When I first wrote this recipe, we had just moved into the new house and were without the internet. Most of the times, I would surf the web looking for yummy recipes on my phone. A good friend happened to send me a recipe for sloppy joes. A “classic” favorite of the families that I was sure to please the family. It was on my Facebook wall. I thought I had book marked it and here comes the day to make them and…oh where oh where did that recipe go? (Don’t worry, I’ve since figured out “The Pinterest.”)
So I did what I normally do…. I made it up! A lot of times if you want to make a classic family favorite into paleo, you have the basic idea. Sit in your thinking chair if you must, and make it up! I knew that sloppy joes is a tangy, tomato-ee, beefy dish. The recipe my friend sent was actually for bison, so this is what I had on hand.
Here’s what I made up for this messy, yummy, classic:
⦁ 1 pound of Ground Bison
⦁ 1 Jar or Large Can of your Favorite Plain Tomato Sauce (I even used the cheap kind! But stick to Marinara.)
⦁ Mustard (2 -3 Tablespoons, depending on your taste.)
⦁ Italian Seasonings
⦁ Bay Leaf (I have dried minced, but a whole leaf may work just fine.)
⦁ Garlic (Fresh or Powdered would work.)
⦁ Finely minced onions
⦁ Finely minced green bell peppers
Start off by browning the bison. Be careful though, you definitely don’t want to over cook it. Drain the bison if necessary and add the jar of tomato sauce. My Ninja blender came with a food processor attachment that will blitz any veggie into the tiniest pieces. You may even consider adding a carrot if you have one. This is so convenient when adding bell peppers, onions, garlic, and carrots into the meat being less easily detected by discerning palates (eh hem…my dear husband). Take a small sauce pan on the side with some olive oil, add these veggies and cook them till softened. Add them to the sauce that should be simmering away by now. Add all of the seasonings listed above.
The great thing about this is you can use what you have! Whether you have beef, or bison, organic sauce or not, all the veggies or half of them…You can make it delicious.
Let the sauce reduce until it is thicker and sticking to the ground meat. Taste as you go and adjust your seasoning as needed. To me, this can actually taste very similar to canned “manwhich” only better. It is a little more time, but you can feel safe knowing what ingredients went into your sauce and that there aren’t any unhealthy additives or preservatives.
We served this on top of some of Pamela’s Gluten Free Corn Bread mix and it was absolutely delicious! Make yourself some zoodles and a salad and you have a healthy meal fit for a king! Not paleo? No worries! This is a great recipe for anyone out there trying to pull the processed foods and additives out of their diets.
I hope you enjoy this recipe. I’m sending messy hands and faces from my make it up, Common Sense kitchen to yours. I hope you’ll come back next week to see what this crazy mom, Common Sense Cook gets her kids messy with next.
Ami M. Lee, The Common Sense Cook