Using a strainer or colander, rinse lentils under cold water; drain and transfer to a medium saucepan. Add broth and salt, then bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and cook until tender, 15-20 minutes.
1 cup brown lentils
24 fl oz (3 cups) chicken or vegetable broth
½ tsp salt
Meanwhile, wash and dry the fresh produce. (Skip the spinach if it came pre-washed.)
1 lb cremini mushrooms
2 green bell peppers
1 (5 oz) pkg baby spinach
Peel and mince onion and garlic; transfer both to a medium bowl.
1 medium yellow onion
2 cloves garlic
Roughly chop mushrooms. Trim, seed, and roughly chop peppers. Add both to the bowl.
Preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once the skillet is hot, add oil and swirl to coat the bottom.
4 tsp extra virgin olive oil
Add vegetables, sugar, and spices to the skillet; stir to combine. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender-crisp, 3-4 minutes.
4 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp salt
½ tsp chili powder
Meanwhile, place oil, vinegar, Dijon, sugar, and salt in the bowl used for the veggies. Whisk to combine the dressing and set aside.
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
4 tsp apple cider vinegar
2 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tsp brown sugar
⅛ tsp salt
Add tomato sauce to the skillet, stir to combine, and bring to a simmer. Once simmering, reduce heat to medium-low, and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, 3-4 minutes.
2 (8 oz) cans tomato sauce
Meanwhile, halve and pit avocado. Slice thinly while still in skin, then scoop out into the bowl with the dressing. Add spinach and toss to combine the salad.
Toast buns if desired.
4 whole grain buns or rolls
When the lentils are tender, drain, and add to the skillet with the vegetables; stir to combine the sloppy joe mix.
To serve, place the bottom half of a bun on each plate. Top with sloppy joe mix and close with top half of the bun. Divide salad between plates and enjoy!