By Ruth Ferguson, NDG Editor
Today is National Sloppy Joe Day, yes there is apparently such a thing. The sandwich is pretty simple, but the history of the popular sandwich is not so easy according to Blue Apron’s explanation which features three possible originals for the comfort food staple.
Now I will confess I am not much of a Sloppy Joe fan, primarily because I don’t like sugar – brown or otherwise – in entrees. But it does sound like a perfect meal for a drizzly Saturday so here are three recipes for your consideration.
Recipe with a side of humor
Not only are the photos from Ree Drummond, better known as the Pioneer Woman from the popular Food Network show, drool worthy, but her sense of humor is an added bonus. Both are very evident in the post featuring her Sloppy Joe recipe. Now if I could just skip the brown sugar, this recipe sounds great. She spices it up with freshly diced onions and green peppers – the blog is worth reading just for a reminder on how to properly dice these go to ingredients. Also included are dry mustard and chili powder.
Drummond starts the recipe off with butter, what does not taste better when cooked in butter? Toasting the buns might be an extra step but it does upgrade the meal just a bit. If you want to keep it simple you can just serve chips, or a side of green beans or a salad wouldn’t hurt.
Meat and Bread Makes a Difference
Most of the time Sloppy Joes are made with ground beef, certainly a cost-saving option for families trying to stretch their budget. However, another option to upgrade the traditional sandwich is offered by Kraft with their Pulled Pork Sloppy Joe. They also feature a popular trend, mini sandwiches served on pretzel rolls. And if you do not have the time to round up all the fresh veggies and spices suggested in Drummond’s recipes, using a bottle of your favorite Kraft BBQ sauce (now you knew that was coming) is a quick and easy way to flavor the meal.
Why not meatless
Dana from the Minimalist Baker points out meat lovers are not the only ones who love Sloppy Joes. I have never tried lentils as a meat replacement, but this seems like the right recipe to give it a try. She even suggests using gluten free buns. Now the most interesting ingredient (OK besides the lentils instead of meat) is 1 – 2 teaspoons of coconut sugar. My guess is you won’t find that at the local Kroger or Tom Thumb, but if you are eating a meat-free Sloppy Joe, most likely going to Whole Foods or Central Market is not that uncommon for you.
If you try one of these Sloppy Joes recipes share a photo on Instagram tagging @NorthDallasGazette and use the hashtag #NDGDining.