FAIL a couple days ago. No, it wasn't this recipe; I wouldn't do that to you. It was an experiment, and it seemed like a good one at first. It tasted pretty good on the first day, too but, unfortunately, I couldn't bring myself to eat the leftovers; they went straight into the trash-- something that hardly ever happens in my apartment (I hate wasting food!). What were they, you ask? Well, they were... cauliflower and white bean mashed "potatoes."
I really thought I had a good idea going with these. Cauliflower and white beans are the same color as potatoes, they can be easily pureed in the Cuisinart to resemble potatoes, and with some sauteed leeks and a little bit of butter mixed in they'll surely taste like potatoes, right? Wrong. I'm not even sure what was so wrong about them, they did look like potatoes and they kind of did taste like potatoes but something was terribly off. And after a bit of time melding in the fridge, they took a turn for the worst.
This vegan sloppy joe recipe, however, is a perfect example of how traditionally not-so-healthy dishes can be made healthier. Yes, the mashed "potatoes" were a fail, but these sloppy joes, or snobby joes as they're called in Veganomicon, are a win.
Vegan Sloppy Joes
Adapted from Veganomicon via theppk
1 cup uncooked lentils [I used red lentils]
4 cups water
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced small
1 green pepper, diced small
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons oregano
1 teaspoon salt
8 oz can tomato sauce
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 tablespoons maple syrup
Put the lentils in a small sauce pot and pour in 4 cups water. Cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, lower heat and simmer until lentils are soft (some varieties cook faster than others so the time will depend on what type of lentils you're using-- red lentils cook very quickly). Drain and set aside.
About 10 minutes before the lentils are done boiling, preheat a medium soup pot over medium heat. Saute the onion and pepper in the oil for about 5 minutes, until softened. Add the garlic and saute a minute more. Add the cooked lentils, the chili powder, oregano and salt and mix. Add the tomato sauce and tomato paste. Cook for about 10 minutes. Add the maple syrup and heat through.
Turn the heat off and let sit for about 10 minutes, so that the flavors can meld, or go ahead and eat immediately if you can't wait. These are great on a toasted roll, over salad, or atop a piece of bread with a runny-yolked over-easy egg (but what's not great like that?).