We haven’t been eating too much red meat lately — maybe once a week — because, you know, there was this study that had to go and ruin everyone’s fun. But tonight I decided sloppy joes sounded like a delicious Sunday dinner idea. My recipe is loaded with vegetables, so it’s somewhat healthy. I toss in zucchini, carrots, celery, bell peppers, garlic, onions, and spinach. And rather than using ground beef, I used some of the ground moose we have stored in our freezer, which tends to be a little leaner. I haven’t tried it with ground turkey but I bet it’s pretty good. So the joe mixture winds up being a half-vegetable / half-meat kind of a thing. Serve it on whole wheat buns to really redeem yourself.
Richard likes his sloppy joes open-faced with a pile of joe on each side of the bun. I prefer mine sammich-style with some extra joe on the side. I also had a glass of Wily Jack zinfandel on the side. It’s from Sonoma, California, and I recommend it highly. A bonus is that it’s on sale at Brown Jug right now for $8.99.
1 pound ground beef
1 c chopped onions
2 large cloves garlic, minced
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 zucchini, chopped
1 large carrot, finely chopped or shredded
1 cup combined of red and green bell peppers, chopped
Handful of spinach, torn into small pieces
1 T or so of dried Italian seasoning
General pinch of red pepper flakes
Pepper to taste
1 c tomato sauce
3 T tomato paste
1/2 c ketchup
1 t Tabasco or cock sauce
1 t Worcestershire sauce
Cook the ground beef in a large skillet until it’s brown but still a little pink in spots (don’t worry, you’ll simmer it some more later). Drain off all the fat and scoop the beef into a bowl and set aside for now. Add a slosh of olive oil then toss in all the vegetables, red pepper flakes, and Italian seasoning. I usually wait and add the spinach later. Cook the vegetables to your desired done-ness — I like mine with a little crunch still left in them. Add the beef back to the pan then stir in all the sauce ingredients. Add pepper to taste. Let it simmer for 15-30 minutes. Serve on buns.