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Sloppy joes are an interesting American dish.  The loose meat sandwich was said to be invented from two possible origins.  The first, Sloppy Joe’s Bar in Key West, Florida.  The second, by a chef named Joe at a cafe in Sioux City, Iowa (there’s the trivia lesson for today!) 

You can make these delicacies from a can or package (which I don’t recommend) or maybe you have a tried and true family recipe.   My recipe turns up the nutrition volume  and flavor from the regular sloppy joe typically made with hamburger, ketchup, onion and spices.  I add extra protein, fiber and nutrients to the lean ground turkey with black beans and vegetables. 

Sandwich the filling between a wheat bun and you’ve got yourself a healthy sloppy joe.  Great for a family, yet elegant enough for entertaining.  And did I mention they are super easy to make?

serves 8

  • 16 oz LEAN GROUND TURKEY, 99% FAT-FREE
  • 2 tsp OLIVE OIL, EXTRA VIRGIN, 100% first cold pressed unrefined
  • 1 small ONION, chopped
  • 1/2 large GREEN PEPPER, chopped, (optional)
  • 2 clove GARLIC, minced
  • 1 tsp CHILI POWDER
  • 1 tsp PAPRIKA, GROUND
  • 3 tbsp TOMATO PASTE (see tip)
  • 14.5 oz TOMATOES, DICED, (1 can)
  • 1 tsp MUSTARD, PREPARED, DIJON
  • 1/3 cup WATER
  • 2 tsp BROWN SUGAR, GOLDEN
  • SEA SALT AND PEPPER TO TASTE
  • 15 oz BLACK BEANS, rinsed and drained, (1 can)

TIP: Tomato paste in a tube is much more convenient and economical.  You don’t have to mess with the can and storing leftover paste.  Just keep the tube in the fridge and lasts for months. I use the Amore brand below:

1. Brown turkey in a large skillet sprayed with cooking spray. Remove from pan and set aside.

2. Using the same skillet add olive oil, onion, green pepper and garlic; saute for a few minutes until softened.

3. Put cooked turkey back in skillet with tomato paste, mustard, water, tomatoes, brown sugar, paprika, chili powder and onion/garlic/pepper mixture. Heat until boiling, then reduce to a simmer for 8-10 minutes. Stir in black beans, salt and pepper.

4. Serve hot on a lower calorie wheat bun or bread (pictured is an 80 calorie wheat bun) or a toasted thin bun.  Add a side of rosemary sweet potato chips (in my menu ideas tab) and celery sticks.  Serving size about 3/4 cup sloppy joe filling.

VARIATIONS: Use lean ground chicken or beef, add other vegetables like chopped zucchini or shredded carrot.  Make ahead and keep warm in a slow cooker for parties or family gatherings.

NUTRITION INFO PER SERVING (without bun): 140 calories, 2g fat, 35mg cholesterol, 15g carb, 4g fiber, 4g sugar, 18g protein

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