Smokey Slow Cooker Sloppy Joes
Assemble this all in your slow cooker, and let your it transform the ingredients into a more-ish dish with deep, satisfying smokey flavours. This is a very healthy, non-fattening take on Sloppy Joes, so you can have a big feed, guilt free. Further down, we present some grown up options that include serving it on top a grilled portobello mushroom cap, with melted Swiss. Makes 8 cups / 2 litres.
Prep all ingredients, put in slow cooker, and stir. Cook on low for 7 to 8 hours, or high 3 to 4 hours. During final half hour of cooking, check to see if there's enough liquid still; if not, add a bit more stock or water.
Adjust flavour and serve hot. (Optional: a few splashes of your favourite hot sauce to kick up the heat.) If it tastes flat to you, try a few more splashes of cider vinegar. Acid wakes up the taste of lentils.
Our serving suggestions include serving on a bun with lettuce, thinly sliced tomato, grated cheese, etc.
Or for a more adult take, take some portobello mushroom caps, spray with cooking spray, bake or grill for about 15 to 20 minutes, and serve the sloppy joes on them. Optional: some grated Swiss cheese on top of that and pop under broiler for 2 minutes or so (or in micro for 1 minute) until cheese is melted and bubbly.
Don't use red lentils, they'll turn to mush. You want the kind labelled green or brown lentils.
Don't skip the smoked paprika; that's the taste that knocks this out of the park. If you just don't have any, try a few drops of liquid smoke instead. But if you've been waiting for an excuse to buy some smoked paprika, this is it.
Maggi adds a meaty taste.
You can add a pound of ground beef to the recipe.