Thursday, March 10, 2011

Healthier Sloppy Joes: Lots of Slop, Not a lot of Meat

This recipe is yet another "make it healthier" comfort recipe, but if you are automatically rejecting the healthier route, can I entice you with "tastier than the real thing" as an ad slogan?

I loved sloppy joes growing up, but I can't eat large amounts of ground beef without feeling sick, so this recipe that asks for a mixture of only 6 oz. of ground beef (or sirloin), kidney beans, and carrot. You get all the great taste of traditional sloppy joes with added fiber and nutrition. When served on whole wheat hamburger buns with fresh side vegetables, this dinner is a promising addition to the "lighter and better for it" dinner category.

Sloppy Joes
(From Mark Bittman's recipe in Cooking Light)

2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped white onion
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 ounces ground sirloin
1/2 cup grated carrot
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
2 cups canned crushed tomatoes
1 (15.5-ounce) can low-sodium red beans, rinsed, drained, and divided
4 (2-ounce) whole-wheat sandwich rolls, split and toasted
4 (1/4-inch-thick) red onion slices, separated into rings


1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic, salt, black pepper, and beef to pan; cook 5 minutes or until meat is browned and vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally to crumble beef.
2. Add carrot, chili powder, sugar, oregano, and red pepper; cook 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in tomatoes; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium; cook 10 minutes or until thickened and carrot is tender, stirring occasionally.
3. Partially mash 1 cup beans with a fork or potato masher. Add mashed beans and remaining whole beans to pan; cook 1 minute or until thoroughly heated. Spoon 1 cup bean mixture onto bottom half of each roll; top each serving with 1 red onion slice and top half of roll.

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