(Very) Sloppy Joes

This weekend is a total bust for cooking. I’m bummed out because we’ve been doing so well. But when loading the dishwasher after cooking last night we discovered water leaking out from under the sink. We also found out that water from the faucet leaks right out of the garbage disposal. So our sink is out of commission until Monday when our landlady has a plumber coming out. I really don’t want to generate dirty anything until it’s fixed. But hopefully we’ll be back on track on Monday.

But on the plus side, we were otherwise good at cooking meals from scratch last week. We moved away from the slow-cooker this time around and did a couple of different sandwiches. It actually ended up being pretty sandwich heavy which was mostly due to poor planning.

The first meal we did was Sloppy Joes. Now I’m not sure what inspired me to suggest this to Mike as a meal option. It’s not like it’s ever been a favorite meal of mine. I’ll eat it without complaint, It’s just not a meal I’m generally excited about. But when I saw it on a food blog, I tossed it into PepperPlate and eventually decided to try it out. Maybe it just felt like one of those meals one should know how to do.

sloppyjoesveggiesI quickly realized that I had no idea what went into sloppy joes because I was surprised by the ingredients list. There were a lot more veggies than I had realized was in that brown substance. Look at all the minced onion, red bell pepper, jalapeno, and garlic.

I asked Mike to brown the onion and lean ground beef. And that’s the moment we looked at each other in horror. We hadn’t actually picked up beef at the store….so Mike made one of our frozen skillet meals instead.

Skip ahead to the next night. I had successfully purchased the beef on my way home from work Time for our second attempt!

sloppyjThe night before I wrapped the veggies up in the fridge, so the meal was almost ready to go. I cooked the meat and onions and then tossed my chopped veggies on top. After that had cooked for 5 minutes or so we added the tomato products and let it continue to cook for another five minutes.

It tasted like sloppy joes. It’s a meal I honestly still don’t understand. It was okay and I did take satisfaction in knowing it was a meal we had made, but I’ still not sure I understand what people love about these sandwiches! That being said, we got 3 meals (6 servings) out of this and I was still content eating it by day three. I think Mike enjoyed these more than I did, so it will likely be a repeat recipe.

We ate these using half of a hamburger bun rather than trying to eat it like a proper sandwich. Sloppy Joes have the name for a reason, after all. It was easier to eat with a fork and it reduced some of the extra empty calories from the bread.

sloppyfinal.jpg

Contrary to the picture, we only used one side of the bun which I recommend.

I do have a confession to make. After I had to stop a second night and pick up the beef, I was feeling grumpy and frustrated. So I decided to say screw it and picked up a bag of frozen fries at the same time. We haven’t had these in years but it sounded nice and simple to go with the sloppy joes. It wasn’t a healthy choice, and I could have picked up sweet potatoes and made something healthier to go with it. But I was grumpy and annoyed and I don’t regret the choice at all.

Because those frozen fries were just good.

If you, like Mike, are a fan of sloppy joes, check out the recipe from Food Network

Buffalo Chicken Sandwich

Last week was a bit crazy for me! I wanted to post about this earlier but never quite got around to it. I’ve recently acquired a love for buffalo chicken. Mostly thanks to Red Robin’s Buzz Clucks & Mac andbuffalochicken Cheese. That meal, however, is horrendously bad for you, even on the eating out scale. So it’s something I’ve had to ban myself from eating except on the rare treat myself occasion.

When I saw this recipe for buffalo chicken sandwiches, I thought it might be a nice way to scratch that craving in a healthier way. (Disclaimer: This recipe is horrendous in sodium, I hadn’t thought about that at the time)

It’s the easiest crock pot recipe I’ve done yet. Place the chicken breasts in the crockpot, dump a bottle of Frank’s Red Hot Buffalo Sauce on top. Cook on either low or high depending on how much time you have, shred the chicken, return it to the sauce and it’s done! (There’s an optional step for stirring in greek yogurt to the sauce at the end before adding the shredded chicken back in. This cools it down a bit. It was still deliciously spicy even with this step)

I ate mine as a sandwich. You could serve it plain, or in any number of ways. If I repeat this recipe, I think I may try it as a wrap or topped on a salad.

For a side, I had raw sugar snap peas. They were a nice crispy cool contrast to the sandwich! It sort of fills the same role as celery does.

One thing that would be delicious on top of this would be ranch or bleu cheese dressing. I didn’t go for any additional toppings, but I would definitely provide something like that if serving to a group.

Repeat recipe? Probably not. I was tired of it by the end of the week. Plus It’s so very high in sodium and it’s just not an impressive lunch. I’ll keep this in the recipe books in case I’m ever trying to think of something different for a BBQ, but for personal meals, I probably won’t make it again.

Find the recipe here: Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches