Vegetarian Sloppy Joes with Spaghetti Squash

Veggie Sloppy Joes

I love sloppy joes.  Who doesn’t?  I remember my Mom making these for us all the time when we were kids.  They weren’t all that healthy either.  Greasy ground beef and cheese with a sugary thick tomato sauce.  It was good.  I loved it, but these days eating like that has gone the way of the dodo.  However, I don’t want to give up on something I love just because I want to be healthy.  I ran across this recipe from Hello Healthy for Slow Cooker Vegetarian Sloppy Joes and I was intrigued.  The recipe is lentil-based.  It also uses spaghetti squash, which I love.  The original stats were pretty good, but I wanted to make them better.  I also wanted to make them tasty and non-tomato-based.  That shouldn’t be a problem.

Here are the original stats:

  • 240 Calories
  • 1g Fat
  • 0mg Cholesterol
  • 586mg Sodium
  • 398mg Potassium
  • 47g Carbohydrates
  • 14g of Protein
  • 105% Vitamin A
  • 80% Vitamin C
  • 6% Calcium
  • 16% Iron

Not bad, right?  I’m still making some changes, the protein is a bit low for us and the sodium is way too high.  Here are the changes I made to this recipe:

  • Decided to do it stove top and in the oven.  I wanted to make a quantity and the method wasn’t going to work with the amount I wanted to make.
  • I replaced the tomato sauce with a can of pumpkin puree
  • I added two more red bell peppers to replace the chopped tomato
  • I replaced the soy sauce with an ultra-low sodium soy sauce
  • I added a package of tempeh to keep this vegetarian and increase the protein.

Here are the updated stats:

  • 277 Calories
  • 4g Fat
  • 0mg Cholesterol
  • 262mg Sodium
  • 401mg Potassium
  • 55g Carbohydrates
  • 21g of Protein
  • 372% Vitamin A
  • 204% Vitamin C
  • 12% Calcium
  • 16% Iron

Your Level Best Version of Vegetarian Sloppy Joes

Serves 4

  • 3 pound spaghetti squash
  • 1 1/2 cup brown lentils
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 3 red bell peppers, chopped
  • 1/2 14oz container of extra firm tofu
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon, cayenne pepper
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1 15oz can pumpkin puree
  • 1 tablespoon ultra low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon yellow mustard

Preheat the oven to 425F.  Get a rimmed baking sheet that will fit two halves of the spaghetti squash.  Line with foil and spray with cooking spray.  Cut the spaghetti squash in half and scoop out the seeds.  Spray the cut side of each squash half with cooking spray.  Place the cut side down on the baking sheet.  Bake for 1 hour.

While the squash is baking, heat a dutch oven over medium heat.  Spray the pot with cooking spray and add the carrots, garlic, onion and bell pepper and saute until soft.  Add all the spices and saute for 30 seconds.  Add the lentils, water, pumpkin puree, tofu and soy sauce and bring to a simmer.  Simmer covered for 20 minutes.  Take it off the heat and let sit covered for another a 10 minutes.  Stir.

Split the roasted spaghetti squash between four containers.  Add the sloppy joe mixture over top.



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