Sloppy Joes

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Sloppy Joes are the quintessential kid comfort food. I’ve been a fan for as long as I can remember. When I was in elementary school, the community was invited to a sloppy joe supper. I remember it was a chilly spring evening, and I was hungry! As I buried my face into that soft bun, the warm, sweet meat filling oozed into my mouth. It was pure bliss. By chance, a newspaper reporter caught that first bite on film, and I made the front page!

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I still love a good sloppy joe, but I am not a fan of the canned sloppy joe sauce. Sure, it is easy, but it has high fructose corn syrup and lots of thickeners like guar gum, xantham gum, and carob bean gum (not necessarily bad, but it makes you feel like you are getting more than you really are). And then there is the hamburger bun. Don’t get me started on those chemical-laden things. Here is a sloppy joe recipe that you can feel good about serving your family. Don’t forget to use my recipe for homemade buns!

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup onion, finely diced
1/2 cup green pepper, finely diced
1 carrot peeled and shredded
1 pound ground turkey, 93% lean or 1 pound ground beef, 93% lean
1 8oz. can tomato sauce, plain
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon yellow mustard
1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
1/2-3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions:

In a skillet, over medium-high heat, saute the onions and peppers in the olive oil for about 5 minutes, or until they start to soften. Add the shredded carrot and ground turkey or ground beef and cook until the meat is browned.

Add the remaining ingredients to the pan. Lower the heat to medium-low and simmer for about 10 minutes to let the flavors meld.

Remove from heat and serve on hamburger buns.

Makes 8-12 sloppy joes (depending on how full you fill them).

Coconut Mango Custard

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I love mangos! I love coconut, and who doesn’t love a creamy custard? I’ve combined 3 of my favorite things into a creamy dessert that won’t leave you feeling guilty. If I have leftovers, I refrigerate them and eat one for a snack, or even with breakfast for a little added protein. These custards are dairy, gluten, and refined sugar free. At around 150 calories (even with extra mango and shredded coconut topping them), you can enjoy a little cup of paradise!

Ingredients:

1 ripe honey mango, cut into chunks (I prefer these yellow mangos to the tropical mangos, but if you can’t find a honey mango, feel free to substitute a red tropical mango)

1 cup reduced fat coconut milk (from a can)

3 TBSP honey

4 large eggs

Directions:

Add all ingredients to a blender and process until smooth. Divide among six ramekins or small oven proof glass bowls. Place ramekins into a 9×13″ pan. Pour enough hot water into the pan to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins (this is called a water bath). Be careful that you don’t splash water into the custard. I like to fill my ramekins with the custard first. Pour water into the pan, and then place the ramekins in the pan. Just be careful that you don’t have so much water in the pan that it spills over when you put the filled ramekin cups in.

Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes, or until a knife inserted comes out clean. You don’t want to see the custard jiggle.

Remove the ramekins from the water bath and place on wire racks to cool. Serve warm or refrigerate until ready to serve. Top with extra mango slices and unsweetened shredded coconut, if desired.

Whole Wheat Strawberry Banana Muffins

Whole Wheat Strawberry Banana Muffins (2)

Last week Sprouts had their organic strawberries on sale for $1.98 a pound! They were sweet and juicy too. I bought 3 containers of them! I’ve been wanting to make fresh strawberry muffins for some time now, and this was the perfect opportunity. These muffins are perfect for a spring brunch or an afternoon snack with a little almond butter or a smear of whipped cream cheese. The banana adds moisture and sweetness without overpowering the delicate flavor of strawberries. Enjoy!

Whole Wheat Strawberry Banana Muffins (1)

Ingredients:
2 cups whole wheat flour

1/3 cup sugar or sugar substitute
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup milk of choice
1 egg
1 ripe banana, mashed
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup chopped fresh strawberries
Directions:
In a large bowl whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
In a smaller bowl or a blender combine milk, egg, banana, and vanilla until well mixed and there are no large chunks of banana. I like to use my immersion blender for this.
Combine the milk mixture with the dry ingredients, just until the ingredients are incorporated. Stir in the fresh strawberries.
Pour batter into a prepared muffin tin. Bake at 375 degrees for 15-18 minutes, until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Yields 1 dozen delicious muffins.