Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Veggie filled Sloppy Joes for Picky Eaters

I only recently learned how to make Sloppy Joes.  My first attempt, I used a recipe from a website that included a cup and a half of ketchup.  A cup and a half, plus Worcestershire and I didn’t have any tomato paste!  Needless to say, it didn’t taste anything like the sloppy joes I grew up with.  I kept adding more brown sugar to get rid of the vinegar “twang” that I found so unpleasant.  What I ended up with was a dark brown, sugary slop that ended up being nicknamed “Sloppy Joe Surprise”.   So I consulted my mom, who laughed really hard, especially when I told her all the ketchup that I used because I don’t eat ketchup as a general rule.  I later tried a different recipe and combined some of what I liked about “Sloppy Joe Surprise” and traditional sloppy joes.  But I wanted a sloppy joe that was more substance and followed my cheap eating rule about using fillers while still being declared "edible" by the very picker eaters in my house (who do not eat anything green, except peas because they're too small to pick out).  So this is what I ended up with.  The vegetables get soft and “stained” by the tomato juice/Worcestershire sauce so they’re unrecognizable and overall go over very well.  You can barely tell they're filled with vegetables.  As with all my recipes, you can add/omit seasonings and vegetables to your family’s liking. But I don’t recommend using all ketchup or going without tomato paste.

Veggie Filled Sloppy Joes

§  2 Tablespoons Butter
§  1-1/2 pounds Ground Beef
§  1/2 whole Large Onion
§  1 whole Large Green Bell Pepper
§  3 Medium/large carrots
§  2-3 stalks Celery
§  5 cloves Garlic
§  1 can Tomato Sauce
§  1 cup Water
§  ¼ cup Brown Sugar (can be reduced or omitted)
§  Garlic Salt
§  2 teaspoons Chili Powder (more To Taste)
§  1 teaspoon Cayenne pepper
§  1/2 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes (more To Taste)
§  1-2 teaspoons Cumin (to taste)
§   Worcestershire Sauce, To Taste
§  2 Tablespoons Tomato Paste (optional)
§   Salt To Taste
§   Freshly Ground Black Pepper, To Taste
§   Rolls/Bun

Preparation Instructions
Add butter to a large skillet over medium high heat. Add ground beef, sprinkle with garlic salt and black pepper and cook until brown. Drain most of the fat and discard.
Process onion and garlic in food processor until small and add to meat. Process celery until fine and add to pan.  Process carrots until “crumbly” and add to pan.  Finally, process green peppers until desired size and add to pan.  Cook for a few minutes, stirring and flipping to get all of the veggies soft.
Add tomato sauce and cook for 5 minutes.  Add brown sugar, chili pepper, cayenne, and water. Stir to combine and simmer for 15-20 minutes, adding salt and pepper to taste.  Also add tomato paste, and Worcestershire, if desired. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
Spoon meat mixture onto rolls, add a slice of cheese or a layer of potato chips for a little extra texture.

You’ll get different calorie counts based on the size of your vegetables, ect.  But I ended up with 14 servings at 133 calories each.  Not including extras or buns, or course. 

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