Friday, August 1, 2014

Home Made Sloppy Joes with Extra Veggies

We have a couple of meals around our house that we find ourselves eating all the time. Sloppy Joes are one of them. It is usually our "go-to" meal for when we don't have anything planned and everyone just happens to be starving (isn't that a terrible coincidence?!)  

We always have used the pre-made sauce, and I have felt okay about that - After all, the commercial says it has a full serving of vegetables in it. I am as bad as my kids when it comes to believing everything I hear on T.V.  

So I had some green bell peppers from my sister's garden and some carrot sticks that were heading downhill fast. I decided to see if I could make my own sloppy joe sauce and cram those extra veggies into it. 

I figured the trick to sneaking these past my kids without too much of a fuss about altering their favorite dinner of all time, was to chop the veggies as small as I possibly could.  It turns out, I am not as good as chopping in real life as I thought in my head and the pieces didn't turn out as small as I had hoped. So, a tip to you, take your time and chop your veggies as small as you can. 


1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 cup ketchup
1 tablespoon dried onion flakes
1 tablespoon green pepper, chopped fine
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon celery seed
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon mustard
1/2 cup chopped onion ( any color will do, I just happened to have a purple one)
1 cup chopped carrots
1 cup chopped green bell pepper

1 lb ground beef  ( I cooked this separately and then added the sauce to it once it was cooked and drained)

I started the garlic, onions, carrots and peppers in a hot pan. I sauteed them until the onions were turning translucent and the carrots and peppers started to get soft.

Then I added the tomato sauce, ketchup, mustard and spices.  I let this whole thing simmer on the stove for about 10 minutes - to further soften the veggies and get the flavors to all come together. Once you feel like your veggies have reached their desired tenderness (or it smells so good you just can't stand it any longer!) pour your sauce into a bowl and cook your ground beef. Fry the beef and drain the fat.
Add your sauce back to the skillet and stir to combine the meat and sauce really well.
Serve on toasted buns.

This sauce turned out tasting just like the stuff in the can. My kids didn't notice a difference in the taste at all. They were pretty curious why there were such big chunks of veggies though.  When I make this again, I will try and be better at my chopping skills, or perhaps I will toss the whole thing in the blender once I am done cooking it.