There's something incredibly satisfying about a good Sloppy Joe. It elicits memories of the high school cafeteria, right up there with grilled-cheese-and-tomato-soup day.
This recipe comes from one of my favorites, the Food Network's Ellie Krieger. She has a talent for taking traditional comfort foods and making them healthy. She sneaks in fiber in undetectable ways. She's stingy on fat but adds a punch of flavor with peppers and barely-noticeable beans. She captures the savory-sweet balance we all remember so well from our lunch-room days, and serves it all up on whole-wheat burger buns. You can't help but enjoy this recipe. Try to dislike it, you can't!
I LOVE Sloppy Joes, and the first time I made this, I knew it was a keeper.
Ellie Krieger's Sloppy Joes
1 lb. extra-lean ground beef
1 onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno, minced
1 red pepper, diced
1 can small red beans or pinto beans, preferably low sodium, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 cups no-salt-added tomato paste
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon molasses (use 2 tbsp. packed brown sugar if you don't have this)
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon mustard powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
8 Whole-wheat burger buns
Brown the meat and the onion in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat for 5 minutes, breaking up the meat into crumbles as it cooks. Pour the drippings out of the pan and discard. Add the garlic, jalapeno, and red pepper and cook 5 minutes more, stirring occasionally. Stir in the rest of the ingredients, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 5 more minutes.
Place a half-cup scoop of the mixture onto each bun and serve.
Photo credit: http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://img.foodnetwork.com/FOOD/2008/07/21/EK0505_Pulled-BBQ-Chicken-Sandwich_lg.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ellie-krieger/pulled-bbq-chicken-sandwiches-recipe/index.html&usg=__i0wpVlSX0MUjrTxFZ7ky268W0zM=&h=462&w=616&sz=135&hl=en&start=5&tbnid=y0Qza4O0Z20d9M:&tbnh=102&tbnw=136&prev=/images%3Fq%3DSloppy%2BJoes%2BEllie%2BKrieger%26gbv%3D2%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DG