Did you know that there is an entire day dedicated to Sloppy Joes? March 18th celebrates the classic comfort food that has been on the family menu for generations!
We're a little nerdy about food and were curious about the origins of this famous saucy sandwich. What we learned was actually quite fascinating.
The Sloppy Joe has a Cuban connection dating back to the early 1900s when the sandwich became popular in Havana, Cuba. There, it was known as a "Ropa Vieja" sandwich. "Ropa Vieja" translates to "old clothes" in Spanish; the sandwich got its name because the shredded beef used in the recipe resembled tattered clothing.
The Sloppy Joe sandwich became a favorite among American tourists visiting Cuba, and a bar called "Sloppy Joe's" was opened in Havana in 1918 to cater to their appetites. The bar became a popular hangout for American expatriates, attracting famous patrons like Ernest Hemingway. The bar closed in the 1950s and was resurrected in Key West, Florida (with the encouragement of Mr. Hemingway), where it is a popular spot still serving this famous sandwich to this day!
In the 1930s, mid-western America had its own origin story for the Sloppy Joe, which became popular during the Depression. According to popular belief, the sandwich was first served at a café in Sioux City, Iowa, called Ye Olde Tavern. The café was owned by Joe, who served loose meat sandwiches to his patrons on wax paper. That restaurant stayed open until the 1970s, and while other restaurants have occupied that space since, many of them carried on the Sloppy Joe tradition keeping it on the menu.
Whether you prefer it spicy or sweet or our favorite, loaded with veggies, there's a Sloppy Joe recipe out there that's perfect for you.
Today, we’re cooking up our veggie-loaded just better.® Sloppy Joe Sliders!
So grab a napkin (or five), get ready to bring on the nostalgia, and sink your teeth into the saucy, savory goodness of the Sloppy Joe.
This recipe serves 4 with room for a Sloppy Joe Omelet for breakfast!
1.5 pounds Organic Ground Turkey, Lean Organic Grass-fed Ground Beef, or Plant-based Crumbles
1 15 Ounce Can of Organic Tomato Sauce (Use your favorite unseasoned variety!)
3 Tablespoons of Organic Tomato Paste
1 to 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
¾ Cup White or Yellow Onion - finely chopped
3 Cloves Garlic - minced
1 Large or 2 Medium Carrots - grated
1 Medium Zucchini - grated
1 Cups Baby Spinach - chopped
½ Cup Kale - spines removed and finely chopped
½ Red Bell Pepper - diced
½ Green Bell Pepper - diced
8 Tablespoons (or ½ c) of just better.® fiber
½ Teaspoon Sea Salt
¼ Teaspoon Ground Pepper
¾ Teaspoon Chili Powder
¼ Teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
3 Teaspoons Apple Cider Vinegar
1 Teaspoon Dijon Mustard
In a large skillet, brown your choice of ground meat or plant crumbles (or a little of both). If cooking with meat, drain off any excess liquid and fats.
Empty your browned ground meat and/or plant crumbles into a bowl and set aside.
In the same skillet, add olive oil, diced onion, bell peppers, and kale over medium-high until they soften. (About 4 to 5 minutes)
Add garlic and the remaining veggies, spinach, shredded carrots & zucchini.
Continue to cook until the vegetables are tender.
Add the cooked grounds back into the skillet with the vegetables and mix.
Add tomato sauce, paste, sea salt, pepper, chili powder, red pepper flakes, Dijon mustard, and apple cider vinegar; mix well.
Once combined, sprinkle in just better.® fiber and incorporate.
Reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes or until the mixture thickens and the flavors blend. Stir occasionally.
We love whole wheat or sourdough slider buns with this saucy sandwich! Serve with a fresh green salad and a sensible dressing. (Eat your veggies first!!)
If bread is not your thing, this Sloppy Joe recipe is a great omelet filler; pile it on a baked sweet potato, spaghetti squash, or stuffed bell peppers! Get creative.
We hope you’ll add this healthy veggie-loaded recipe to your weekend meal plan!
Live… just better.®