Very Veggie Sloppy Joes for a Crowd
Sloppy joes are a kid-friendly meal. Add finely shredded vegetables to the beef and you'll be boosting the nutrition of this crowd favorite!
|Lesson #4 in action.|
I went through a long stretch of adulthood without eating sloppy joes. All Lunch Lady joking aside, I have no idea why that was. I like my joes. That long stretch was finally broken one lunchtime when a bunch of moms gathered with their kids at my friend Miho's house. She served a big pot of sloppy joes and all of a sudden I remembered loving them as a kid. My kids tried them for the first time and thought they were pretty tasty. I started making them for my family, and I'm pleased I can stretch a pound of ground meat into multiple meals.
When I signed up to bring lunch at the thrift shop, I wanted to make something that would appeal to a variety of meat eaters (I knew there were no vegetarians that day). I also wanted something with veggies, and something that could sit in a crock pot unattended all morning while I was busy out front. Very Veggie Sloppy Joes fit the bill. I fixed this the afternoon before and brought my crock pot and rice cooker in to the store to provide everyone with options*.
*I am all about the options, I realize. Even the composting pigs get a choice of sleeping compartment each night when we put the Pigloo, the Woodland Hideaway, and the SnackShack into their cage. Two pigs, three bedrooms. Back to the topic at hand.
Very Veggie Sloppy Joes for a Crowd (serves 10-16) (based on PW's recipe)
- 2 pounds ground beef
- 1 large onion, diced
- 2 cups shredded zucchini
- 3 cups assorted finely chopped veggies (I had onion, celery, carrot, squash, and chard stems)
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 Tablespoons tomato paste (freeze the rest of the can in tablespoon clumps on a piece of parchment, then toss it in a baggie and you'll have that little bit required for your next tomato paste need)
- 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground dry mustard
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 2 cups water
- 1 1/2 cups ketchup
- In a pretty purple pot over medium heat, brown the ground beef.
- Drain the fat from the meat and set the meat aside (I frequently dump the meat in the upturned lid of my pot, since it's just hanging out anyway and sure is big enough).
- Return the pot over medium heat (I don't need to type preheat, right, since the pot is already warm?) and sauté the veggies for 8-10 minutes until softened and starting to brown. Since my veggies are all approximately the same size, I just dumped them all in the pot together.
- Add back in the meat, stir to combine, then add in the rest of the seasonings.
- Simmer over medium heat for 30 minutes to an hour.
- Serve as described above, or your favorite way. Once cooked, this can hang out in a crock pot on low at least 4 hours.
This post is shared with the Clever Chicks Blog Hop at The Chicken Chick, the Wednesday Fresh Foods Link Up, What's Cookin' Wednesday, What's In The Box, and the From The Farm Blog Hop.