Barbecued lentils probably sound....not appetizing. But believe me, they are very much appetizing.
It's Labor Day, and while everybody is outside slapping burgers on the grill, I'm over here talking about lentils. Typical.
While I'm not a huge fan of lentils on their own, they make an amazing meat replacement. Swap the ground meat in a recipe for lentils and it's a simple switch that tastes so good - lentil tacos? Fantastic. Sloppy joe lentils? Delicious. Lentils in that pot of chili? Awesome.
To me, lentils taste like tiny little beans, but with a heartier, almost meaty-ish flavor in the background. That probably makes them sound disgusting, but to me they're meaty like mushrooms are meaty. It's all good.
The husband, dyed-in-the-wool meat eater, loves lentils. This is one of our new favorite ways to eat them - with barbecue sauce.
The lentils are cooked, then combined with sauteed vegetables (and pineapple!) and barbecue sauce.
It's sweet and tangy, very filling, and nobody's going to miss the meat. Lentils also have the added bonus of being extremely inexpensive, and one bag will make enough to feed an entire neighborhood. They are high in protein, fiber, and iron.
This recipe calls for 1/2 cup of dry lentils, which was enough to feed 2 people for 2 days in this house. Double the amount of lentils for a larger crowd, and add a little extra sauce.
Barbecued Lentil Sandwiches
1/2 cup dry green or brown lentils, rinsed
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, small dice
1 red bell pepper, small dice
1 small carrot, grated or cut into a mince
1/2 cup pineapple chunks or tidbits, drained and patted dry
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 to 1 1/2 cups barbecue sauce, depending on how saucy you're feeling that day
Buns and sliced cheese for serving
Cook the lentils according to the package directions, then remove from the pan and set aside. In the same pan, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the onion, bell pepper, carrot, pineapple, and garlic. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Saute, stirring often, for about 8 minutes or until all the veggies are tender. Then throw the lentils back into the pan and add the barbecue sauce. Simmer everything together for another 5 minutes. Serve on a bun, topped with cheese.