Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Slow Cooker Sloppy Joes

Who doesn't love sloppy Joes? I made this childhood favorite in my slow cooker with ground beef, lentils, bell pepper, onion, and some other regular house hold condiments.



I had a craving for Sloppy Joes so I decided to make them for dinner.  I keep ground beef in my freezer in 1 lb packs but I wanted to have plenty of left-overs so I stretched the recipe by adding lentils.  I also like to think this makes it healthier, lentils are a great source of fiber and who doesn't need more fiber. Also if I added more ground beef that would add more saturated fat and cholesterol and lentils have neither.  You could use only beef, or even add more lentils, maybe even try only lentils for a vegetarian meal.

I also made homemade sandwich buns.  Obviously Sloppy Joes are great on store bought bun, and it would be much less time consuming, but I love making bread and I had the time so I made my own.  I served these Sloppy Joes with a Moroccan Carrot Salad, which goes very well with the Joes, it's kind of like a carrot slaw flavored with lime juice, olive oil, cilantro and cinnamon.


Ingredients:

1 lb ground beef
1/2 cup dried lentils
1 large onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup Ketchup
2 Tbsp prepared mustard
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 Tbsp cider vinegar
a few dashed Worcestershire sauce
dash of habanero flakes, optional (any other pepper flakes or hot sauce would work too)


First, cook the lentils in about 4 cups of salted water until tender and drain (should come to 1-2 cups cooked). Meanwhile, brown ground beef with onion, pepper, and garlic (season with salt and pepper)  until meat is fully cooked. Drain meat mixture and place in slow cooker.  Stir in lentils, ketchup, mustard, brown sugar, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, and pepper flakes if using .  This can all be done the night before and refrigerated.  Turn slow cooker on low and let cook for up to 8 hours or high for 3-4 hrs.  Makes 6-8 Sloppy Joes, depending on how sloppy you make them.

A pretty easy and delicious homemade meal.  Enjoy.

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