Pulled Pork Sandwiches

One of my favorite comfort foods ever in my pre-vegan days was a good pulled pork sandwich. There was nothing like the smokey flavor and the fall apart texture of this delicious festival food. When I became a vegan two years ago, I was on the hunt for something that could satiate my barbecue cravings. Minimalist Baker has a pulled pork recipe that is to die for, and happens to also be extremely easy to make. The Minimalist Baker blog really helped me in my transition from vegetarian to vegan – they are awesome! I’m so glad to share their recipe again here in a slightly adapted form.
About twice a month we have this pulled pork recipe for dinner, so it’s become somewhat of a staple in our household. My hubby LOVES barbecue sauce (and would put it on every meal if he could), so this is one of his all time favorites. I also love that it is semi-healthy with good protein from lentils and lots of good vitamins from carrots. And a little smokey-sugary barbecue sauce does make everything a little better, doesn’t it?!
First step towards these delicious sandwiches is to simmer one cup of green lentils for about 15min or until they are mostly tender and the water is mostly absorbed. Meanwhile, it’s the perfect time to do a little bit of vege prep: peel and chop one small yellow onion and peel and shred about 3-4 carrots (or until you have about 2 cups). Saute the chopped onion in olive oil on medium heat until its starting to become translucent. Then add the mostly cooked lentils, the shredded carrots, and a generous squeeze of the vegan barbecue sauce of your choice, garlic powder, paprika (for smokiness), and healthy pinches of salt and pepper. Mix it all together until everything is  coated in the barbeque sauce mixture, and let it simmer for a few minutes. Then, transfer about half of the mixture into a food processor and pulse about 10 times, and return to the pan and incorporate – this creates a more realistic texture for that “pulled pork” feel. Top with shredded red cabbage and some spinach for an even bigger health punch, and not to mention yummy contrasting textures and colors!
1 cup green lentils
1.5 cups water
3/4 cup barbecue sauce of choice
1 tsp garlic powder
1.5 tsp paprika (or more to taste)
Salt and pepper
Red cabbage and spinach to top (optional)
Makes about 3-4 buns worth!

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