Vegan Sloppy Joes

Vegan Sloppy Joes

Ingredients:

  • 1 C Uncooked Lentils
  • 4 Cups Water
  • 1 T Olive Oil
  • 1 Med Yellow Onion, Diced
  • 1.5 Large Carrots, Chopped
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1 t Chili Powder (more for spice)
  • 2 t Oregano
  • 1 t Salt
  • 1 (8oz) Can Tomato Sauce
  • 1/4 C Tomato Paste
  • 2-3 T Maple Syrup
  • 1 T Yellow Mustard

Directions: Pour the lentils and water into a small saucepan. Cover and bring to a boil. Once the mix is boiling, lower the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes, until the lentils are soft. Drain and set aside. **About 10 minutes before the lentils are done, preheat a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat. Sauté the onion and carrot in the oil for about 7 minutes, until softened. Add the garlic and sauté for a minute more. **Stir in the cooked lentils, Chile, powder, oregano, and salt. Add the tomato sauce and tomato paste. Cook for about 10 minutes. Add the maple syrup to taste and the mustard, and heat through. **Turn off the heat and let the pot sit for about 10 minutes, so that the flavors can meld, or go ahead and eat immediately if you can’t wait. We like to serve these open faced on homemade wheat bread!!

 

Values aside, the lifestyle can be a pretty big commitment: Vegans skip any animal-derived product, including meat, dairy and eggs. This extends to foods processed with animal products, like refined sugar. Add up all of the dietary restrictions, and you have a nutritional plan that only the most committed people can sustain. It’s precisely these reasons that scare some people off of veganism altogether.

The good news? You don’t have to become a full-fledged vegan to reap many of the benefits of the diet. In fact, a growing number of health experts believe that simply eliminating meat and dairy for a few days a week can make you healthier.

One reason: Cutting out animal-products makes more room in your diet for fruits and vegetables—a goal that most people fail to meet. According to the CDC, nearly three out of four people eat fruits and vegetables less than five times per day –which is a shame, since a study in the European Heart Journal found that with each serving of produce a person consumes, their risk for ischemic heart disease declines by 4%. Those who had eight daily servings of fruits and vegetables lowered their risk for the disease by a whopping 22%.

Skipping animal products can also help you reduce your saturated fat and cholesterol intake, says Nicole Geurin, MPH, RD. This in turn can help boost your HDL (good) cholesterol and lower your LDL (bad) cholesterol and triglycerides—all of which may reduce your risk of heart disease.

 

 

 

       

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