Thursday, July 21, 2011

Sloppy Joes, reinvented

I've never really made sloppy joes because we always had "Beef & Bean" growing up.  It's a similar recipe, but includes baked beans. 

Yesterday I make the recipe here.  It was delicious!  I'll copy it here for convenience or in case Beth ever takes down her site (which would be super sad!).  I would imagine it freezes well too.  If you don't have lentils, I would estimate you should halve the rest of the ingredients or double the meat.  Either would work. 

Suggestions:  Include the Dijon!  Throw in a dash or two of celery seed.  Go easy on the vinegar.  It tastes great, but you definitely don't want to overdo it.

Total Recipe cost: $10.97
Servings Per Recipe: 8
Cost per serving: $1.37
Prep time: 10 min. Cook time: 20 min. Total: 30 min.

3/4 cup dry brown lentils $0.23
1 Tbsp olive oil $0.11
1 medium vidalia (or sweet) onion $0.69
1 medium green bell pepper $0.78
1 tsp minced garlic $0.12
1 lb. extra lean ground beef (93/7) $4.98
1 (15 oz.) can tomato sauce $0.88
3 oz. tomato paste $0.26
3 Tbsp cider vinegar $0.18
3 Tbsp brown sugar $0.12
1/2 Tbsp dijon mustard (optional) $0.04
1/2 tsp salt $0.03
1/2 tsp chili powder $0.07
8 medium whole wheat buns $2.48

STEP 1 (the lentils): If you are using lentils, begin cooking them first. Sort through 3/4 cup of dry brown lentils to remove any stones or debris. Give them a rinse under cool water. Bring 1.5 cups of water up to a boil and then add the lentils. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and let simmer for 20 minutes. Test the lentils to make sure they are tender and then drain in a colander. Set the cooked lentils aside until you are ready to add them to the sloppy joe's. These can be simmering while you make the rest of the sloppy joe's.

STEP 2: Chop the onion into small pieces and add it to a large skillet along with the olive oil and minced garlic. Cook over medium heat.

STEP 3: While the onion and garlic are cooking, cut the bell pepper into small pieces and add it to the skillet as well. Cook until all of the vegetables are soft and transparent (about 5 minutes).

STEP 4: Add the ground beef and continue to cook until no red remains (about 7-10 minutes).

STEP 5: Add the tomato sauce, tomato paste, cider vinegar, brown sugar, dijon, chili powder, and salt. Stir well and heat through (about 5 minutes).

STEP 6: Stir in the cooked lentils and heat through if needed (5 minutes). Serve warm on a whole wheat bun!

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