Friday we were headed to the lake for a work weekend. I have learned it is best if I pack whatever we are having for dinner that night already prepared. For what seems like forever I have been taking a dense spaghetti meat sauce. All I have to do is warm it and cook a little pasta. Throw in a tossed salad and we call it done. But now the weather is much warmer and the days much longer and brighter and spaghetti just seemed like a heavy meal.
Enter the Sloppy Joe experiment. I think Sloppy Joe's were part of the first complete meal I ever cooked when I was a kid and I don't so much follow a recipe as I do just throw things in a pan and adjust by the taste method. Since I knew I would be sharing this, I actually measured the amounts of everything I used.
2 lbs, lean ground beef
1 onion finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 medium small zucchini, grated (about 2 cups)
1 can tomato paste
1/2 cup ketchup (paleo ketchup recipe here)
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce (paleo recipe here)
1 1/2 tablespoon prepared yellow mustard
2 teaspoons whole grain mustard
1 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon thyme
1 tablespoon dried parsley
salt and pepper to taste
In a large pan brown the ground beef until almost done. Add the onion and wilt, add the garlic and let it wilt. Drain the fat from the pan and add the zucchini. Cook until the zucchini is wilted. Put everything in the pan in a slow cooker. Add the tomato paste, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce. mustards, salt and pepper. Stir it well. Cook on low for 4-5 hours. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. (I stirred in a little additional Worcestershire sauce and yellow mustard. A teaspoon of each) Serve over buns, toast or as a paleo thing on top of cole slaw.
Add pickles and enjoy. This was a fun, easy and easy to transport dinner. Everyone liked it and asked to add it to our rotation. I can see that this will be an easy Friday night lake dinner. Since I had also pre-made the coleslaw I had dinner on the table as fast as I could heat the Sloppy Joe's and toast buns (for them).
This came together so quickly and clean up was a minimum so there was still time after dinner for a little fishing at dusk. And that is what my family calls a winning combination.