We never ate these when I was little (I’m British… we tend to avoid things with sloppy in the title) so my only experience with Sloppy Joes growing up was seeing them in the lunch line or watching the occasional Manwich commercial, both of which seemed pretty gross. But then I saw a few recipes here and there that actually looked kind of appetizing so I thought I’d give it a whirl and come up with my own. I am now a big, huge Sloppy Joe fan, as are the boys and Matt.
The first time I made these I put them on whole wheat buns with fresh spinach but Matt said that having to bite through the spinach got in the way of the “sloppiness” so he recommended I puree the spinach and just add it into the meat. He’s a smart man (and I’m still amazed that my meat and potatoes husband actually suggested I ADD pureed spinach to something he was going to eat). It makes for a kind of funny color (after I made Matt try a bite he said, “I’m not going to lie. When you approached me with the spoon my first reaction was to recoil.”) but you can’t taste the spinach at all and it actually helps to thicken the sauce a bit. I serve these with Baked Beans.
How I "healthified" it:
- The original recipe called for 1 lb of ground beef. I substituted lean ground turkey instead to decrease the amount of fat and saturated fat.
- The original recipe used brown sugar. I substituted sucanat because it is less processed.
- Finally, I added shredded carrots and spinach to boost the nutritional profile.
- The results - A decrease in calories, fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium and an increase in Vitamin A and Vitamin C.
- 1 lb lean ground turkey
- 1 cup diced onion
- 1 6 oz can tomato paste
- 1 14.5-oz can diced tomatoes
- 3 medium carrots, shredded
- ½ cup water
- 4 cups fresh spinach (or 4 big handfuls)
- 1 ½ tsp minced garlic
- 1 Tbsp paprika
- 1 tsp oregano
- 2 Tbsp sucanat (can use brown/turbinado sugar)
- 1 tsp cumin
- 2 tsp dried basil
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp mustard powder
- ¼ tsp black pepper
TWO: Add diced onion, shredded carrots, tomato paste, and diced tomatoes including juice. Puree spinach into ½ cup of water and add to saucepan. Add remaining ingredients and stir well.
THREE: Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, until sauce is thickened, about 12 minutes. Serve over whole grain buns.
Freeze in ½ cup portions using the medium/large portions method. For Once a Month Cooking this recipe can easily be doubled or tripled.
Original Recipe - 189 Calories (84 Calories from Fat), 9g Fat, 4g Saturated Fat, 50mg Cholesterol, 455mg Sodium, 11g Total Carbohydrates, 0g Dietary Fiber, 10g Sugars, 15g Protein, 6% DV Vitamin A, 16% DV Vitamin C, 2% DV Calcium, 16% DV Iron
New "Healthified" Version - 118 Calories (32 Calories from Fat), 4g Fat, 1g Saturated Fat, 32mg Cholesterol, 309mg Sodium, 11g Total Carbohydrates, 3g Dietary Fiber, 5g Sugars, 10g Protein, 99% DV Vitamin A, 23% DV Vitamin C, 7% DV Calcium, 13% DV Iron
|Toddler Approved :)|