Thursday, January 20, 2011

Turkey Sloppy Joes

   Two nights ago with the shells and cheese, I made sloppy joes.  Several people had made them on Food Network that day and I couldn't take it any more.  I had to make the "sandwich".  After a moment's pause, I realized that I was experiencing my first ever sloppy joe.  In the elementary school lunch line I avoided the ketchupy mess of sloppy joes like the plague, because for all I knew, that slop may have literally carried the plague.  It was always painfully obvious when it was sloppy joe day.  We would be skipping towards the lunch room in a more-or-less single file line happily wondering what we had to choose from for the day's grub.  The previous lunch period would pass us in the halls and shirts would be stained red, arms and faces fruitlessly wiped with napkins that only spread the orange grease around.  I was not a fan of messy eating as a child so this scene sent of alarms in my head. 
"Run!  You don't need to eat lunch today!"  
Of course, as a 6 year old you are not allowed to make such decisions for yourself.  Once in the line I was usually fine because there was always the second choice.  Fried chicken was the only second choice that would kill my spirit for the day because that meant I was resigned to the floppy white bread PB&J.  Honey roasted sunflower seeds were my only consolation on those days.

   Tuesday night, though, I thoroughly enjoyed my slop.  It was smokey and a teeny bit spicy.  Sophisticated enough for adults, but still totally kid friendly (if you are cooking for youngsters.)  Nothing resembling the ketchup brown sugar concoction of school cafeterias.  Shells and cheese, sloppy joes, and a pile of raw carrots and sugar snap peas to me back to my childhood despite the fact that I never ate a meal like this as a kid!      
"Classic" Turkey Sloppy Joes
4 4-inch lengths of whole wheat baguette,
1 lb ground white meat turkey
1/2 tsp oil
1 small onion,diced
1 medium green bell pepper, diced
1 small (5-6 in) carrot, diced
1 small jalapeno, seeded and minced (optional)
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1 C (8 oz can) tomato sauce
1 Tbsp worcestershire sauce
2 tsp red wine vinegar
1 bay leaf
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp thyme
1/8 tsp cayenne

   Heat oil over medium heat in a non-stick pan.  Saute onion, bell pepper and carrot until tender.  Add turkey and cook through.  Be sure to break up turkey very well while cooking.  Add garlic and jalapeno when turkey is 3/4 of the way done.  Pour in tomato sauce, worcestershire, vinegar, and spices.  Cover and simmer for 15 minutes.  Serve immediately or turn heat to low and keep covered for up to another 40 minutes.  (Add a touch of water if it tightens up too much.)
   Halve bread and toast.
   Serves 4 (or 6... probably 8 if you are feeding children!).

Total Ingredient Cost:  about $5 Price of meat will vary, try to buy on sale.  If all white ground turkey is really expensive on your shopping day, look for 93/7 turkey.  It is a fairly new addition to the market so it may not be available everywhere.  Vegans:  Go ahead and use soy crumbles for this!  It will absolutely work!
Per ServingCalories 260, Fat 2g, Total Carb 27g, Fiber 3.2g, Protein 29g
Daily ValuesVit A 49%, Vit C 49%, Vit B6 64%, Vit B12 18%, Vit E 6%, Vit K 4%, Calcium 3.25%, Iron 44.5%

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