Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Not Your Daddy's Sloppy Joes

Good evening everyone!  Last week, we created delicious Mexican dishes that are also healthy for you.  But Mexican isn't the only style of food that we all crave.  The not-so traditional, yet always inviting, American style.  I'm sure these dishes have roots in another region, but we've come to know these recipes classified under American.  Tonight, I am taking a classic American dish, but giving it a healthy boost, so you can enjoy without the guilt.

The Recipe:  Turkey Sloppy Joes
Original Recipe From:  Eat This, Not That No-Diet Diet
(Serves Six)

What You'll Need:
1/2 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 Large Onion, diced
1 Green Bell Pepper, diced
1 Pound lean Ground Turkey
1 1/2 Cups Tomato Sauce
2 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
1 Tablespoon Red Wine Vinegar
1 Tablespoon Worchestershire sauce
1/2 Tablespoon Chili Powder
10-12 shakes of Tabasco or other hot sauce
6 Whole Wheat or Sesame Buns, split and toasted

In preparation for this recipe, it's important to examine the ingredients and see what you can use without adding more calories to the dish.  This is especially true when it comes to the tomato sauce.  Unknowingly, you can pick up a jar of marinara sauce and not realize that it's not tomato sauce.  While marinara has that extra flavor that normal tomato wouldn't have.  It also has more sodium (and therefore more calories) than plain tomato sauce.  Also, we found out that there is lean and extra lean ground turkey.  Whenever you can find something better than what the original recipe calls for, it will make for a better tasting dish in the end.

To start, in a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium high heat, just until the oil is almost shimmering.  Add the chopped onion and green pepper and cook until just softened, about two minutes.  Once these are cooked, add the turkey, breaking it into smaller pieces.  Cook the turkey until it is lightly browned, about five minutes.  Turkey is a leaner meat, so it will cook in a shorter amount of time than ground beef or any other ground meat.

Joe, pre sloppy

Next, add the tomato sauce, tomato paste, brown sugar, red wine vinegar, Worchestershire sauce, chili powder, and hot sauce and stir until everything is well coated.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Reduce the heat of the skillet to low and simmer for ten minutes or until the liquid has reduced and the sauce has coated all the meat.  Remove the skillet from the heat and divide the meat mixture among the buns.  Serve and enjoy!

The End Result:

These little sandwiches pack the heat in all the right spots.  Between the green pepper, chili powder, and hot sauce, the meat gives a good heat flavor that might not be present in a traditional recipe.  While some sloppy joe recipes have more liquid than meat, this recipe is far from that concept.  The meat and the veggies definitely overtake the sauce, but it gives it a good, consistent quality that can't be beat.  If I were to take any sloppy joe recipe to a gathering, I would replace a traditional sloppy joe recipe with this one.  Not only is the flavor better, but it's also healthier for you too - at 307 calories (with the bun,) it's a great addition to any family's cookbook.

That's all we have for you this evening.  Join us tomorrow as Tyler visits another blog classic that will hit all the right notes.  Until then,


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