'Peanut Allergy Princess' is the story of one mom, one Princess with food allergies (to peanuts and brazil nuts) and our journey through the stress of life with food allergies. Here you will find many recipes, tips on living (and enjoying life) with food allergies, thoughts from a mother of 3 kids (The Brothers and The Princess) and insights into our life. Welcome!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Sloppy Joes

Recipe adapted from Jamie Oliver
I think sloppy joes are an american tradition. They are kid-friendly, easy and quick and everybody loves them. What they generally aren't is super healthy - especially when made with the canned stuff. Yuck! No offense to those who might like the canned stuff, but it really is full of artificial everything! So, for those of us who want a healthier option, this one is AWESOME!

My kids eat this up like it is going out of style and always cheer when we have it (one of the few dinners they get really excited about). We love to serve it on whole-wheat buns and pair it with coleslaw (or salad- for those who choose not to like coleslaw), and fresh, locally-grown corn on the cob.

I choose to make home-made barbecue sauce to go with ours. I find that it isn't hard to make and if there is any leftover, it can be stored in the fridge for a couple of weeks or in the freezer for longer. That way we avoid high-fructose corn syrup and any other preservatives. I like the one below because it doesn't use ketchup (full of sugar) and it does use molasses. We like using  blackstrap molasses for the flavor and also for the health benefits. Try out your favorite barbecue sauces and see which one you like best.

I have found that I can hide different vegetables in this when they are cut really small and cooked with the meat. My kids don't particularly like bell peppers, but they have never complained about them in this. I would love to hear what veggies you successfully hide in this dish!

1 lb. ground beef or turkey*

1/2 cup diced yellow onion

1/2 - 1 cup bell peppers, any color (the more colors, the better), diced

1/2 cup shredded carrots

1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed**

1 cup barbecue sauce (see recipe below)

1 squirt of mustard (optional)

dash of salt

*If you can afford the up-front cost, buy grass-fed beef raised by local farmers, than use it sparingly. 1/4 of a cow will last my family of 5 a full year.Grass-fed beef is so much tastier and healthier, without added hormones and other undesirable stuff. If you buy ground turkey, look for the highest quality.

**Rinsing reduces the amount of sodium, but if you can look for reduced-sodium or no-sodium beans. Better yet, cook them yourself in a pressure cooker!

Brown meat, stirring and breaking up meat as it cooks. While meat is cooking, combine the barbecue sauce and all the drained beans. Bend with a blender until smooth. Pour off all liquid from the skillet and add the onions, bell peppers, carrots and whatever other veggies you want to add. Cook, stirring until all remaining liquid is cooked off, the meat begins to brown and the veggies have softened. Add the bean sauce puree to the skillet. Bring to a boil and adjust heat to simmering. Cook until thickened, about 10 minutes. If you find that it gets too thick, just add a little water as needed. Serve on whole-wheat buns and lettuce.

Barbecue Sauce
Recipe adapted from The Kitchn

Makes about 1 1/2 cups

Dash of olive oil

1/4 red onion, diced

1 clove garlic, minced

1 Tbsp tomato paste

1/2 tsp cumin

1 8 oz can tomato sauce

1/4 cup water

1 Tbsp blackstrap molasses

2 Tbsp sucanat (or brown sugar)

1 tsp worcestershire sauce

1 tsp brown mustard

1 tsp salt


Heat splash of olive oil in a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute or two. Reduce heat to low and add the tomato paste and cumin. Mix well.

Add the tomato sauce and all remaining ingredients. Stir until combined and heated through. Adjust salt, pepper or other seasonings to taste. Transfer to a blender or use an immersion blender to blend until smooth. Add more water, a tablespoon at a time, if you prefer thinner sauce.

My picture doesn't show lettuce on the sloppy, but trust me and give it a try - it is yummy!

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