Tag Archives: Sandwiches

Sloppy “Lentil” Joes

Sloppy “Lentil” Joes

I have got to tell you that a Sloppy Joe is one of the very first dishes I ever learned how to make.  A Sloppy Joe is without a doubt an American “kid friendly” sandwich.  If you never had a Sloppy Joe, it is a tasty, messy burger made with ground beef and a tangy sweet tomato sauce.  To make a Sloppy Joe, all you have to do is brown up some ground beef, add some Sloppy Joe sauce, ladle on a burger bun and there’s dinner.  Easy.

I was in the mood the other day for a Sloppy Joe sandwich and I had no ground beef stashed in the freezer.  I did not even have ground bison or turkey either.  However, I had lentils in my cupboard…  I had heard of people preparing Sloppy Joes with lentils before and I knew that when lentils are cooked they have a meaty like texture. So, I made my standard Sloppy Joe sauce and added cooked lentils instead of beef.  I tasted it and it was good!

When Bruce came home that evening, I told him that I made these for our dinner.  He gave me his me his famous dirty look and quickly reminded me that he hated beans.  I looked back at him, smiled, handed him his Sloppy “Lentil” Joe sandwich, crossed my fingers, and said “sorry hon, I forgot”.  I then watched him out of the corner of my eye while he ate the sandwich.  And get this… He looked as if he liked it!  After he was finished, he said that he thought it was really good and that he almost forgot that there were lentils in it.  I guess he’ll eat beans now  :).

My recipe for Sloppy “Lentil” Joes is easy to make, completely meatless and healthy for you.  Not to mention, they are wickedly good.  Enjoy!  Tessa


  • 1 cup brown lentils (rinsed and picked over)
  • 3 cups water
  • 3/4 cup chopped onion
  • 3/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 8 ounce can tomato paste
  • 3/4 cup tomato ketchup
  • 2 Tbs brown sugar
  • 2 tsp garlic paste
  • 1 tsp dried mustard
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper (or to taste)
  • 2 tsp kitchen bouquet (browning sauce for color)
  • salt to taste
  • 4 to 6 whole wheat burger buns
  • garnish with pickles

Begin by cooking the lentils and water in a sauce pan on covered on medium low for about a half an hour or until the lentils are cooked to your liking.  I did not add salt to the lentils for I heard that salt toughens up the beans. Drain.  Mash lightly with potato masher.

Meanwhile, in skillet or pan, saute the onions and bell pepper in olive oil.  Cook until onions are opaque.  Add remaining ingredients except for the lentils, burger buns and pickles.  Cook on medium low, covered, for about the same amount of time as the lentils, stirring occasionally.  When the lentils are done, add to the tomato mixture, taste, and correct your seasonings.  Add water if necessary.  Ladle on warmed whole wheat burger buns, garnish with pickles and serve.  Makes 4 to 6 Sloppy “Lentil” Joes.

Chicken Hoagies with Blueberry Ancho Chili Sauce

I’m not a big fan of leftovers… Quite frankly, I will do what I can to wiggle my way out of eating them.  The only way I can eat leftovers is to completely change up the dish, I mean, cook something so radically different that it vaguely resembles the original dish.  Day before yesterday I made a tasty Blueberry Ancho Chili Glazed Pork Tenderloin and I had some leftover blueberry ancho chili sauce tucked away in the back of my refrigerator.

I just purchased two pounds of chicken and had a bag of fresh baked hoagie rolls.  So with that leftover sauce I decided to make Chicken Hoagies with the Blueberry Ancho Chili sauce, sliced havarti cheese, garnished with chopped heirloom tomatos, green onion and parsley from my garden.  These savory sandwiches were a cinch to make and are perfect for a quick weekday meal.  Serve with potato chips or a scoop of potato salad.  My family really liked these sandwiches and I am sure that you will too.  I sure will be making these again…  Enjoy!  Tessa


