Saturday, March 30, 2013

Homemade Sloppy Joes and Not-so-sloppy Joe Empanadas

Sloppy Joes were a favorite of mine from childhood. I wanted to recreate them without the store bought mix or canned sauce, all homemade. This recipe was simple, fun, and delicious. My toddler helped me each step or the way and loved them! Getting him involved in the cooking process makes him excited to try something new, something HE made. Plus the recipe makes enough for two dinners!!! It makes enough meat filling for 8 biscuit empanadas AND 4 sandwiches. So yummy! For now on, I will never make them any other way.

Happy Cooking!
Sloppy Joe Filling
based on Rachel Ray's recipe
1 T olive oil
1.5 lbs of very lean ground beef, I used 96% lean
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
1 T Montreal steak seasoning
2 T brown sugar
1 T Worcestershire sauce
1 T red wine vinegar
2 T tomato paste
1 - 15oz can tomato sauce

In a small bowl, mix the Montreal seasoning and brown sugar. Set aside. In a large skillet over medium heat, add the beef and the olive oil, beginning to break in up. Add the seasoning mixture and stir to combine.
Easy enough that a 3 year old can do it!

Continue to cook until meat has browned. Add the onion and red pepper to the beef along with the vinegar and Worcestershire sauce. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until vegetables are cooked through.

I just chopped enough red pepper so I had equal parts onion and pepper.  I actually had some red pepper leftover.
Add the tomato paste and tomato sauce, stirring to combine. Reduce the heat to simmer and cook an additional 5-10 minutes.

Serve on top of your favorite sandwich rolls and with some family favorite vegetables. Or make the yummy Not-so-sloppy Joe Empanadas, recipe below.

Not-so-sloppy Joe Empanadas
inspired by
1/2 recipe of sloppy Joe filling
1 pkg of biscuits (8 biscuits)
1/2 cup reduced-fat shredded cheese

Here's a picture of the kind of biscuits I used - no hydrogenated oils or artificial preservatives.  Better for you than other refrigerated brands.
Take each biscuit and push it out into a thinner circle like you would a pizza crust, about 4-6 inch in diameter. This is sooooo much fun for kids to do! We even made up a song to sing about pressing out our dough. Ha!

Place between 1/4-1/3 cup of sloppy Joe filling, depending on the size of your circle. You want to be able to seal the dough without the filling in the way. Sprinkle 1 T of shredded cheese on top and fold, pinching the edges together. Continue this process with all 8 biscuits.

Place the empanadas on a greased cookie sheet, (I used cooking spray). Bake at 375 for 13-17 minutes or until golden brown.

Serve with your favorite veggies. Tonight, it was sauteed green beans, carrot sticks, and green salad. Yummy!

Green beans sauteed in 1 T olive oil, salt, pepper, and a little fresh lemon juice.  Add garlic or slivered almonds - be creative and make them to your own taste!
Carrot sticks - a kid favorite and full of vitamin A!
And a green salad for me- I think I have a green salad at almost every single lunch and dinner every week. 
One recipe and TWO meals!!!  Doesn't get any easier!  Enjoy!!!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the recipe, Sarah! It was great!!!