Saturday, October 16, 2010

Sloppy Joes (with Attitude)

I've got a bone to pick with Lean Cuisine.  They have an add campaign going on right now, where they talk about food myths and then impress upon us the idea that Lean Cuisine breaks those myths.  That's great.  But one of their most recent food myths is this: "Chopping and peeling can be kind of relaxing at the end of a long day." And then the announcer says, "For who?"  I say: ME!!!! I love to come home after a long day at work, as long as my kid isn't screaming, and spend a few (I repeat, a FEW) minutes chopping and peeling.  It doesn't take thought.  Or skill.  Or much of anything.  Just a cutting board, a knife, and some veggies.  This recipe was created on one of those days where I just wanted to make something simple and do a little bit of chopping therapy.  Some women do "shopping therapy," I prefer "chopping therapy."  

As I was searching in the fridge for something else to jazz up the concoction, I stumbled upon steak sauce.  That's when the true inspiration hit.  Now, steak sauce and sloppy joes might sound like an odd pairing.  Let me explain.  I love to make Rachael Ray's Caution Flag Chili. It gets it's flavor base from steak sauce and it's a huuuge hit every time I make it.  So it only made sense to flavor the sloppy joes similarly. 

And like the chili that went before it, the sloppy joes were out of this world.  Savory.  Deep.  A hint of tang.  Perfect!  I've made the recipe two or three times since, and I make sure to follow my original recipe every time, so as to replicate the tastes exactly.  It's that good.  And if you know me, you know that I only reserve actual recipe following for those super dooper special recipes that are so amazing that I can't imagine doing it any other way.  This is one of those recipes.  

A quick note about veggies: The veggies in this recipe were ones that I had on hand in my fridge that day.  I have made this since with other veggies.  Don't make a special trip to the store for this recipe.  That defeats the purpose.  Just use what you have on hand. 

Sloppy Joes (with Attitude)
Servings: 10
Serving Size: 1/2 cup
Points per serving: 2

  • 1 lb 93% lean ground beef (or turkey)
  • 1 can sloppy joe sauce
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 8 oz mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 cup shredded carrots (buy them shredded or grate one with a grater)
  • 1 bell peppers, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 T all-purpose seasoning of your choice (I used greek seasoning.  You could use montreal steak seasoning.)
  • 3 T steak sauce
  • 5 T worcestershire sauce
  • 3-4 fistfuls of spinach leaves, chopped or torn
  1. Brown the meat in a pan. 
  2. Add onions, mushrooms, carrots and peppers to the meat and cook for a few minutes until veggies are softened.
  3. Add garlic and stir until you get a whiff of the garlic.  Immediately add the sloppy joe sauce once you smell the garlic.
  4. Add the seasoning, steak sauce and worcestershire sauce.  Taste for seasoning.
  5. Add the spinach leaves and let them wilt a bit in the hot mixture.  
  6. Spoon 1/2 cup of the sloppy joe onto buns, and enjoy.   


  1. I will definitely try this version of sloppy joes!! Today it inspired me to work with my nearly dead veggies in the fridge to create a new twist on an old recipe.

  2. Cool, Heidi! Glad I could inspire.