  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 1/2 cups Blueberry Ancho Chili Sauce (see recipe below)
  • 5 hoagie rolls (toasted)
  • 10 slices havarti cheese
  • garnish with the following (chopped): 2 tomatoes, 1 green onion and a few sprigs of parlsey for color.
  • 1/2 tsp of salt or to taste.
  • 1 Tbls. canola oil

Grab a cutting board and slice your chicken into about 1 inch slices.   Meanwhile heat up a saute pan on the stove with medium high heat.  Add the canola oil, chicken and salt.  Cook the chicken until cooked through, about 10-15 minutes.  Add the Blueberry Ancho Chili Sauce and simmer for about 5-10 minutes.  Taste the sauce, correct with salt or a bit of water if necessary.  Put cheese in the hoagie rolls and add the chicken mixture.  Garnish with tomatoes, green onions and parsley.  Serve with chips.  Makes 5 tasty sandwiches.

Blueberry Ancho Chili Sauce:

  • 2 c. fresh picked blueberries
  • 1 can of Pepsi
  • 1 c.  tomato ketchup
  • 1/4 c. Indonesian soy sauce
  • 1/4 c. seasoned rice vinegar
  • 1/4 c. minced shallots
  • 1/4 c. brown sugar
  • 1/8 c. soy sauce
  • 2 tsp. ancho chili powder
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

In a saucepan on medium low heat add the above ingredients stirring occasionally.  Cook for about 1/2 hour or 45 minutes.  Remove from heat and use on BBQ pork, baked tenderloin, brush it on ribs and chicken.  Makes about 2 1/2 cups.  Refrigerate any leftovers in covered container for about a week.



Sweet Chili Ham Salad Sandwich

While working my way through college I was a cook during the summer months at a local fishing resort.  One of the things I learned to make on the menu was ham salad sandwiches.  I served them with plain white bread, topped with iceberg lettuce, a scoop of potato salad, a handful of chips and a dill pickle. The ham salad that I was taught to make in the restaurant was with ground up leftover ham butts, miracle whip, celery and dill pickle relish.  Few people ordered them.  Quite frankly, I thought those sandwiches were freaking gross.  Each time I made one of those sandwiches, I always thought there should be a better way to make these.  At the time, I just didn’t know how.

It’s been many years since I finished college and I no longer work in a restaurant.  Just the other day I was thinking about my old job at the resort and just how much I love the taste of ham.  I thought of those little nasty ham salad sandwiches that I used to make and then I began the mission on how to improve upon that recipe.  After imagining different combination of flavors, I think I nailed it.  I call it my “Sweet Chili Ham Salad Sandwiches”.   It’s a mix of one of sweet chili sauce (my favorite), tossed with savory ham, crunchy celery, bright red bell peppers, thinly sliced green onion and a bit of light mayo.  I top it off with thin cucumber slices, red onion, tomato and fresh picked lettuce, and serve it on honey wheat berry bread.  It’s absolutely delicious!   This ham salad is tasty, colorful and is budget friendly.  This sweet chili ham salad can be served on French bread toasts or on the tips of endive spears for a quick appetizer.  Enjoy! – Tessa


3/4 lb. ham, cubed (approx. 1 1/2 cups)
1/2 c. light mayonnaise
2 Tbls. sweet chili sauce
2 Tbls. thinly sliced green onions
1/2 c. chopped celery
1/2 c. chopped red bell pepper
8 slices honey wheat berry bread
8 tomato slices
12 cucumber slices (thin)
1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
8 lettuce leaves

Let’s begin.  Put your ham in a food processor.  Pulse until the ham is chopped (about 10 pulses).  Don’t puree it…  Put chopped ham in a medium sized mixing bowl.  Add mayo, sweet chili sauce, green onion, celery and red bell pepper.  Mix well.

Assemble the sandwiches by laying out 4 slices of bread.  Add a scoop of the Sweet Chili Ham Salad, layer on the tomato, cucumber, red onion and lettuce.  Top with remaining bread slice.  Cut in half.  Serve!  Makes 4 tasty sandwiches.