Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Healthy Homemade Sloppy Joes

You know what I love about this recipe?  Besides being delicious and an old school classic, it is the perfect meal to drop off for a friend or family member who just had a baby or is ill or maybe just needs a little extra help.  It is an inexpensive meal that will easily feed six to eight people and is super easy to make.  All that needs to be done is to make the filling and pick up a bag of hamburger buns, a package of sliced cheese and you can drop the whole meal off to someone in need or enjoy yourself.  My Sloppy Joes are a perfect comfort food with a healthy yet rich meat and tomato filling and yummy, gooey mozzarella on a toasted bun.  I have been making this meal a lot lately for my own family member who is ill and it is always a hit because they are easy to reheat and can be made one at a time or all at once.  Give this a try next time you are craving some comfort food nostalgia or want to do something nice for someone you love.

Here is what you need:

1 lb of Ground Beef (ground turkey would work too)
1 jar or large can of Marinara Sauce (24-28 oz)
1 small Onion chopped
3 cloves of Garlic minced
1/3 cup of Red Wine (optional)
1 tbsp of Olive Oil
1/2 tsp of Salt
1/2 tsp of Pepper
1/4 cup of Parmesan Cheese
1/4 cup of Italian Parsley chopped
1/4 cup of Basil chopped
1 package of Hamburger Buns (or sandwich thins)
1 Package of Mozzarella Cheese Slices

You will cook the beef then add the other ingredients in a large heavy bottom pot such as a Dutch Oven for at least an hour.  Toast your buns, add the sliced cheese and enjoy.
Serves 6-8

First, cook the beef over medium high heat in your heavy bottom pan.  You want to cook it until all the pink in the meat is gone.  While it is cooking, chop your onions and garlic.  When the beef is ready, drain the fat.
To keep it healthier, we drain the fat from the beef and replace it with a heart healthy fat like olive oil.

When the fat has been drained, add your 1 tbsp of Olive Oil, your onions and garlic, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp of pepper.  Cook this all together for about 5 minutes so the onions get translucent.  Be careful the garlic does not burn.  

While this is cooking, get your wine and marinara sauce ready to go.
Am I the only one who gets a little sad about the wine going into the food instead of my mouth? However, it is totally worth it and adds such a hearty flavor to the meat.  It is totally optional though!

Add your sauce and wine and bring the whole mixture to a low boil for about 3 minutes.  Then turn the heat to low and cover your pot, leaving just a crack open.  
This is the boil you are looking for. 

Now, pour a glass of wine from the bottle you just opened and get your herbs ready.  Every 15-20 minutes, check your mixture and give it a good stir.  We want to keep doing this for at least an hour to make sure the liquid reduces out and it becomes thick and rich.  When you are satisfied with the texture, add your Parmesan and herbs.  Taste to adjust your seasonings.  
You want it to be thick enough so it won't just fall out of the bun.  Sloppy, but no one wants to be covered in it from head to toe after eating one.

Now, toast or broil your buns and add your cheese to the bottom bun.  This will keep the Sloppy Joe part from making your bun totally soggy.  Add as much meat as you like and grab a napkin!
Ooey gooey goodness right there.

These are so, so good and fun to eat.  I hope you and your family enjoy them as much we do!  Let me know what you think!