Monday, May 14, 2007

Sloppy Joes

Prep: 30 minutes
Yield: 6-8 sandwiches

1 lb extra lean ground beef
1 dill pickle chopped
1 tsp mustard
1 6 oz can tomato sauce
1 peeled, diced tomato
1/4 cup diced green pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
3 scallions finely chopped
dash of chili powder
pepper to taste
6-8 hamburger buns
6-8 slices cheddar cheese (0ptional)

Brown beef in skillet and add remaining ingredients. Simmer until heated through. Lightly toast buns under broiler. Divide filling between buns and top with cheese. Serve immediately.

Tips & Tricks
I buy ground beef in bulk and freeze, but when I make hamburgers I usually shape the patties on the day I buy the beef. I make Sloppy Joes for my family when I have leftover hamburger buns but only frozen ground beef, because thawed beef doesn't form patties as easily. I have used ketchup in a pinch for the tomato sauce, and I've omitted the green pepper when I don't have it on hand.

Make it Healthier:
Use reduced sodium pickles & tomato sauce. Drain fat from ground beef & rinse before adding veggies, sauce & spices. Add pureed or finely chopped cooked carrots for more veggies, and serve with a slice of romaine lettuce or baby spinach in the completed sandwich.

Suggested Sides:
I like to serve this with other simple, kid-friendly foods like Baby carrots or corn on the cob & sliced apples.

How Kids can Help:
Kids can add the cheese & lettuce. Older children can open cans & help toast the buns.

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