One of the more difficult things for me to do when my children were small was to make a decent dinner every night. No matter how I planned there were many evenings when we were all tired, rushed, grouchy, or just plain didn’t feel like cooking. When I was single I simply couldn’t afford to take advantage of the drive thru or go out to eat except for special (carefully budgeted) occasions. The game changer in our household was having the ingredients for several go to meals on hand in the freezer and pantry. Nowadays I chose quick cooking dishes like Lentil Joes to have on nights when a simple meal is desirable.
Lentils are an exceptional ingredient to have on hand for a quick meatless meal. They’re tasty, cook quickly and they’re just about interchangeable with ground meat in many recipes like tacos and sloppy joes (Two cups cooked lentils is equivalent with a pound of cooked ground beef in most cases. See this post for more information.) The most economical option is to cook a pound of dried lentils and freeze them in two cup portions. Canned lentils are also an option. In some areas you can purchase pre-cooked and ready to use lentils in the produce sections.
The same applies for the sloppy joe sauce. You can make your own and can or freeze it, or purchase jarred sauce (read the labels and make sure the ingredients and sourcing fits with your lifestyle). The only thing about the sauce is that a standard can is a little bit much for two cups of lentils. You can either make more lentils, or use only part of the can and freeze the rest. Lentils tend to suck up any extra sauce so make sure to add a little sauce to the leftovers or loosen the sauce with a little water when reheating your leftover lentil joes.
Making lentil joes is a simple as cooking or reheating the lentils, stirring in an appropriate amount of sauce and spooning onto your favorite bread. Add some carrot and celery sticks or a salad for a quick meal. Cole slaw is optional, but we like it.
ON TO THE PARTY!
Meatless Mondays was created to inspire people to go without meat one day a week. Click here to read more about it on their website. To that end, I’ve teamed up with Christie from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures and Mary from Mary’s Kitchen to bring you a month long link party dedicated to Meatless Monday offerings.
We hope you find something you and your family will love. If you have a meatless recipe you’d like to share, please link up. The party is open all month long and the links are randomized so everyone has a chance to be featured at the top.
If you have a blog and would like to be a co-host, drop me a line in the comments. The more the merrier!
These items were mentioned in the post and are available by the case from Amazon. Did you know if you’re a memeber of Amazon Prime you can have pantry items shipped to your door for a flat fee? Click here for more information about Amazon Prime Pantry. If you follow the links you’ll be taken to Amazon where I’ll earn a small commision for any purchase you may make. Thanks for helping to keep the lights on!