In my continued love affair with the pressure cooker, I decided to make sloppy joes with lentils. I wanted to update the sloppy joes of my childhood (think Manwich), so I made a homemade version of the classic sloppy joe sauce with lentils instead of beef; the classic gone good. Nothing oxymoronic about that, huh?! When my partner returned home and smelled the lentils cooking, he exclaimed, “sloppy joes.” See, it smells like the classic, but better, much, much better. They’re less processed, better for you, quick and easy to make, and even more budget-friendly than the original. What’s not to love?
Like the classic, this is a rather sweet, subtly spicy affair. You can certainly spice it up or tone down the sugar or ketchup depending on your personal preferences. If you like the classic, then follow the directions as listed. If not, play around with it and come up with a version that pleases your palate. You can certainly up the spice level with some cumin, more chili powder, more sriracha or some jalapeno. Feel free to add or omit vegetables as you please or to class it up however you choose, such as Tex-Mex style with some avocado and pickled purple onions. Sloppy Joes, to me, are a simple affair, a quick weeknight meal. So, I opted to pile it high on a wheat bun with a splash of hot sauce. Simple and delish.