beth Fish Reads, and link up anytime over the weekend.


TheBookGirl said...

I cook vegetarian meals all the time, but the one thing that I could never develop a taste for was seitan. I thought that it might be because I hadn't hit on a good recipe. Knowing that your husband liked it says alot, so I will definitely give this a try. Thanks!

Carol @ There's Always Thyme to Cook said...

Your Sloppy Joe's look so good. We're not vegetarians, but we do love vegetables and I think this would go over really big at my house!

Lynne Perednia said...

I love a good batch of lentils. This looks like a super recipe, even though I've never even tried seitan. Thanks!

Kaye said...

My daughter is a vegetarian so I'm sending her a link to this recipe. Her hubby is a meat eater so this should be a good compromise. I've never even heard of seitan. It sure looks good though. Enjoy your weekend!

Beth F said...

Ohh another good one for my niece -- vegetarian and budding cook. I love lentils, so I bet I'd love this.

Margot said...

Sloppy Joes have always been popular at my house but I'm not sure about these. However, the fact that your husband prefers them, tells me I should give them a try.

Heather said...

I made some lentil sloppy joes in my crock pot and they dissappeared so fast I didn't even get a photo. I can believe that your hubby loved them.

Ellie said...

I'm trying to go meatless a few nights a week, and just recently tried lentils which I didn't think we'd like, but we did, so I'll have to try these. I've never heard of seitan before so hope I can find it.

You can visit my Weekend Cooking HERE

LDH said...

Wow ~ who would have thought they would be better than regular Sloppy Joe's! Neat recipe!

Thanks a bunch for stopping by my place and leaving your comment! Great to come by and visit with you!

Kindly, Lorraine

Marg said...

I have always wondered what sloppy joes were! Now I know.

Uniflame said...

I never ate a sloppy Joe in my life. I think it is very American but I have no clue if that is true. I might try them some day. This vegetarian version sounds good :)

Chinoiseries said...

Have to agree with Uniflame here, as a fellow Dutchie, I have never had a Sloppy Joe in my life before.
Seitan is tasty, but quite expensive, so I don't buy it often. This does sound like a recipe I would like to try though :) :)

Nan said...

I've been a vegetarian for forty years now and never have tried seitan (seeton, I think it is pronounced with the emphasis on ton, but I could be way off!), and don't care for tofu. :<)

JoAnn said...

TheBookGirl - I had no idea what to expect with this recipe. We were all pleasantly surprised.

Carol - This was a hit with everyone, even the non-vegetarians.

Lynne - I'm a big fan of lentils, and I think they were the predominant flavor in this recipe.

Kaye - Hope your daughter likes this as much as we did!

Beth F - I love lentils, too, and I think they were the main reason this recipe was so good. I'm still not sure what seitan tastes like.

Margot - I was absolutely shocked when my husband liked these. Guess you never know ;-)

Heather - I would love a recipe for lentil sloppy joes in the crock pot! Maybe a future weekend cooking?

Ellie - Maybe you will be as pleasantly surprised as I was at the availability of seitan.

LDH - I'm still shaking my head in amazement over my husband's comment. I thought he would refuse to try them.

Marg - They are usually made with ground beef... glad you know now ;-)

Uniflame - I didn't realize they were so typically American.

Chinoiseries - Be sure and let me know if you decide to try this!

Nan - I'd never even heard of seitan before, but tofu is growing on me ;-)

Elise said...

I love sloppy joes & I love lentils, but never would have thought of combining to make a vegetarian version. I will have to give this a shot!

JoAnn said...

Else - A sloppy joe made with lentils never occurred to me until my daughter found this recipe. I was surprised how good these were!

Peaceful Reader said...

This looks delicious and just like something I would make. Thanks for sharing the recipe and photo! I'm glad your husband liked it so much.

JoAnn said...

Peaceful Reader - I still can't believe my husband liked this as much as he did. Wonder what he'll make of the lentil tacos I'm trying later this week...

Unknown said...

How big a crockpot is used here? I'd like to adapt it for my 2 quart that I use at the office

JoAnn said...

a crock pot was not used for this recipe, but you may be able to adapt it.