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Sunday, March 28, 2010

face off: sloppy joes vs. sloppy sams

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we spent Christmas with my in-laws in UT this year. when all of the family (my hubby is one of 7, so this means lots of people) got together right before Christmas, my husband requested a main course on the 23rd of sloppy joes as an easy and delicious way to feed so many hungry mouths. my hubby's little sister and her husband are vegetarians, so i thought i'd make a complimentary vegetarian version that i'd made before to please both halves of the crowd. i liked having them both there as kind of a "face off". here was, in my opinion, the results of said face off:
  • sloppy joes - traditional recipe, canned sauce, made with ground beef. i usually like them okay, but since i had the below alternative i couldn't even stomach the joes in comparison.
  • sloppy sams - lentils, homemade sauce, sweetened with molasses and brown sugar. simply amazing. i can eat this stuff with a spoon, no bun required.
winner? clearly, the sloppy sams take home the award. cheaper, appease my lentil obsession and way healthier than the traditional joes. put them to the test in your house and let me know if they pass!

sloppy sams
4 big servings
modified from, specifically here

3 cups chicken broth
1 cup lentils, rinsed
1 cup chopped onion
a dash of olive oil
1 15 oz can petite diced tomatoes
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 (6 oz) can tomato paste
1/2 cup ketchup
1 teaspoon ground mustard
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 1/2 tablespoons molasses (use all brown sugar if you don't have it)
1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 dash worchestershire sauce
salt and pepper to taste
4 hamburger buns

  1. combine broth and lentils in a saucepan. bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until tender, about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. 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, molasses and Worcestershire sauce; simmer 5 to10 minutes until thickened.
  3. drain lentils and reserve cooking liquid (i never have any liquid to drain). stir lentils into sauce mixture, adding cooking liquid or water as needed to obtain the desired "sloppy joe" consistency. serve on buns.


Anonymous said...

Looks delicious. Although, does Aaron like them? I sometimes have a hard time getting Barney to eat my vegetarian or "healthy" cooking without complaint (especially when it should have meat but doesn't...)

aaron wilkinson said...

Mary, I love them! I hope Barney likes them also.


Jenna said...

Skinny Bovines! I emailed you last week. When you have time let me know if it's something you'd want to do or not(no pressure) :)
BTW, these Sloppy Sams look delicious! Aaron got tired of Sloppy Joes on his mission so these might be a good replacement!

Katja said...

I tried the sloppy sams and I thought they were pretty good, except for the whole time I expected it to taste like sloppy joes, but it doesn't. I think next time I will leave out the molasses, I thought that was a little weird. I am not sure if you are looking for another category of foods, but something I would be interested in is recipes that only take five ingredients, or something like that. It is hard for me to consider a recipe if there are a lot of ingredients on the list, it kind of scares me away. Just a thought. Also, aren't you on a milk free diet? Have you ever tried making soy milk yourself? We like the chocolate soy milk, but it is so expensive, just wondering if you have any tips. Wow, that was a long comment, sorry! :)

Heather said...

A similar thing that I've tried that is a winner in our family is to use wheat bulgur for part (or all of) the ground beef.

Janssen said...

I made these last night and we both REALLY liked them (even Bart who is generally wary of such vegetarian dishes). I even came home and ate ALL the leftovers after school today. Yum.

I did leave the molasses out, though, because Bart doesn't always like it.

Mark & Bek said...

I have made this a couple of times now and it is so yummy. The first time I made it Mark came home and was like, "what the heck are lentils?". He was a little scared, but we both ended up really liking it.

healthy cooking on a budget

disclaimer: i don't claim to be an expert on cooking, weight loss or even healthy eating, but i do love to cook, find healthy, taste bud-friendly tricks and most of all, i love to eat!

qualifications: what qualifies me to blog on cooking healthy on a small budget? well, as my husband is still a student, my budget is not what you'd call large. and as for the healthy part, when i was 10 i was diagnosed with pancreatitus - a disease that doesn't effect me much anymore unless i eat food that is too greasy or has too much fat (in which case, well, let's just say i get really sick). this had steered my experience and limited cooking expertise in a health-conscious direction.

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