The fact of the matter is…there is a kid inside each and every one of us that loves Sloppy Joes.
These sandwiches are really simple to make despite the list of ingredients, which doesn’t make it any harder to make. And the simple things are sometimes what makes life great- simple pleasures, guilty pleasures…things like burgers dripping with melted cheese…hot delicious slices of pizza…warm toasty grilled cheese along with a bowl of tomato soup.
Children know these things. It is a kind of innate knowledge that is not learned- one bite and it is something that stays with you forever. And these kind of foods we all have loved since we were children. We didn’t have to be taught.
But life goes on and we try to eat healthier. And occasionally the cravings rear their head and demand to be taken care of. So having a burger or slice of pizza or delicious sloppy joe is alright once in awhile. In fact, it is more than alright. It’s awesome!
And I “could” have made these with a very lean ground meat such as ground turkey or even used something like tofu crumbles. But. Lately, I have come to feel like maybe corn syrup in many foods, among them, ketchup, kind of impedes my health. So I do make these with my own ketchup (which is quite easy to make, btw) or use a low-sugar variety to eliminate that (which is great because I am a diabetic as well). But every person knows what is o.k. for their particular diet, be it teetotaling fat or avoiding high fructose corn syrup, or even avoiding things like Splenda. I do use Splenda in my recipes, not so much because I prefer it over all else, but because I need to avoid sugar, being diabetic. If it weren’t for that, I would rather use cane sugar. But corn syrup. I think in years to come we may well see that to be a particular food we should avoid as much as possible. It may not be possible to avoid it 100%, but reducing it can’t hurt, right? So if you do want to use a homemade ketchup to get rid of that, as I did in this recipe, I have the recipe posted now and you can find it here:
The garlic potato wedges I posted in that link I actually made to go with the sloppy joes here. I make oven baked wedges and fries every now and then when I am having potatoes and sandwiches or burgers. It is really a bit more economical to make those yourself than to buy frozen potato-thingies and bake them, which may even be par-fried as part of their processing, so don’t think those are as healthy as those made at home without frying at all.
All this talk about healthy eating might seem a bit out of place in a post on something that includes ground beef. But really, balancing out the other factors in healthy eating can make it more possible to enjoy such things as ground beef, if you agree that healthy eating is about eating in moderation.
And so once in awhile, if you get a hankering for a burger or something a bit bbq, think of these and give them a try. The flavor is pretty much dead on for what you would expect in a sloppy joe. And don’t forget to serve it on a toasted bun with plenty of napkins!
- 2 pounds ground beef (chuck)
- 2 ribs celery, finely diced
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 1 bell pepper, minced (I prefer red ones)
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- Salt and pepper
- 2 teaspoons molasses
- 1 1/4 cups ketchup
- 1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
- 8 ounces tomato sauce
- 1 cup water
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon hot sauce (Frank’s or other Louisiana hot sauce)
- 1 1/2 tablespoon Splenda brown sugar blend (or brown sugar)
- 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
- 1 1/2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- Place ground chuck, celery, onion, red pepper, and garlic in a large deep skillet or dutch oven and cook, breaking up beef, until it is browned; drain off any excess fat.
- Add remaining ingredients and stir.
- Simmer mixture, covered, over low heat, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes or until mixture is as thick as you like.
- Serve on toasted buns.
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