Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Somewhat healthy sloppy joes

Wondering how to get more vegetables into your family? This revision of Sloppy Joes will do the deed for you! My kids were never raised on the 100% meat version, so they didn’t think anything of the different taste, texture, and colors of mine. If yours are picky, you might have to gradually introduce more and more veggies until you’ve got it all the way up to my half-and-half version.

When you first start cooking the meat and veggie mixure, you’re likely to panic at the green color. Don’t worry…the addition of tomato paste fixes that right up. You can still see the chunks of veggies, but the overall color will be a nice tomato-beef shade :-)

On the way out the door in the morning, stick a package of frozen mixed veggies (pretty much any variety) into the fridge to let it mostly thaw during the day. You’ll be good to go when you get home. This is another great thirty minute meal!

Somewhat Healthy Sloppy Joes

1 lb bag of frozen mixed vegetables, thawed
1 lb ground beef
12 oz tomato paste

1 T dried mustard
1 t chili powder
2 t Worcestershire sauce
1/2 t oregano
Black pepper
1/2 t sugar (optional)
1/2 t salt (optional)

Process the vegetables fine in a food processer, but do not puree. Brown the ground beef in a large skillet. Add the diced vegetables and heat through. Add the tomato paste and enough water to create a good consistency. Add all the spices and serve on rolls, open-faced, or however you normally have Sloppy Joes!

It would be nice to have a salad as a side dish, but it’s really not necessary since this meal is so packed with veggies. If your family likes a variety of dishes at each meal, serve it up!

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