Sloppy Lennys and Coleslaw – A Vegan Yum

Do you remember sloppy joes? Did you mom make them, as mine did, or do you remember them from school lunch? I loved the sauce on my mother’s sloppy joes, though even then I didn’t like the texture or idea of the beef. Now, I can have the sauce yum without the meat gag.

For a rainy Memorial Day lunch, we cooked up some Sloppy Lennys and made a crunchy vegan coleslaw to go with it, along with chips and fruit. Delicious!

Sloppy Lennys


1 lb dry lentils
Water or broth to cook lentils
2 T olive oil
1 large onion – diced
1 red or green pepper – diced
2 cloves garlic – minced
1 can tomato paste
2 cups tomato puree or sauce
1 t worcestershire sauce
1 t liquid smoke
1 T chili powder
1 t smoked paprika
1 t hot sauce of your choice
2 T balsamic vinegar
3-5 T molasses, agave, or maple syrup
Sea salt to taste


Cook lentils by covering in water or broth (about 1 inch higher than lentils), bringing to boil, and letting boil gently for 15-20 minutes. They should still be al dente. Save broth/water when you drain them.

Saute onions, peppers, and garlic in olive oil. Add remaining ingredients (not lentils yet) and mix well. Simmer 5 minutes. Add lentils. As they finish cooking, you will need to add the vegetable broth/water to maintain the level of sauciness you would like.

When lentils are cooked to your desired tenderness, serve on buns or bread.


Vegan Coleslaw


4 cups shredded green and red cabbage
1 cup shredded carrots
Diced onion if desired
2 cups vegan mayo
2 T apple cider vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste


Mix ingredients above. Refrigerate several hours or (preferably) overnight. Serve beside, or on, sloppy lennys!

Sweet Potato & Lentil Curry

My friend Erik shared with me a recipe he enjoyed from Vegetarian Times for sweet potato and lentil packets.  It sounded good, so I picked up some of those two main ingredients at the grocery over the weekend.  When I got ready to make it today, I realized that I was missing several other ingredients.  Oops.  So, as I normally do when cooking, I decided to fake it.  I googled lentil and sweet potatoes, skimmed probably 15 recipes to stir my mind, and headed off to the kitchen and started pulling stuff out of cabinets and the fridge.  This is what I came up with and it was pretty darn tasty!

1 lb lentils, rinsed and sorted
4 sweet potatoes (yams), cut bite sized
1 onion, diced
5 large leaves of kale, chopped without stem
2 stalks celery, diced
1 green apple, diced
3 cloves garlic, diced
4 -6 cups veg. broth or water and veg. powder
4 T curry powder
salt & pepper to taste
olive oil

Heat olive oil over medium heat in large pan and saute onion and garlic until transparent.  Add everything green and saute for 3-4 minutes.  Add sweet potatoes and saute an additional 5-7 minutes.  Add remainder of ingredients, lower to medium high and cook, stirring occasionally until lentils and potatoes are cooked through.  Add additional broth or water as needed to prevent scalding. Serve with warm pitas.