My mom had a bunch of babies when I was growing up. I have five younger siblings. That was five times of the ladies from church supplying our family with
meals casseroles and jello concoctions while mom was recovering. When Paula was about to have her baby a couple of months ago, I kept joking about bringing her Sloppy Joes because they were pretty much the gold-mine-mega-score of the church tradition I had grown up with. Eventually it was decided among the radness of the twitter people I have been lucky enough to become real life friends with that we would have “Tweelief Society” complete with a google docs spreadsheet (Thanks Ryan for both the official name and the techno-genius) and we all chipped in to feed the newly bigger family for a week or so after Baby S came to live with them.
I was asked for the recipe for these, but the truth is I have very little idea how they came about in the first place, because that’s just how I operate. I don’t follow recipes, so if you ask me for one, you’re very likely going to get a rough verbal/written sketch of a recipe. The food I brought to Paula’s family was a combination of a few recipes I saw on Epicurious while searching for fancy sloppy joes. Such a thing exists, I promise.
They turned out to be kind of more vegetables than meat, which I loved about them. They are sweet and tangy and pretty delicious, and they have almost no fat and tons of fiber so they are pretty great for those of us who are trying to watch our nutritional values. Also, I’m assuming they can easily be made vegetarian by sauteeing the vegetables and then adding the tomato sauce and frozen MorningStar* crumbles and just heating them through, then adding the Bragg’s and vinegar.
Here is (a rough written sketch of) how to make really good, really vegetablecentric Sloppy Joes.
1/2 pound ground turkey
2 medium zucchini
1 medium yellow squash
1/2 a sweet onion
2 big carrots
1 stalk of celery
1 garlic clove
Bragg’s Liquid Aminos (or soy sauce, or probably salt?)
Apple Cider vinegar (This is the magic)
1 can (the cute little one) of tomato paste
Ground black pepper
Chop up all of the vegetables. Probably a food processor with the grater deal is a good idea because there are kind of a ton of vegetables involved.
Brown the turkey, garlic and the vegetables in the biggest skillet you can find. I put a little bit of olive oil in first because otherwise turkey will probably stick because it is so lean. Don’t worry about draining it, there’s hardly any fat in it, and the vegetables release some water during cooking which you will want to become part of the sauce. I vote don’t salt it because the Braggs is salty. Do pepper it.
After the meat is brown, add the tomato paste and let it keep bubble cooking. I don’t know the exact ratios of the Liquid Aminos and Apple Cider Vinegar, but be careful with the Bragg’s! A little goes a long way. Seriously. Start with maybe a couple of very small dribbles. You can’t go back. Add a small glug of apple cider vinegar and stir, then taste it and if you like it, you’re done. If not, play with it. I went back and forth with the vinegar and aminos for a few minutes before I felt like I liked it.
I brought it to my friend’s family with hamburger buns from the yum grocery store bakery. I ate it myself on low carb tortillas. I’m guessing either way works.
I also may or may not have eaten the last little bit of leftovers straight out of the container with a fork.
*This is not a sponsored post. I promise. You know how I know you believe me? Because you’re not reading a legit food blog. I don’t even measure stuff, for crying out loud. I just like the brands I mentioned.