EatingWell Sloppy JoesWhat's for dinner? In my childhood home, before the days of lean ground turkey in every supermarket meat case, it was ground beef. One of my favorite meals was Sloppy Joes. I still love to eat these saucy sandwiches, and luckily I know that the problem with beef is just its image.
Beef actually has a lot going for it, health-wise. Any ground beef 90%- lean or higher fits into a healthy eating plan. Few foods provide as much zinc, a mineral vital to growth and a healthy immune system. Plus, beef is a great source of protein, iron and vitamin B12.
It's actually easy to make Sloppy Joes healthier. Here's what the EatingWell test cooks do:
Add plenty of finely diced mushrooms, onions and tomatoes so that we can use less meat but keep the serving size generous and make it moist.
Use 90% lean ground beef.
- Opt for whole-wheat buns over white buns-they have more fiber and nutrients.
So with relatively little fat and all those nutrients, you can also update ground beef classics like cheeseburgers and meatloaf to today's healthier standards. And when you add lycopene-rich tomatoes to pasta sauce, you're definitely in good shape, nutritionally speaking.
EatingWell Sloppy Joes
Makes 8 servings, generous 1/2 cup filling each
ACTIVE TIME: 35 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 45 minutes
EASE OF PREPARATION: Easy
12 ounces 90%-lean ground beef
1 large onion, finely diced
2 cups finely chopped cremini mushrooms (about 4 ounces)
5 plum tomatoes, diced
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup chili sauce, such as Heinz
1/4 cup ketchup
8 whole-wheat hamburger buns, toasted if desired
- Crumble beef into a large nonstick skillet; cook over medium heat until it starts to sizzle, about 1 minute. Add onion and mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, until the vegetables are soft and the moisture has evaporated, 8 to 10 minutes.
- Add tomatoes and flour; stir to combine. Stir in water, vinegar, chili sauce and ketchup and bring to a simmer, stirring often. Reduce heat to a low simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thickened and the onion is very tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Serve warm on buns.
NUTRITION INFORMATION: Per serving: 237 calories; 6 g fat (2 g sat, 2 g mono); 15 mg cholesterol; 34 g carbohydrate; 14 g protein; 5 g fiber; 438 mg sodium.
Nutrition bonus: Selenium (36% daily value), Zinc (20% dv), Iron & Vitamin C (15% dv).
MAKE AHEAD TIP: The filling will keep in the freezer for up to 1 month.
By Jessie Price
EatingWell food editor Jessie Price's professional background in food started when she worked in restaurant kitchens in the summers during college. She started out testing recipes for EatingWell and then joined the staff here full-time in 2004 when she moved to Vermont from San Francisco.