Not Your Momma’s Sloppy Joes

Growing up, I want to say that 99% of the sloppy joes I ate were straight from Manwich… which is fine! It was quick, easy, and 20 years ago, probably had a lot fewer unpronounceable ingredients. And since I haven’t made sloppy joes many times during my adult life, it didn’t occur to me until recently that they don’t have to originate from a can. During my firstWhole30, however, I was craving some sloppy joes fiercely. In addition to a lot of other amazing things, one of the greatest benefits to my Whole30 experience was that it encouraged/forced me to cook almost everything I ate from scratch. The “Paleo” sloppy joe recipes I found didn’t do much for me, but I really wanted something without a ton of brown sugar (and that wouldn’t be thickened with wheat flour).Thus, this recipe was born. I should probably tell you two things (disclaimers), though: 

1. It’s called “Not Your Momma’s” for a reason! It won’t taste exactly/much like something from a Manwich can. This bad boy is sweetened with the addition of carrots and honey, but it still delivers that meaty, umami goodness that’s thick enough to serve on a bun.
2. It is just as good aaaall on it’s own, as a kind of chili. I bet it would be ridiculously good under a fried egg or two for breakfast. Just saying.

Not Your Momma’s Sloppy Joes

What you’ll need:
1lb ground beef (I’ve used both 85/15 and 90/10)
1 yellow onion, minced
3/4 cup carrots, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
Jalapenos to taste, minced (I use 1 small, usually)
1 can (16oz) Hunt’s tomato sauce (you’ll see this featured a lot in my recipes– I love this stuff!)
2 tsp honey (can be omitted if you’re Whole30)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cumin
1.5 tsp cocoa powder
1 tsp chili powder
1.5 tbsp coconut flourStep 1: Gather your ingredients (not shown: jalapenos), and preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat. I always use my 12-inch cast iron skillet.
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Step 2: Crumble your ground beef into the pan, and brown. While you’re cooking the beef, you can start prepping the root vegetables: peel and mince.
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I let my food processor do all of the hard work, but if you’re chopping by hand you may want to prepare your vegetables before starting to cook the meat!
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Step 3: Once your meat has cooked through, add in the chopped vegetables, minced garlic, and minced jalapenos. I’m not afraid of animal fat, so instead of greasing the pan, I let the vegetables cook in what comes out of the meat! You’re going to saute this mixture until the vegetables have softened up, which shouldn’t be too long (3-5 minutes) since they’re so finely chopped.
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Step 4: As the vegetables begin to soften, add in your spices and mix well. Allow the flavors to meld for a minute or two.
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Step 5: Add in your honey, and stir well to combine. If you like your sloppy joes sweeter, feel free to add some more!
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Step 6: Add in the can of Hunt’s tomato sauce, and reduce heat to medium-low. Stir to combine, and simmer for 2-3 minutes to reduce the liquid from the tomato sauce, and also allow the flavors to blend a bit.
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Step 7: Add in the coconut flour, and mix well. This will absorb the additional moisture from the tomato sauce, and thicken the ‘joes up so they’ll stay together on a bun. You don’t have to include this step, though, as it doesn’t affect the flavor.
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Ta da!!
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Feel free to devour immediately, but this will also freeze very well. Enjoy!
– Kaitlin
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