Hello and welcome to The Fresh Fresher. This new blog aims to show that healthy food doesn’t have to be expensive or bland, and to begin with I’m sharing a recipe I love when I fancy something junk-esque.
Normally, American food doesn’t really do it for me. So when I went home recently to be told that dinner would be sloppy joes, I didn’t really know what to think – I’m not a great lover of red meat. However, I was more than pleasantly surprised by the smokey, BBQ taste of these pseudo-burgers. Sesame roll, lettuce, cheese – a taste of summer. They are so easy to make and so filling that they make for perfect student food, too. My Mum can take all the credit for introducing me to these!
This is also a great example of a recipe that is easily converted into a vegetarian dish without compromising on taste. While we are not vegetarians, the health benefits of Quorn versus meat has made it a commonplace ingredient in our house. It is this that makes this recipe ‘skinny’, but if you want beef it is easily substituted.
Mum’s Skinny Sloppy Joes
(makes 6 buns)
1 large onion
1 red pepper
2 celery sticks
1 large bag of Quorn Mince and an Oxo cube, or 600g lean mince
2 tbsp tomato puree
2 tbsp English mustard
1 tsp garlic puree, or 1 crushed clove
2 tsp light brown sugar
6 soft sesame rolls
6 slices of cheese, your choice (I recommend Monterey Jack or Emmental)
Slices of lettuce, red onion, tomatoe, gherkin, etc.
1. Finely chop the onion, pepper and celery, and fry over a medium heat until soft. If using mince, brown it off here for around 5 minutes. If using Quorn or soya, add to the pan (fresh or frozen, doesn’t matter) along with a crumbled beef/vegetable stock cube and a little hot water – add more in small quantities only if the mixture starts to get dry.
2. In a bowl, mix the BBQ sauce, mustard, tomato puree, garlic and sugar. Mix well then add to the mince, heating through for around 10-15 mins. Meanwhile, cut the rolls in half and give them a quick (but gentle) toast, either in a dry pan/griddle or under the grill. This just gives them a nice crunch and stops them getting soggy quickly.
3. On the bottom half of each roll, add the sloppy joe mixture (Tip: use an ice cream scoop, it’s easier) and then a slice of cheese, and whatever salad garnishes you want. Top with the upper half of the roll and, if you’re feeling fancy, secure with a skewer. Serve with salad, coleslaw, chips or potato wedges. Word of warning – you will get messy.
You can…use tuna instead of mince, serve in baguettes/wraps/pittas/jacket potatoes/tacos, reheat or freeze leftovers, use as a nacho topping with grated cheese and/or sour cream