Recipe: Very Veggie Sloppy Joes

by Cate on October 21, 2014

A delicious, filling, easy-to-make go-to dinner that will please everyone in your family, these Very Veggie Sloppy Joes are a one pot meal that screams old school comfort food.

Very Veggie Sloppy Joes-001

Growing up, Sloppy Joes were a semi-frequent meal to hit our dinner table. And for good reason. It’s quick, healthy, and a sure-fire crowd pleaser. Once I had my own family, I started making Sloppy Joes as well, because as long as you have ground beef on hand, you can have this on the table, with a few other pantry staples, in under thirty minutes.

Take that, Rachael Ray.

A little of this, a little of that, I never really measure, I just make them and adjust it along the way.

As cooks are wont to do.

But lately, or at least the past dozen or so times I have made Sloppy Joes, I’ve been adding some vegetables to it. Because although I don’t subscribe to the hide-the-vegetables-and-deceive-your-kids program, if I can tuck them in here and there without altering the taste, then I will.

But make no mistake. The kids knew the vegetables were in there. And Madeline did her very best to carefully pick out as many bits of bell pepper as she could, until she realized she was fighting a losing battle.

So. #winning

And to think she didn’t even notice all the mushrooms she ate.

Besides the yellow and red bell peppers, the mushrooms, and the tomato sauce, I also used 93% lean ground beef, so it doesn’t get much healthier than this. Beef, even that lean, is an inexpensive way to feed a family, which means more money for peppers and mushrooms like these, right from the farmer’s market. When the meat is on sale, I stock up and freeze a bunch. Just remove the butcher/grocery store wrapping and put the beef in a freezer-safe bag. Make sure to squeeze out all the air, close it up, and pop it in the freezer. It will keep safely for 6-12 months uncooked, and 2-3 months cooked.

If you’re looking for more easy and delicious beef recipes, be sure to visit Beef, It’s What’s for Dinner, and their Pinterest page (and they also have good money saving tips here). Now, for serving these Sloppy Joes, anything goes. I usually either toast a slice of bread and spoon the Sloppy Joes over the bread or I put it inside a toasted roll. I like them topped with melted cheese, but I skipped that this round because 1) I’m trying to be virtuous and 2) the kids prefer it without. Mix and match and serve how you like it best.

Hungry for more Sloppy Joes recipes?
This recipe is full of mushrooms, and the kids inhaled it. Delicious stuff from Cooking Light.

Psst … my site was having caching problems yesterday, so in case you missed yesterday’s post, you’ll find some delicious little meatballs right here. [click to continue…]

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Recipe: Italian-Style Turkey Meatballs

by Cate on October 20, 2014

Easy to assemble meatballs that are tender, flavorful … and everything they should be. Have Sunday Supper any day of the week.

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Last week was a little touch ‘o crazy. Between dentist appointments, cheer, and Girl Scouts, followed by technology and leadership meetings for Nick, dinner all week largely felt like an after-thought. Like we were grabbing something on the fly and just not connecting the way we should. The way I needed to. The way families need to.

So while the kids were with their Dad this weekend, I made plans for a nice, peaceful meal with them upon their return on Sunday, going all out. Clearing off the dining room table from the massive amounts of Girl Scout paperwork, and frames and photos from a project I’m working on. Setting the table with place mats, napkins, and nice dishes. Turning on an iTunes playlist for some nice background music.

And cooking.

I left Sunday afternoon open for just this purpose. To cook.

I knew I wanted to make something Italian, because I feel I don’t do that often enough.

#ItalianMomguilt

And when I spied a new meatball recipe from Mario Batali, the plan quickly came together.

Meatballs with red wine-infused marinara sauce.

A side of whole wheat tortellini.

Brownies for dessert.

As soon as the kids walked in, they headed straight for the kitchen.

“Mealballs? Awesome! Who’s coming for dinner?”

Surely not helping with the #Momguilt.

But the end result was exactly what I wanted.

A nice meal at home, together. Talking about our weekend. Savoring a home-cooked meal. And thoroughly enjoying the moment.

The meatballs come together quickly, and by using ground turkey, instead of the usual ground beef, they are slightly healthier. Even more so once I swapped out the regular bread crumbs for whole wheat bread crumbs. Once the meatballs are formed, they head for the oven, so no frying in oil either. The marinara sauce is flavored with red wine and garlic, and, well, you can only go up from there. The flavors all come together during its one hour in the oven, and it made for a perfect Sunday supper.

[click to continue…]

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Weekend Photos in Review

October 19, 2014

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Recipe: Macaroni & Cheese {#CascadeShiningReviews}

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Book Review: Don’t Judge a Lizard By His Scales {The Principle Gang Series}

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Bullying is a hot button of a topic these days. It’s so much more than what it was years ago when we were in school. And it’s become much worse because of the many different avenues that children can bully or be bullied. While the advancement of technology is generally hailed as a good thing, […]

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