We’ve all heard of sloppy Joe but have you ever tried sloppy Lenny? Sloppy Lenny is one of my favorite, quick prep, healthy meals. He’s just as tasty and hearty as Joe but is stuffed with fiber from lentils and lean protein from turkey.

I’m all about easy meals where all of the food groups I need are just in one or two components of the meal. To make this happen, I added in some affordable frozen peas and carrots. Speaking of affordable, these days with sky high produce costs and a challenging job market, some may think that eating healthy is not possible, but that’s just not true!

Including pulses and frozen vegetables into everyday meals are an extremely easy way to add nutrition without breaking the bank. When we went shopping, our total cost was $15.63, this included a bottle of ketchup and a bag of lentils that was not fully used (but did not include the cost of spices since we’ve always got those at home). Accounting for the cost of spices and unused ketchup and lentils, the approximate meal cost came to $14.30. Divide this by an average of 7 portions (since the recipe makes 6-8 portions), and the cost comes to $2.04 per serving for a healthy, delicious meal.

A few of my favorite ways to incorporate these affordable, nutrition packed pulses into meals are:

  • Adding lentils or canned and rinsed legumes to soups and stews
  • Preparing a quick 15 minute dinner with canned black beans and corn added to sautéed vegetables in splash of tomato sauce, wrapped up as a burrito with salsa and cheese
  • Topping salads with lentils, kidney beans or chick peas for protein and fiber
  • Whipping up a big batch of bean salad with green beans, chick peas, kidney beans, diced onions and bell peppers in a simple home-made vinaigrette

Let us know how you like to use pulses in your meals and what your family thinks of these Sloppy Lennys!

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Written by a Registered Dietitian. 

Sloppy Lennys
Prep Time
15 minutes
Cook Time
35 minutes
Yields
6-8 servings

Ingredients

3/4 cup (175 ml) dry green lentils
1 (small) onion
1 tsp (5 ml) butter
454 g (1 lb) ground turkey
3/4 cup (175 ml) water
1/3 cup (75 ml) ketchup
2 tbsp (30 ml) tomato sauce
1 tbsp (15 ml) brown sugar
1/4 tsp (1 ml) cayenne pepper
1 tsp (5 ml) each salt and pepper, approximately
1/2 tsp (2 ml) Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp (1 ml) paprika
1 1/4 cup (310 ml) frozen mix of diced peas and carrots
1 cup (250 ml) cheddar cheese, shredded
4-6 green onions (optional)
6-8 whole wheat buns

Directions

  1. Cook lentils according to package instructions with a pinch of salt and pepper, just until softened (approximately 20 minutes). Once cooked, rinse with cold water in a colander and set aside
  2. Dice onion. Add butter and onion to large frying pan or wok and sauté at med-high heat until onions are lightly browned
  3. Reduce heat to medium and add in ground turkey with ½ cup water. Break up the turkey into small pieces using a wooden spoon or spatula
  4. Add ketchup, tomato sauce and brown sugar and mix well
  5. Add cayenne pepper, salt and pepper to taste and cook for 5 minutes
  6. Mix in cooked lentils, Worcestershire sauce, paprika, 1 tbsp water and cook covered at medium heat for 15-20 minutes, stirring once in between
  7. Shred cheese and slice green onion. Add in frozen peas and carrots, 1 tbsp water, 1/3 cup cheese and green onion. Mix well and adjust salt, pepper, and cayenne to taste
  8. Serve on whole wheat buns using leftover cheese to top each sloppy Lenny and enjoy!

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Robin Arora-Desilet
Read more by: Robin Arora-Desilet
Robin Arora-Desilet is a registered dietitian based in Edmonton, Alberta and founder of RAD Nutrition. In addition to recipe development, public speaking and writing, she specializes in supporting patients with diabetes, high cholesterol, weight related challenges, and digestive complications. Her passion for food was ignited through years of watching her mother prepare traditional Indian meals with great love and care. To learn more about Robin, her blog, and recipes, please visit her website at radnut.ca.
Member Of
Dietitians of Canada
College of Dietitians of Alberta