My grain-free, no-tomato version of Sloppy Joes!
I don’t know about you, but I love lentils! Not only do they have a great taste and texture (when cooked to the proper tenderness), but they are lower in phytic acid, and have a shorter cook time than other legumes. Plus, even organic lentils are pretty inexpensive. If you don’t love lentils, or want a low-carb version, simply replace the lentils in this recipe with another pound of ground beef. Same delicious dish!
I’m calling it a “sloppy joe-inspired” chili, since Sloppy Joes Plus was the original inspiration. A while back, I fell in love with that recipe from Budget Bytes. I used to sub honey for the brown sugar, and serve on a homemade whole-wheat bun. But, given my recent rebellion against all things sugar (as in, we don’t need to add it to everything from pasta sauce to fruit smoothies), and my wheat-free, mostly grain-free lifestyle, I decided I would try a few more modifications. The final product ended up being lot different from the original, because I like to change things up.
For one, I left out the sweetener completely. Who needs sugar in their dinner anyway? 😛 Though, if you want to get a little closer to that classic Sloppy Joe flavor, you could add about a teaspoon of honey.
To make it completely gluten-free, I wanted to replace the mustard (reason being, the vinegar in mustard is sometimes derived from wheat. Supposedly the distillation process breaks down the gluten, but I also read that it still bothers some people sensitive to it. I also love a challenge, so…). Since I didn’t have dry mustard on hand, I used tumeric and paprika.
I took out the tomatoes because of their tendency to bother people (either because of their acidic nature, or the fact that they’re nightshades). Pumpkin puree and lemon juice are sort of the replacement for that.
And of course, I had to add in a little apple cider vinegar. Not only is it great for your health, but it adds a nice, subtly sweet tang.
Since I officially turned it into chili, this removes the need for any kind of bun, grain-free or not. I’m all about simplifying things! If you need a healthy carb, that’s what the lentils are for. 🙂
Save to your Pinterest board for easy reference, and share with any gluten-free lentil lovers you know!