I grew up in South Jersey, just 20 minutes from Philadelphia. Land of the steak sandwich (wiz or no wiz?), hoagie and definitely the "sloppy joe." I often remember sloppy joes being served in the cafeteria at school. I'm sure they used a commerical mix like Manwich. But this fantastic recipe is from Weight Watchers - and it might be the most delicious recipe in their whole cookbook. I lost my cookbook a while ago and wasn't able to recreate this recipe from memory. But thanks to another blogger (foodfashionista.blogspot.com) I found it again and made it the other night for my husband. This recipe contains a lot less sugar (sugar mainly from the ketchup) and a great deal more veggies. Next time I'm putting in diced carrots. Oh, and thank you to Food Fashionista for suggesting another way to eat this if I wanted to lay off the bread. She suggested stuffing a mixture of quinoa and sloppy joe mix into a red pepper and baking in the oven at 450 F for 15 minutes. The quinoa gets a little toasty and nutty and the red pepper shell bursts with flavor. I'm filing this meal under the "Passover" files, too.
2 tsp olive oil
1 small onion(s), chopped
2 medium celery stalks, chopped
1 medium bell pepper(s), chopped
1 pound lean ground beef or turkey
1 Tbsp chili powder
2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp table salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
20 oz canned crushed tomatoes in tomato puree
1/4 cup ketchup
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
Heat oil in a large nonstick saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion, celery and bell pepper and sauté until tender, 3 minutes. Add turkey and sauté until browned, breaking up the meat as it cooks, 5 minutes. Add chili powder, basil, salt, black pepper and cayenne; stir to coat. Add crushed tomatoes, ketchup and mustard; mix well. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat, partially cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, 30 minutes. Stir in corn and simmer 2 minutes to heat through.
- In the past, I've made this dish with ground turkey meat. But a friend reminded me this week that eating red meat from time to time is a good idea. Just by looking at my fingernails, I can tell I'm low on zinc (white spots visible on the nail.) So, I went out and purchased organic, very lean ground beef (93%) for this recipe.
- Again, I will tell you that the vegetable chopper I purchased from Williams Sonoma for $30 has dramatically changed my prep time. And it's fun! I chopped the onion, celery and pepper into tiny cubes, all exactly the same shape. This looks pretty, but also allows the veggies to cook evenly.
- I used Birds Eye Sweet Corn in a bag and steam it. The corn is so crispy and delicious. Much better than any canned corn that I've purchased in the past.
- Usually when we make sloppy joes, I'm always trying to think how to serve it. With whole wheat buns? Toasted oatmeal bread? In a spinach torilla? This time, I nixed all the bread products and made a side of quinoa. Quinoa needs to be rinsed in water first, then I made it with chicken broth. I usually don't love quinoa, but truth be told I haven't experimented with it much. But the sloppy joe and quinoa mix was a hit. My husband and I thought it was a fantastic way to enjoy the nutritional benefits of quinoa while savoring the flavors of this sloppy joe recipe. I highly recommend this combination.