Sunday, May 10, 2015

sloppy joes with a paleo twist

The only thing keeping me sane on this paleo food plan is to mix up what I am eating and to try and keep it as close to "normal" food as possible.  That requires a lot of recipe juggling, trials  and errors. Lots of errors! But honestly I don't share many of the errors here.  After all who wants to read a blog about food and have the concluding sentence say "Oh BTW don't eat this, it's really bad"?  But do trust me when I tell you everything is NOT successful or tasty.  The downside of experimentation is if it tastes bad we still have to eat it for dinner.  I simply make a promise not to repeat that particular mistake again. Oh, but there are so many error possibilities I haven't made yet.  Now who wants to come eat here?

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.


  1. With the slow cooking time, bet this is really tasty! Thanks Anne.

  2. That's the first thing my husband says too when we try and eat healthier, that he's tired of eating the same thing. Glad you were able to tweak the recipe to fit your new lifestyle.

  3. After about a gozillion days of eating lemon pepper baked chicken, I figured there had to be a better way of doing it.


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