Raised in the U.S.’s Midwest, I couldn’t deny giving loose meat sandwiches a vegan overhaul. UVK’s vegan loose meat sandwich recipe uses lentils and mushrooms. And thus, it’s more of a loose “lentil meat” sandwich recipe.
What is a loose meat sandwich? Originating in Iowa, it’s a sandwich filling that’s loose like a sloppy joe, but has no visually distinguishable sauce. It’s ingredients are few. It’s flavor is oniony and savory (kind of like French onion soup). And if you aren’t eating it with pickles and some yellow mustard, you might not be getting the full experience.
- To avoid big chunks of mushrooms in the food processor, pulse the mushrooms, open the food processor and stir the mushrooms around, and pulse again. Repeat this process until they are very finely chopped.
- No food processor? Chop the mushrooms by hand until they’re super fine.
Depending on how generous you like to be with your lentil sandwich filling, this recipe makes ~6-8 vegan loose meat sandwiches.
Vegan Loose Lentil Meat Sandwiches
8 ounce package of sliced mushrooms (OR ~2 cups sliced mushrooms) (see note above)
1¼ cup dry green lentils, sorted and rinsed
3½ cups water
1 Tbsp olive oil
1½ cups finely chopped onions
4 Tbsp vegan Worcestershire sauce (use store bought or make your own)
3 Tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce (OR gluten free tamari)
1-1½ tsp prepared yellow mustard
1-1½ tsp onion powder
Black pepper, a generous amount
Salt, to taste
6-8 burger buns
Pickle chips, to top – optional
Yellow mustard, to top – optional
- 1. Add the mushrooms to the food processor. Pulse until they are very finely chopped. Set aside.
2. Add the lentils and 3½ cups of water to a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, and then, immediately turn down to low heat. Cover and simmer for ~10 minutes or until soft enough to enjoy eating, but not so soft they are complete mush. Drain and give a quick rinse. Set aside.
3. In a large, deep skillet add the olive oil, onion and a dash of salt. Sauté over medium heat for ~5 minutes or until the onions are soft and golden.
4. Add the mushrooms. Stir around for another minute.
5. Add the lentils, the vegan Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, yellow mustard, onion powder and a generous amount of black pepper. Over medium-high heat stir every now and then for ~3 minutes, or until some of the liquid has evaporated.
6.Taste, and adjust seasonings, if needed (more soy sauce? more Worcestershire sauce? yellow mustard? salt?). Serve on burger buns. Top your lentil sandwich with pickles, mustard, or whatever you’re into!