Thursday, October 8, 2009

Sloppy Joes

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.

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