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I made enough of this dish to feed an army and that’s where its versatile nature originated.
It was a hot and humid week and preparing and cooking something from scratch each night was not an appealing option.  My goal was to prepare a dish that could be used in a couple of different ways.
We started off with the traditional Joe, but made it slightly a la carte-ish. It included the choice of bun or no bun and with a side of, or topped with, “spaghetti” fries. The spaghetti fries are spiraled potatoes cooked in a 400° oven for 30-40 minutes. Some of the fries were sprinkled with a Cajun spice others were plain.
Change the side option, for a meal or two, with air-pop popcorn,  Cole slaw or anything of your choosing to give it a different flare.
Later in the week, I repurposed the Joes by stuffing sweet onions and red peppers with the lentil mixture.  See directions below.

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You can cut this recipe in half if you have no desire to feed an army.
Check out my other Sloppy Joe recipe here.

Serves 10-16

INGREDIENTS:
32 oz. red lentils, rinsed
28 oz. fire roasted tomatoes, diced
28 oz. tomato sauce
4 c vegetable broth
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp 100% pure maple syrup
2 tsp ground cloves
2 tsp Korean chili paste
juice of a lemon and its zest
2+ c water

DIRECTIONS:
Pick through and rinse lentils.
In a large soup pot, combine ingredients in order given except for the water.
Cook on medium heat until lentils soften. About 2-3 hours.
Add water periodically to keep mixture moist and to keep it from burning. Humidity and the type of heat your stove top deploys may affect the amount of water you use.

DIRECTIONS: STUFFED SWEET ONIONS AND RED PEPPERS:
Preheat oven to 400°. Cut off top of onions and hollow out. Remove top of red peppers, their core and seeds. Or, cut the peppers lengthwise and remove the core and seed. I prefer cutting the peppers lengthwise.
Stuff both vegetables with the lentil mixture.  Top with bread crumbs. Cheese can be sprinkled on top as well if you want to make this a vegetarian delight. Place in a baking dish with a small amount of water and cover with aluminum foil. Cook for 30 minutes. Remove foil and cook for an additional 30 minutes or until onions have reached your desired level of browning.

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