Monday, August 1, 2011

Garden-Fresh Sloppy Joes

So one of the things that has been so amazing since we've moved to VA, is that many of our neighbors and friends from church have been sharing the harvests of their gardens with us! It's been amazing. I'm a Farmer's Market junkie as it is, because there's nothing quite like fresh fruits and veggies home-grown and hand-picked, ya know? So what's even better than buying fresh home-grown produce? Receiving FREE home-grown produce. Seriously, how awesome is that?!

Anyway, here's how this recipe happened. It was just one of those nights when I really had nothing planned for dinner and was feeling kinda lazy about cooking, so I wanted something simple and easy. I looked over to our big wooden bowl we keep on the counter for fruits and veggies that don't need to be in the fridge, and on this particular night, it was overflowing. I thought, hm, maybe I'll make a quick pasta primavera? But as I kept looking at the bowl, I noticed there were a LOT of tomatoes. So I thought, maybe a red sauce? And then the wheels kept turning... it was a ridiculously hot day and I thought, I don't really want a big heavy pasta dish tonight.

Then, the lightbulb went off. I was cutting veggies, throwing things in the pan, sauteing, and throwing some more things in the pan, and just a few minutes later, voila! I had made some insanely scrumptious sloppy joes! The hubster and I mnoshled (yes, I just made that up) into those bad boys like there was no tomorrow. The little kid inside me rejoiced and the adult inside me who actually cares about being healthy ALSO rejoiced. It was the best of times, it was ... the best of times.

The following recipe is not super precision, seeing as my method (described above) was pretty fly-by-the-seat. So I hope you don't mind the amazingly accurate measurements I'll be using. :)

1/2 cup chopped carrots
1/2 cup chopped zucchini
1 small/medium chopped bell pepper
1 smallish chopped onion
1-2 cloved finely chopped garlic
2ish cups fresh chopped tomatoes
1 pound lean ground beef or ground turkey
A few tablespoons of light olive oil (feel free to substitute another oil of choice)
4-5 splashed of Worchestershire sauce
A small blob of kethcup
A small blob of spicy brown mustard
Salt&Pepper to taste
A few dashes of hot sauce (optional)

1. Heat up the oil over medium-high heat, and get your carrots sauteing first since they will take a bit longer to soften up. After a few minutes, add the rest of your veggies. Let those cook for a few minutes, and once the garlic becomes really fragrant to you, add the tomatoes and turn the heat down to low.
2. Once you start to see the tomatoes breaking down, add the ground meat and give it all a few good stirs.
3. Add your sauces and seasonings and stir.
4. Continue to cook until the meat is cooked all the way through.

Serve hot on a nice big whole wheat bun with marinated cucumbers, chips, cottage cheese, pickles, crackers or whatever you fancy!

*As a side note, I wanted to add that if you're planning on feeding this meal to kids who will likely turn their noses up at the sight of carrots and bell peppers in their sloppy joes, simply puree all the veggies, and you'll have an even sloppier texture, the kids will never know, it'll taste AMAZING, and it's still super healthy! :)

1 comment:

  1. I googled "fresh tomatoes sloppy joes" and got your blog as a top hit! Thanks for the advice. We have so many free tomatoes and some left over bison. That's going to be dinner tonight! I will also add some hidden carrots and zuccs, per your directions!


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