When I first started dating Brian, I’d never really eaten sloppy joes. They were just not a thing in my household. But as with many of our personal food traditions, it wasn’t long before his mother emailed him a recipe and we made it in one of our college apartments. When I began eating more beans than beef in 2009, lentils became a staple in my kitchen and I saw the plethora of vegan sloppy joe recipes online. Many of those recipes are “beefed up” with chopped vegetables and seasonings, but this is not one of those recipes. This version is based on the one from my mother-in-law…it is super simple (sometimes I don’t even bother with the onions) and uses pantry staples I always have on hand. In fact, this recipe is one of the very few things I actually use ketchup for. I don’t make this recipe when I want to be impressive or healthy; I make this recipe when I don’t have a lot of time to cook and my pantry is looking a little bare. It’s satisfying and savory and pairs perfectly with my favorite carbs.