Sloppy Lentils and Some Music!

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I finally cooked something blog-worthy! Yes, at long last a post, AND one that has a recipe. Several times lately I sat down to write but only had commentary.  No recipe.  No great pictures. I figured there are enough opinions on the internet  - no one needs to read mine.  So no posts.  But now, I have a few pictures and a recipe!  

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This past Friday at church we had a block party for the Winston-Salem police department.  Some time ago, St, Timothy's dedicated a bit of under-utilized space for a hospitality area for our local law enforcement officers.  There is a little place for prayer, coffee, snacks, and soft drinks, wi-fi, a clean restroom.  A little bit of peace for those who often live in the midst of drama, violence, terrible accidents, tragedy.  When the space was dedicated it wasn't clear if anyone would use it.  Turns out many do.  They are there every night.  We know because they leave thank you notes, but we also see the snacks eaten, the diet coke cans in the trash.  Like we adopted them, they adopted us.  Many now wear St Michael (the patron saint of law enforcement and military) patches on their protective vests. They got St. Michael medals to wear and have a prayer buddy.  They call us "their church" even if they don't attend our services. Okay, so I went off on a tangent.  Clearly I think this is a good thing.  Twice now we have had a BBQ on a night when there are extra overlaps in the shifts and the officers can come eat together.  I have been the designated person to make the vegetarian option.  There is indeed one big policeman who has been vegetarian for 7 years and he was thankful for something that wasn't just cheese, lettuce and tomato on a bun.  We've all been there. I made Sloppy Lentils.  Think Sloppy Joe's but made with lentils instead of beef.  Perfect for a BBQ as they are good on a bun with the fixings and sides. Many people ate them like baked beans.  

The recipe is below. I think you will find it easy to make.  It is based on something in a slow cooker cookbook.  If you want to use the crockpot, cook the onions, peppers and spices.  Put all that in the crock pot.  Mix in the tomatoes, water and lentils.  Mix and cook on low for 8 hours.  

Let's see what else.....We have moved right on into Summer.  It has been raining all week but today it is very humid and in the upper 80s.  Typical Southern weather.  The flowers have been amazing. Here are are few of my potted plants and a few things from the neighborhood.  I have a hollyhock I planted last year that is growing so big.  And nasturtiums from seed that are slow really coming along. I planted some kabocha squash seeds that are also growing huge, and some impatiens from see that are slow but finally coming up. It is always like a miracle for me! 

I had beautiful peonies.  Sadly they bloom and are gone so quickly.  The rain got the last of them this week. I had a beautiful bunch on my dining room table and my desk at work.  

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Before I give you the recipe here is a song for you.   I am late to the Jamey Johnson party.  I heard him by accident on pandora and love, love, love him.  My kind of honky tonk country.  Anyway, here is a clip. No video just music but so good.   Here is the link if you can't hear it below.  

So one more, just for fun.  Link here.... For me, no matter how bad my mood is, these make me happy. 

And now finally the recipe.....Hope you all have a great week. 

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Sloppy Lentils

by Catherine Craig

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Keywords: entree sandwich gluten-free vegan vegetarian lentils

Ingredients (6 servings)

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 green or red pepper, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 ½ cups lentils, brown, washed and drained
  • 1 14.5 ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • to taste black pepper

Instructions

Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and pepper and cook until softened about 5 minutes. Add the chili powder and stir until fragrant and onions and peppers are well coated.

Stir in the lentils. Add the rest of the ingredients. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, partially cover and cook for 45 - 60 minutes until the lentils are tender and thickened. Taste for seasoning and adjust as necessary.

Serve over a sweet potato, on a bun, or as a side dish. Excellent topped with cole slaw.

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