Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Sloppy Joes - Jessica Seinfeld Style

I love her book, Deceptively Delicious....while my kids are both really great about eating fruits and vegetables I LOVE the idea of being able to put even more wholesome goodness into the food they eat (us too). And to put items in their food that perhaps I don't know how to prepare otherwise OR that they wouldn't normally enjoy (beets for example - not this recipe but a few others I plan to try) but that are so good for us.

I have decided to try and use ground turkey or chicken in place of beef in some (most) recipes. While it is still meat, I know there are other benefits and the fat content is quite a bit less....and because it's more expensive I'm also hoping it will help me eliminate meat a little more. LOL Sometimes I think we get a little carried away and it seems EVERY meal we make is meat based. And I like the idea of changing it up a little....trying something new.

I was planning on being out tonight so hadn't anticipated making dinner...so I had to do some quick thinking. Thankfully as a result of my grocery trip yesterday, I had a lot of ingredients to choose from. In the end it was the Sloppy Joes that won out!

Nonstick Cooking spray (I just used olive oil to avoid the *propane* in the cooking spray)
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound lean ground turkey or beef (I used chicken)
1/2 cup sweet potato puree
1/2 cup butternut squash or red pepper puree (I used a mixture of red and yellow pepper puree)
raw, finely chopped carrots (optional - I put them in)
1/2 cup reduced fat, low sodium bef broth (I didn't have any so used french onion soup mix instead - great substitute)
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp chili powder, or to taste
1/2 tsp salt (didn't add)
1/8 tsp pepper
8 whole-grain hamburger or hot dog buns

Coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray and set it over medium-high heat. When the skiller is hot, add the oil. Add the onion, celery, and garlic (I also chopped mushrooms and added them here). Cook until the onion starts to soften (about 3-4 minutes). Add the meat and cook until no longer pink (4-5 minutes). Add the vegetable purees, raw chopped carrot (if using), beef broth, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, chili powder, salt, and pepper. Reduce the heat to low and cover. Simmer until liquid is reduced by about half - 15 to 20 minutes.

Spoon onto buns and serve. I added a bit of grated marble cheese as well...

I think this recipe has potential. It wasn't flavourful enough for me....I need a lot more chili powder...but for kids (and adults alike I suppose) who like a blander taste, it would probably be perfect. I also think I added too much tomato paste (one whole small can....) which may have contributed. It was definitely a bit too tomatoe-y for me. But I will be making this again and doctoring it to our families liking. I really liked that the veggies weren't super obvious - I personally love veggies....but for a child's meal this can be very important.


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