I don’t know if I’ve ever thrown a bunch of random ingredients into the slow cooker, set the timer, and had it turn out as well as these did.
I was a little worried, because I’ve been doing more experimenting with lentils lately than I usually do thanks to Canadian Lentils and the Lentil Recipe Revelation Challenge. Thanks to these experiments, I figured I could probably even pretend I knew enough about cooking lentils to throw everything in the slow cooker and end up with a perfectly cooked meal in the end.
These sloppy joes are packed with protein and vegetables! I am typically not a big fan of vegetables, though I make myself act like a grown-up and eat some. But cook said vegetables low and slow for 8 hours with barbecue sauce, brown sugar, ketchup and tons of other good stuff? Sign me up. You can’t even tell they’re in there!
The lentils add no extra work but a ton of nutritional value — and I’m all about packing a big punch into the meals I eat so I feel less guilty about the dessert I know I’m going to eat later. Though, this week, that cake is also made of lentils! Check out my Nanaimo Layer Cake, also an entry into the dessert category of the Canadian Lentils Recipe Revelation Challenge.
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Sweet and smoky sloppy joes with extra fiber and protein from lentils! Super easy - just throw everything in the slow cooker and come back at dinner time.
- 1 lb lean ground beef
- 1 small-medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 small zucchini, shredded (could substitute a carrot, other veg, or just leave out)
- 3/4 cup split red lentils, dry
- 1 1/2 cup water or broth (beef, chicken or veg)
- 1 cup ketchup
- 1 tsp salt
- 4 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup BBQ sauce
- 1/2 tsp minced garlic
- 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1-2 pinches red pepper flakes
- In a large pan, cook ground beef and onion over medium heat until browned.
- While ground beef is cooking, add remaining ingredients to slow cooker (I used a 6qt, and it was about half full).
- Add ground beef to slow cooker and give everything a good stir.
- Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.
My slow cooker is on the cool side, as far as temperature goes. I got a new slow cooker at Christmas and I noticed a huge difference in cooking times, having to add hours more when I made the switch. You should know your slow cooker and adjust cooking time as necessary. You might find it's cooked in 5-6 hours on low, though letting it sit on Warm for a couple hours likely won't hurt anything.
Also find this recipe here on The Weekend Potluck.