Life – Top 5 things you need to know and a really good Sloppy Joe!

A Lighter and Healthier recipe for – Good Old Fashioned Sloppy Joes on GEEZ LOUISE!

I’ve turned into that mother.  The one who says and does all of those crazy things that I know I shouldn’t.  In a moment of last-minute mommy desperation,  I tried to give my daughter a lifetime of advice over her last meal before she left for college.  As she sat there eating her Sloppy Joe in a Bread Boat, I went through the list.

A Lighter and Healthier recipe for – Good Old Fashioned Sloppy Joes on GEEZ LOUISE!

1. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE – do not  stay out late at night and then forget to call security to walk you to your dorm,  PLEASE!

2. Look around wherever you are.  Be aware of your surroundings.  Remember there are creepers everywhere!

A Lighter and Healthier recipe for – Good Old Fashioned Sloppy Joes in a Bread Boat on

3. Trust your spirit, if something feels weird or wrong – it probably is.  Never be afraid to walk away from a bad situation or stand up for what it is right if you need to.

4. Be smart about where you choose to go and who you choose to go with.  Never be in a situation where you lose control of yourself. BUT,  if you find yourself in a bad situation, PLEASE call me.

5. PLEASE  eat breakfast and watch how much processed food you eat.  PLEASE don’t drink soda and junk food from the dining hall, you will be sorry if you don’t take good care of yourself.

She listened, to my every word and when I was done she said, ” This is a REALLY GOOD Sloppy Joe Louise!”.  She finished eating and as she walked out of the room, she smiled and said, ” I know all of this Louise,  don’t worry- I’ve got this.”

A Lighter and Healthier recipe for – Good Old Fashioned Sloppy Joes in a Bread Boat on GEEZ LOUISE!

When my kids ask, “What is for dinner?” and the answer is Sloppy Joes, they are aways excited as if it is a treat.  Let’s face it, it is straight up “kid friendly” food, although, I’ve never met an adult who doesn’t enjoy a good Sloppy Joe.  These are so super simple to make with all natural ingredients that it makes no sense to buy a can of processed Joe mix.  I lightened this recipe up by using ground turkey with lots of seasoning like oregano, garlic, allspice, and cloves.  I add a lot of grated carrot to get the veggies in and then sweeten the Joes with natural Maple syrup.  I realize there is something nice about the soggy bread of a bun that soaks up all the sauce, but I love this new way of serving the Joes in a toasty bread boat.  I found this idea in a 1956 Betty Crocker cookbook and thought it would be perfect for Sloppy Joes.  This recipe is doubled and makes a lot of Sloppy Joe mix, but it can be easily frozen and reheated for another meal.

Good Old Fashioned Sloppy Joes in a Bread Boat - Lighter and Healthier
Recipe type: main
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 8-10
  • 2 Tablespoons grape seed oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped,1 ½ cups
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and
  • shredded, about 1 cup
  • 2 pounds lean ground turkey
  • (for two meals)
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
  • 1 Tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 ½ teaspoons allspice
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup tomato paste
  • 1 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup or
  • honey
  • 8 whole wheat Kaiser buns
  • ¼ cup melted butter
  1. Heat an extra-large, non-stick sauté pan over medium/high heat; add in oil and once hot add onion and shredded carrots. Stir vegetables with a sprinkle of salt and sweat until soft and translucent, 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add in turkey meat, garlic, oregano, cumin, allspice,cloves, and salt & pepper. Sauté over medium heat until meat is browned and cooked through, 7-10 minutes. While the meat is cooking, use a wooden spoon or spatula to break the meat up and stir in the spices.
  3. In a small bowl, stir to combine tomato paste ,broth, and honey. Reduce heat to low/medium and add the tomato paste mixture and stir to combine. Simmer for 5 - 10 minutes. Additional water can be added to adjust the consistency. Fill each bread boat with Sloppy Joe mixture and serve warm.
  4. Sloppy Joe meat can be frozen in a Ziploc or airtight container for up to 6 weeks.
  5. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and adjust the rack to the top third. With a small serrated knife, cut a hole in the middle of the Kaiser rolls - leaving a one inch border around the outer edge. Remove the center of the bread, creating a well inside each roll. Brush the inside of each roll with butter and then place onto a baking sheet and place into the preheated oven.
  6. Bake until golden brown, 5-7 minutes.
2 comments… add one
  • Betsy August 20, 2013, 9:41 pm

    With a mom like you I’m sure she’ll be fine.

    • Chef Louise Mellor August 20, 2013, 10:38 pm

      with a mom like me, it’s kind of a gamble???

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