Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Two Kinds of Sloppy

This is what we had for dinner twice this week.  We all love it!  The original recipe is from Passionate Homemaking (she also has a slow cooker version, which I bet would work great in a Sun Oven).

3 cups water (I used homemade chicken stock instead)
1 cup lentils, rinsed
salt to taste (optional)
1 cup chopped onion
3 tablespoons olive oil
15 oz. can diced tomatoes
1/2-1 (6 oz.) can tomato paste
2 coves garlic (I always up the garlic)
1/2 cup ketchup (or try this traditional recipe... or consider it optional...)
1 teaspoon mustard powder
1 tablespoon chili powder
3-5 tablespoons rapadura, molasses, or honey (mmmmolasses...)
1 tablespoon white vinegar
salt and ground black pepper to taste

Optional soaking step (for benefits read here): Allow lentils to soak overnight in warm filtered water with 2 T. acid medium (whey, lemon juice, vinegar, kefir, etc.). Rinse lentils thoroughly and proceed...

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

Meanwhile, sauté onions in olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat until the onions are soft and translucent, about 4 minutes. Add remaining ingredients. Simmer 5-10 minutes until thickened. Taste.

Drain lentils and reserve cooking liquid. Stir lentils into sauce mixture, adding cooking liquid or water as needed to obtain desired "sloppy joe" consistency. Serve on buns (we just used my bread).


2) SLOPPY JOESwith liver in disguise
Lest I be thought to shun one of Earth's best sources of B12 and heme iron, let me share another favorite. This one's for all you postpartum mamas out there!

A couple weeks ago Meredith asked me for my Sloppy Joe recipe, which up until now has existed only in my head. Its beauty is its flexibility. If you've never followed a vague recipe before, you're in for some fun! The big secret (sshhhh...) is tasting and tweaking until you like how it tastes. :)

1+ lb. calf or grass-fed beef liver, prepared as indicated
2+ lbs. grass-fed ground beef
A few tablespoons olive oil
2 onions, chopped
1-2 bell peppers, chopped
Several cloves crushed garlic 
2 big cans (28 oz.?) diced tomatoes
At least 1 can tomato paste
Maybe 1 can tomato sauce
or you could use fresh tomatoes for all of the above (somehow)
Any other diced up veggies that suit your fancy... zucchini works well
1+ tablespoons chili powder
A healthy drizzle of molasses
A splash or two of vinegar, maybe balsamic or red wine
A dash cayenne or hot pepper sauce 
Salt and pepper as needed

Cut up the liver into bite-size pieces and let it soak in a bowl of apple cider vinegar or lemon juice while you start preparing the rest of the dish (you can get it going an hour or two earlier if you think of it). This will help neutralize the strong flavor of the liver. Then grind it up in any food processor (which you should clean promptly, trust me).

Sauté onions and peppers in olive oil until tender. Add garlic. Add meat/liver and brown a bit (the slower they cook, the better). Add everything else. Bring to a boil, then simmer uncovered for however long (will be ready to eat fairly quickly, but flavors might amalgamate better if you let it go longer). I always taste it several times before serving and have Keenan taste it too, just to make sure it's our favorite.

Spoon too much onto your bread and enjoy!


  1. Thanks for these recipes, Nonie! Now that energy again, I'm looking for new cooking fun. And I just ordered a lot of lentils from Azure. They are super good for you!!

    Meredith, post your recipe for sprouted lentil salad!! Please...

  2. I can vouch for this tasty sloppy Joe recipe!

    And speaking of Joe, he didn't even care that there were green peppers in it --- it was that good. (Just a hint Melissa...)

    Thanks Nonie!