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News of the weird…

The Polar Vortex has relinquished its angry spell on all of us New Englanders warping our brains just a little.
In the past week we’ve had a shovel attack on a plow-driver who bulldozed a heap of snow in one man’s driveway (generally, to clear the street of snow that’s how it works) and a meat cleaver attack on a man who, according to the assailant, took too long to shovel his driveway. There is some indication that the latter incident was actually the result of a love triangle gone awry.
I don’t judge. I just report!

But the madness of this arctic air mass has nothing to do with the next statement…

This recipe could be by far the best I’ve made to date.

It is loosely based on my Dad’s meat-loaded Sloppy Joe recipe (less the flesh of course) bringing back memories of a tasty childhood sandwich.

I’m not a fan of mock meat. There won’t be a lot of tofu, tempeh, TVP or seitan dishes here. That becomes a challenge when you want to mimic the machismo of a meat based dish. That was done to perfection here as the lentils made a great substitute.


This recipe was a quick and easy dish to assemble.
I started cooking it too early in the day.  Therefore, before serving, I took measures to amp up the flavors by adding another tbsp of mustard and a sprinkle or two of the ground cloves.
If you are not a big fan of lemon, omit the zest.
Look at the ingredients list on the container of the spicy mustard you choose to use. Some are more clean/healthier than others.
Instead of heaping this concoction on bread, I topped it on my dressing-free green salad. It was delicious!
The cole slaw was of the vegetarian version and eaten by the vegan hubby.

Serves 6-8

16 oz bag green lentils
4 cups tomatoes, diced about 2-4 whole tomatoes
28 oz tomato sauce
12 medjool dates, diced
juice of a lemon, (zest – optional)
1 tbsp spicy brown mustard
1 tsp tobasco sauce
1/4 tsp ground cloves

Sift through lentils for any foreign objects such as small pebbles. Rinse.  Starting with cold water, cook lentils on medium heat until tender, about 30 minutes.
Add remaining ingredients to lentils in a medium-large pot. Cook on low for about 30 minutes. If you want a thicker consistency, cook longer.

Do you have a favorite childhood dish? Please leave a comment…