Sloppy Joes

I have a confession to make. I’m a little intimidated by my new kitchen and supermarket. Baking has been going just fine, but my creativity in the dinner department has been somewhat lacking. Partially because my new kitchen isn’t as well stocked as I’m used to (though time will hopefully take care of that) and partially because going to the supermarket makes me a little nervous. It’s set up differently than I’m used, I can’t read the packages or labels, and I’m just generally being a big chicken about it.

One thing that makes me feel like I’m regaining my sense of control in the kitchen is to go back to somewhat classic meals. When Jesse and I were newlyweds, something that we had far more often than I care to admit was sloppy joes. Of course in the very early days it was a can of Manwich. Now that I’ve become more aware of the foods that I’m eating and have tried to make more and more things the homemade way, it was time to revisit that classic and give it a new homemade twist.

This Sloppy Joe recipe was just what I needed. I just slightly adapted it from the Pioneer Woman, using what I had on hand and slightly upping the veggie count. The result was a hearty, filling, warm-belly feeling, kind of dinner that was Jesse approved. It went perfectly with the Brioche Buns I made earlier in the day (only in a non-whole wheat version) and I went with Mac and Cheese for the side.

Sloppy Joes

1 Tbsp Butter
1-1/2 lbs Ground Beef
1/2 medium Onion, Diced
1 Green Bell Pepper, Diced 
1/2 cup Carrot, Grated
3 cloves Garlic, Minced
1 cup Ketchup 
3/4 cup Water
1 Tbsp Brown Sugar
1 1/2 tsp Chili Powder
3/4 tsp Dry Mustard
1/2 tsp Paprika
Pinch Red Pepper Flakes, to taste
Worcestershire Sauce, to taste (optional)
Dash of Tabasco Sauce (optional)
Salt and Pepper, to taste
Brioche Buns (Hamburger Buns)

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once the butter has melted, add the ground beef and cook until brown. Drain excess fat and return to the pan. 

Add the onion, green pepper, carrot, and garlic, cook until the vegetables start get tender, about 4-5 minutes. Add the dry seasonings and ketchup. Stir to coat the ground beef and vegetables. Stir in the water and allow to simmer for 15 minutes. Add the Worcestershire and Tabasco, if desired. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. 

Serve hot on a bun (toasted if you like!)

Adapted from The Pioneer Woman


** This post was imported as a part of my top 30 from my old blog – What’s Cooking in the Orange Kitchen**

I adapted this recipe from one that my mom used to make when we were growing up and I can tell you that it was one of my favorites then and it is still one of my favorites now. I can actually remember impatiently waiting on the nights when my mom would make this dinner because she would have to prepare everything and then bake it. 20 minutes seemed like an eternity while waiting for this delicious dinner to come out of the oven. I promise you though, it is well worth the wait (though now that I am older, 20 minutes really doesn’t seem all that long).

I should also add a disclaimer here that this recipe is not really a traditional one and it’s probably not the healthiest meal I’ve ever prepared either(though I’ve made worse :)). And it dirties a lot of dishes. But it is worth it, I PROMISE!

(Source: My mom!)


1-2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 pound lean ground meat (beef, turkey or chicken will all work)
1 medium red onion chopped
1 bell pepper finely chopped(I used red but any color will work), reserve half for sauce
1 clove of garlic, pressed
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup shredded cheese (I used colby jack)

1 tbsp vegetable oil
half of the reserved bell pepper
1 can (15 ounces) tomato sauce
2/3 cup water
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp dry parsley
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp cumin
salt and pepper to taste

8-10 8 inch tortillas (Today I used flour but my mom used corn)
1/2-1 cup shredded cheese

Preheat over to 350 degrees.

In a large skillet heat the vegetable oil and then cook the onion and bell pepper for about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for an additional 30 seconds. Next, add the meat to the pan and brown. If the meat is too greasy then drain and return to the pan. Finally, stir in the sour cream and cheese.

In a small sauce pan heat the vegetable oil and cook the bell pepper until tender. Then add the rest of the sauce ingredients from tomato sauce to salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes. Then pour into a pie plate.

Dip each tortilla into the sauce and coat on both sides. Spoon 1/4 cup of the meat mixture onto each tortilla and then roll the tortilla around the filling. Place in an ungreased baking dish. Repeat until you’ve used all of the filling.

Pour the remaining sauce over the enchiladas and then top with the cheese. Bake uncovered for 20 minutes or until the cheese and sauce is bubbly.

Serve with spanish rice (at the bottom of the post), black beans(at the bottom of the post), or spicy broccoli.