I had some ground beef left over from making chili last week, so I was very happy when my friend Ann sent me a Parenting magazine recipe for veggie-laden sloppy joes. Now, I know many people turn up their noses at sloppy joes, but I’ve always liked them, particularly when, like this one, they’re loaded with fresh vegetables and are satisfying without being too greasy or heavy. It takes less than half an hour to prep and cook (and it doesn’t require careful supervision during the cooking process). I was able to make this yesterday even while keeping an eagle eye on my younger son (we were on day two of the 3-day potty training program), so you know it’s an easy meal to make!
I served the sloppy joes on miniature Hawaiian buns (pictured above) for the kids, and on regular-sized burger buns for me and Johnny. On the side, I made these awesome sliced baked potatoes I saw on Pinterest last week.
They look so fun, don’t they? And they taste wonderful. If a potato chip procreated with a steak fry, this would be the resulting offspring. So good. Enough with the gushing; on with the recipes!
Veggie-Laden Sloppy Joes (from Parenting Magazine)
- One small onion, chopped
- One small zucchini, diced
- One small red bell pepper, diced
- One pound lean ground beef
- 16-oz jar of mild salsa
- Buns for serving, if desired
Cook the ground beef, onions, zucchini and pepper in a pan over medium-high heat for about five minutes, or until beef is no longer pink. Cover the pan and reduce heat to low, then cook for seven minutes, or until vegetables are tender.
Remove lid from pan and pour in the jar of mild salsa. Stir to combine with the beef and veggies, then bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer for eight minutes. When most of the liquid in the pan has evaporated, you’re done! Ladle over a split bun to serve.
Sliced Baked Potatoes
The original recipe called for enough ingredients to make six sliced baked potatoes, but I’m just going to give the ingredients necessary to make one, and you can scale up as needed. I made three yesterday.
- Large russet potato
- A few thin slices of garlic (about half a clove’s worth)
- A thin pat of butter, cut into quarters
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- Sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
Scrub potato(es) under running water and pat dry with paper towels. Place each potato on its flattest side, then, using a sharp kitchen knife, make thin slices almostall the way through the potato. Take care not to actually slice all the way through the potato. Place the sliced potato on a baking sheet. Stuff the garlic slices between a few of the potato slices, then place the quarters of the pat of butter on the potato. Drizzle potato with olive oil, then sprinkle with sea salt and pepper. The picture below shows what the prepped potato looks like (please note that the thick-looking slices are actually very thin slices that haven’t yet separated).
Place the baking sheet in a 425-degree oven and bake for 40 minutes to an hour, depending on the size of potatoes. Test it with a fork — the outside should be crispy, and the interior should be soft.
And there you have it, a fresh, delicious, healthy family meal.
Thank you, for the recipe, Ann! (Those of you who haven’t already done so, check out Ann’s guest post about perfect pumpkin bread … it’s a must-read.)