19 April 2013

Who doesn't love Sloppy Joes?

We all love those bad for you, loaded with sugar and bad fat, Sloppy Joe's. Probably, you remember Manwich fondly. If you've ever made them, however, you know that they're full of sugar and ketchup. They don't have to be. You can eliminate the added sugar and the ketchup (which, after all, is mostly sugar too) by substituting ground carrots and balsamic reduction, then using tomato paste. My boy loves them! The kids in his church group loved them too. Try this recipe:

1/2 cup raw ground Carrots (@ 3 whole, peeled organic)

3 tbs Balsamic Vinegar
3 tbs Worcestershire Sauce
3 to 4 ounces Tomato Paste
1 tsp Better Than Bullion Soup Base
5 tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
2 or 3 medium to large cloves of Garlic, minced (or ground with carrots)
4 tbs finely chopped Parsley (about a solid fist full of Parley leaves)
3 Green Onions, finely minced
1 small diced Sweet Onion, gently caramelized
1/2 cup petite diced Tomatoes, drained
Black Pepper - to taste
1.5 to 2 lbs 93% lean ground beef (or ground round)

Pre-measure the wet ingredients, with the Balsamic in a dish by itself. Begin by gently caramelizing the onion in 1 tbs EVOO, on medium low heat. In your food processor, grind the carrots as fine as possible; add to the onion with garlic, parsley, and green onion; cook just until all moisture is gone; set aside. Brown the ground beef in the remaining EVOO, breaking it up as you cook it; set aside. Turn up the heat to high; in the sizzling skillet, add the Balsamic Vinegar and deglaze the pan; when all the brown goodness is loosened and mixed in the Balsamic, add the Worcestershire, Tomato Paste, petite diced Tomatoes, and Soup Base; stir until smooth and just beginning to bubble. Add meat and veg; mix well; reduce heat; simmer 20 minutes (at least until liquid cooked out). It should be a slightly sticky consistency. Serve with coleslaw on the sandwich for even more veggie goodness.

NOTE: make sure you use whole, but smallish carrots for the best natural sweetness. Double or triple the recipe to freeze in batches for a future quick meal. If you use the product Balsamic Reduction, use 4 teaspoons and save some of the juice from the diced tomatoes to deglaze the pan.