Sloppy Joseph

Some nights we have no "set" dinner plan. It is kind of a wing-it night. I had a marinated steak defrosting and a large container of browned ground beef defrosting also. The steak would be for the next night but what to do with the ground beef?

Lots of choices for ground beef recipes. Add to marinara sauce, make taco filling or enchilada filling, numerous kinds of casseroles or one-pot dinners ala homemade hamburger helper. Just wasn't "feeling" those. We decided to do a sloppy joe recipe that would be altered to go along with our own pickiness.

The son doesn't do tomatoes, I don't do peppers...most sloppy joe recipes contain both ingredients. Time to get creative. Loose meat sandwiches sounded good but there again, I don't like the taste of mustard so that wasn't going to work either. Okay, my kids are picky eaters and so am I. I have always managed (even with 5 children) to make dinner for us all without feeling like I run a diner.

I like to be creative and experiment. Looked around for what I did have and this is what we came up with.

I served this on big soft rolls with some spicy curly fries and a vegetable on the side. This recipe made four healthy sandwiches. Serve with plenty of napkins because it is SLOPPY!

2 to 2 1/2 lbs. lean ground beef - browned and drained of fat
2 tablespoons minced fresh onion
2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic
2 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons chili powder
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 large can brown gravy (fat-free works fine)

(notice I added zero salt- even fat-free canned gravy has salt in it)

Add onion and garlic to ground beef and simmer for about 5 to 10 minutes. Add remaining spices and brown gravy. Stir together well and heat to bubbling. Serve about 1 ladel full on each roll.

It will be sloppy but delicious. For those who just cannot survive a meal without ketchup, add some on your roll but believe me- you really don't need it. This was just "hot" enough with enough spice to leave a nice taste in your mouth.

I normally buy family size packages of ground beef. (leanest I can find) Browning the meat, draining the fat and freezing in containers saves so much time and also combats the "lazy" factor. (you know, Oh, I have to BROWN the meat??? UGH!)

Frozen, browned ground beef defrosts quickly. All you need to do is put it in a non-stick pan or pot and cook over a low flame. Add whatever ingredients you need for the recipe you are making. Saves lots of time.

Enjoy this Sloppy Joseph recipe. This is especially good for those who cannot handle the acidity of tomatoes or gassiness from peppers.

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