My family is big meat and vegetables eaters. It seems like most of our meals are some type of meat with vegetables. I try to keep the vegetables different to keep the meals interesting and exciting but I even get into food ruts.
The other night as I opened the fridge door – I decided I was going to take a detour from what I had planned on the menu. We needed something different or least I did. I was craving something tomatoey and hearty. It also had to be easy and be on our table fast. Have you ever gone off roading on a whim only to realize; half way through your dinner preparation, that dinner was going to be an hour later than usual. Now, that we have children I try to avoid this scenario at ALL cost. They get hungry and fussy which makes me irritable and impatient. At the end of the day, I need things as easy as possible and I don’t every try to delay bed time. 🙂
Tonight, I quickly googled fast dinner recipes and that’s when it hit me. Homemade Sloppy Joes. Score. I love sloppy joes they were one of my childhood favorites. We haven’t had them in years, in fact, I’m pretty sure tonight was the first time my three year old had one. I just could never get over the pre-made sauces loaded with high fructose corn syrup, and all the unnecessary thickeners because they use so much water to begin with.
Here’s a snap shot of Manwich ingredients:
By the way, does anyone know why tomato fiber is listed separately? It just goes to show that processed foods can get so stripped down that the food companies than have to go back and add in what should have been there in the first place. 🙁
Also, you need to be cautious of the ingredient: natural flavors. This is a big mask that food companies like to use when they don’t want to be specific. It can literally mean dozens of things but knowing that it usually means artificial flavors, MSG, and petroleum deters me from purchasing this. You can read more information on this topic on Chemical Warfare at FoodBabe.com.
Just a quick disclaimer – I’m not a mommy who doesn’t ever buy her children prepackaged or processed foods. We eat sweet potato chips, gluten-free wraps, and even dairy-free ice cream. But I do become a food advocate or snob (however, you want to label me) when I see ingredients that I can’t read or pronounce. My first priority is to see clean and familiar ingredients in my foods. Next, I look for organic options that fit that as well. However, I never comprise on food choices that have the ingredients: corn syrup or high fructose corn syrup. These ingredients are awful, dirty and chemically engineered (not real food) only to make us want to eat more.
No, thank you. So, here’s a recipe that you can be excited to make and feel good about making it for your family.
Homemade Sloppy Joes
1 lb. ground beef
1 small onion diced
2 stalks of celery finely diced
1/3 cup bell pepper chopped
1 cup of ketchup (make sure it doesn't have any high fructose corn syrup)
1/4 cup water
1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1/4 tsp. or more of chili powder
2 tsp. of parsley
black pepper to taste
garlic powder to taste
Finely chop your onions, celery and bell pepper. Place them in a large frying pan and cook until soft.
Next, add in your brown meat and cook until brown.
Add in water, ketchup, balsamic vinegar, parsley and chili powder.
Bring sloppy joe mixture to a slight boil and then turn down heat to a simmer.
Serve hot on your favorite bun or lettuce wrap.
*Be sure that your ketchup has regular sugar not high fructose corn syrup in it as several brands of ketchup typically contain high fructose syrup.
A good guarantee is if the ketchup is organic...however it's always good to take a few seconds and double check the ingredient list.
I would love to from you about the recipe or any thoughts you have on the post.