beef & mushroom sloppy joes

Yes, I'm a sloppy joe "packet" girl. I grew up eating it and it was an inexpensive college meal; I can't help it. Unfortunately, I like it - in all its cheap, salty glory - even if I do doctor the packaged recipe up with onions, garlic and sometimes green peppers and mushrooms.

But because I know there are actually good sloppy joe recipes out there, I've been on the hunt for a fresher, healthier recipe. One that hides a little more veg in it. For a long time. (Ask the hubs - I think he's on the edge of hating one of my favorite meals.) Now, on about my fourth sloppy joe recipe, I think I've found it. (And if I find one better, I promise to delete this post and replace it with the better one.) And even this one is doctored up.

Serve it with a bold cheddar and an extra dash of hot sauce. And a dark beer. But don't forget the veggies. After all, it is a lot of meat. But, it's sloppy joe night ... and that's to be expected.

Beef & Mushroom Sloppy Joes
Modified from Cooking Light
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 lb. ground sirloin
  • 16-ounces cremini or portabella mushrooms
  • 1 medium onion, chopped 
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 6 oz. tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh oregano (home grown!)
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 4 slices sharp cheddar
  • 4 (2-ounce) whole-wheat rolls or hamburger buns, toasted
1. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil; swirl to coat. Add beef; cook for four minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble. Remove onto a paper towel-lined plate and add a little more olive oil to the pan.
2. While beef cooks, place mushrooms in a food processor; pulse 10 times or until finely chopped. Once the beef has been removed, add mushrooms, onion, and garlic to pan; cook for three to four minutes or until onion is tender. [Salt and] pepper the mixture. Add tomato paste and next five ingredients (through salt) to pan; cook five minutes or until mushrooms are tender and liquid evaporates. Stir in pepper and hot sauce. Spoon about one cup beef mixture on bottom half of each bun; top with top halves of buns.

Oh, and in case you're wondering what the side dish is, it's a simple throw-together of steamed carrots tossed with a little olive oil and a good Italian seasoning. That's all. Simple, healthy, delicious.

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