Sloppy Joe, I love you so

Sloppy Joe
(from Ellie Krieger)

When the weather starts the get warmer, something happens in my brain. It goes a little something like this: "S'mores! Hot dogs! Burgers! Ooh, yeah, eat a burger! Potato salad! Corn on the cob! Fruit! Strawberries that actually have flavor! Ice cream sandwicheeeessssss!!!"

Also included in the insane mess of "summer foods" flying around in my brain is sloppy joes. But since my family is sort of into eating healthy-ish, we usually try to make things homemade whenever possible (opening a can of Manwich doesn't count). That way we know just what is in our food and can alter it to fit our needs. Ellie Krieger has this wonderful recipe for Sloppy Joes that has all the same flavors as a Manwich Sloppy Joe, but fresher. I never thought I would hear myself call a Sloppy Joe fresh, but there it is. 

One thing to note here is that Ellie Krieger is a health-food diva extraordinaire. I, on the other hand, am not quite the diva she is. I like to keep it healthy as long as it doesn't interfere with my enjoyment of the food. Ellie's recipe almost hits the mark, but there's one thing I would change: the beans. I would probably leave them out or mash them up a little bit and mix them in with the ground meat. Also, use any kind of ground meat your heart desires. My family is cutting back on the beef these days, so we went with half ground beef and half ground chicken. Just do what feels right!

P.S. Be prepared. All those summer foods flying around in my brain will be showing up here over the next few months. 

Sloppy Joes                                                                Printer friendly

(serves 8)
  • 1 lb. ground meat (beef, chicken, turkey, pork- whatever you want)
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeño, minced
  • 1 red pepper, seeded and diced
  • one 15.5 oz. can small red or pinto beans, low-sodium, drained and rinsed
  • 1 1/2 c no-salt-added tomato sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. unsulfured molasses
  • 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp. dry mustard
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • S&P
  • 8 whole-wheat burger buns

1) Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Dice an onion and put it in the skillet with the meat. Brown meat about 5 minutes, breaking it up into bits. While meat is browning, mince garlic and jalapeño, and dice red pepper. Drain drippings from the pan (there may not be enough to drain depending on what kind of meat you use).

2) Add garlic, jalapeño, and red pepper, cooking about 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally. If you choose to mash the beans a little bit before adding them, mash them now.

3) Stir in the rest of the ingredients (except the buns), reduce to low heat, and simmer for another 5 minutes.

4) Put 1/2 cup of the mixture on a bun and get sloppy!

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