facebook twitter instagram linkedin google youtube vimeo tumblr yelp rss email podcast phone blog external search brokercheck brokercheck Play Pause
February's Recipe - Vegetarian sloppy joe Thumbnail

February's Recipe - Vegetarian sloppy joe

Cooking With Janine Newsletter

4.8 from 4 reviews Prep Time: 10 mins Cook Time: 45 mins Yield: 6 1x Category: Sandwich, Gluten Free, Vegan

There is something to be said for comfort food in the winter and its feel-good properties. When it gets cold, I find myself gravitating to stews, thick soups, and recipes that make me feel warm inside after eating. There is a scientific reason for this according Dr. Rachel Herz, PhD. and registered dietitian. “Foods high in carbs and fats trigger a release of dopamine, endorphins, and serotonin, so they’re definitely triggering chemicals in the brain that make us feel good,” Dr. Herz says. So, in the winter when we have less sunlight, colder temperatures and are experiencing a drop in our mood, we might crave chemical mood boosting rich fatty foods. 

That explains why but doesn’t mean we want to give into fatty foods with all those extra calories. So how can we eat our comfort food and not add unwanted extra weight gain? You could fight the urge, but who doesn’t want to feel good? What I like to do is search for those recipes with the word “Healthy” in front of the name. These recipes will still have fats and carbs in them, but it will be in moderation. Someone else has done all the work to make the recipe healthy and hopefully it tastes good too, it’s beautiful. Or if you have time on your hands, you can also experiment with the recipes you like. For example, when I make my favourite chili recipe I will swap out the ground beef for extra lean ground beef and maybe even reduce the amount the recipe calls for. 

You are still getting good fats, but now at a reasonable amount. I also reduce the salt content in every recipe. In heavy soups, I use milk instead of heavy creams. One simple solution is to eat a smaller portion. There are endless options, so we can hunker down and eat healthy comfort food this winter. 

In continuing with our theme, here is our recipe this month, Healthy Sloppy Joes. This recipe is Vegetarian, but if that isn’t your thing, we have tried it with meat and it tastes great!! The secret to the great flavour is the sauce.


  • 1/2 cup dry green lentils
  • 1 –15 ounce can cooked chickpeas, rinsed and drained (1.5 cups)
  • Coleslaw for topping, if desired
  • Hamburger buns, I used Udi’s gluten free


  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 small shallot, diced (about 1/4 cup)
  • 2 small cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon tamari
  • 3/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper


  1. Place lentils in a medium sized pot and cover with 1 cup of water and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook lentils until tender and cooked through, 20- 25 minutes.
  2. Heat a large pan over medium heat and add the olive oil and shallots. Season with a pinch of salt and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute.
  4. Next, add the remaining BBQ sauce ingredients and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Add the cooked lentils and chickpeas to the BBQ sauce and cook for another 5-10 minutes until everything is heated through.
  6. Scoop the sloppy joe mix onto the buns and top with coleslaw if desired

VISIT SHELIKESFOOD for the original recipe

Call 1-519-673-1686