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Healthy Dinner Ideas: Lentil & Brown Bean Sloppy Joes

With less beef and more beans, this hearty, flavorful version of sloppy Joes is healthier and more inexpensive than a traditional recipe, made entirely with meat. It’s easy to make on a busy weeknight, and leftovers freeze well if you want to make a double batch so that dinner’s ready to go on another night. Serve it warm over split crusty buns, or try a slab of cornbread or cheese bread for a delicious change. A bagged green salad or coleslaw makes it a complete meal.

Lentil Sloppy Joes

canola or olive oil, for cooking
1/2-1 lb ground beef
1 onion, finely chopped
1 red pepper, seeded and chipped
1 14 oz. (398 mL) can lentils, drained
1 14 oz. (398 mL) can brown beans in tomato sauce
2 cups tomato sauce
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar

In a large skillet set over medium-high heat, add a drizzle of oil and cook the onion for 4-5 minutes, until soft. Add the meat and cook, breaking it up with a spoon, until it’s no longer pink. Add the red pepper, lentils and brown beans and cook until the peppers are soft.

Add the tomato sauce, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce and balsamic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture bubbles and thickens. Serve hot on crusty rolls or a slab of cornbread or cheese bread. Serves 6.

You can find Julie’s recipes and ideas at her blog, Dinner with Julie. You can also join her on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, or find more of her posts at the Family Kitchen.

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