Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Lentil Barbecue

When I was growing up, our church hosted an annual Christmas bazaar.  Many crafts and baked goods were sold to raise money for the women's group.  Lunch was also served and it was always Beef Barbecue.  It was a favorite!  Moving to a more plant-based diet doesn't have to mean depriving yourself of favorite flavors.  Recipes, like this one, that are based on seasonings are easy to convert.  We've actually substituted lentils in many other favorites:  Cincinnati Chili, Sloppy Joes, taco filling, and chili sauce.  The results are just as tasty, healthier, and more economical (1 lb of dry lentils = 3 lbs of cooked lentils)

This is the Beef Barbecue recipe that I grew up on, but with lentils.  It was always made for a crowd, so this makes a lot (the original recipe calls for 6 lbs of beef).  I'm working on testing it to see how it works in smaller batches.  In the mean time, I'm enjoying the large batch that I started with.  I packaged the leftovers in 1.5 cup portions and froze them for future use.  They are wonderful on those evenings when I either don't have a dinner plan or don't have time to cook.  I just thaw/reheat and serve with some baby carrots, sugar snap peas, or some other quick and easy veggie.  I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do.

Lentil Barbecue

2 lbs (4 cups) lentils
8 cups water
1 stalk celery, chopped
3 large onions, chopped
1 tsp Tabasco  sauce
2 Tbsp. chili powder
1 Tbsp salt
1 bottle catsup (14 oz)
3 Tbsp barbecue sauce (CNYers - I used Dinosaur BBQs original sauce)
3 Tbsp vinegar
1 tsp pepper

Place all ingredients in a large crockpot and cook on low for several hours, until lentils are desired consistency (not crunchy, soft but not mushy).  I'll continue to work on this to get a more specific time for you.

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