Who like’s them nice and schloppy? <– channeling my love for Billy Madison.
I do! I absolutely LOVE sloppy joes. I’ve enjoyed them and requested a sloppy joe night at least once a week while growing up.
When I got back on the healthy train last year, I made a decision to completely switch over to whole wheat, lean beef and light sauce substitutions, among others. Every now and then I crave foods that can be “bad” for me, and curb those cravings with alternative ingredients: hence my Low-fat Cheeseburger Pie.
Sloppy joes are a go-to for me when I’m craving protein and want to put together a quick and easy meal, so here’s my go-to healthy (but still very YUMMY) version of them.
Diet Coke Sloppy Joes
16 oz. (1 lb.) lean ground beef – at least 96%
1 cup Diet Coke
2/3 cup reduced sugar ketchup
1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp white vinegar
2 tsp dry mustard
1/2 onion chopped (optional)
1/2 green pepper chopped (optional)
prep time: 10-15 minutes
cook time: 30 minutes
Start by chopping up your veggies. You don’t have to have onion and peppers, but I think it adds flavor and texture, not to mention vegetables. 😉
I like to get fresh lean beef from the meat counter at the grocery store. I see what’s on sale, or default back to the chilled meat section.
Brown ground beef in a large skillet.
When meat is browned, drain it to eliminate the excess grease.
Add back to skillet and add your veggies.
Add your cup of Diet Coke. You can substitute Coke Zero, if you prefer.
Add your ketchup. The recipe calls for reduced sugar ketchup, so I went with The Fresh Market‘s organic ketchup.
Add the remaining ingredients: white vinegar, Worcestershire sauce and dry mustard.
Cook on low, uncovered for 30 minutes.
*Note: The sloppy joe mixture will look a little liquidy, but will thicken during your simmer time.
After half an hour the sauce will be thick enough to serve.
You can also prepare this dish in the morning/afternoon and leave it cooking on low in a crock-pot until dinner time: after work time saver!
Finish it off by adding a whole-wheat bun or 100 calorie Deli-Flat bun. I discovered these a year or so ago and haven’t gone back to buying a regular bun since.
*Tip: They also have multi-grain and a variety of flavors, but 100% Whole Wheat is always your best option.
The only thing about these buns I could live without is the bottom bun. It’s not as thick as the top, which can make sloppy joes extra sloppy. Nobody says eating healthy was perfect…so I say go ahead and embrace the sloppiness.
Pair your Diet Coke Sloppy Joes with a healthy side like steamed cauliflower drizzled with low-fat cheese and Enjoy!
Have any of you ever tried the Deli-Flats or similar buns?
Besides for sloppy joes – which are always a mess – do they work for your everyday bun needs?