Scratch-Made Sloppy Joes

scratch-made sloppy joesIf you’re a parent of certain aged kids, you know the drill: From school to swim practice for one kid, a swing by the ballet studio for another and a stop at the track to fetch a third. All this in the crucial 5 to 6 o’clock hour when it would be helpful to actually be in my kitchen in order to make dinner appear on the table. (Oh, what I wouldn’t give for a magic wand!) It’s these days when cooking the bulk of dinner in the morning  is essential. And it’s this kind of recipe that best fits the bill. With a quick sauté of the veggies and browning of the meat, I can stir up a pot of goodness that needs only to be warmed and served. Keep it local by seeking out local ground beef, using last summer’s tomatoes from your freezer and reaching into the box of onions and/or garlic you picked up last fall from your farmers market.

Recipe adapted from 100 Days of Real Food: Fast & Fabulous

Makes 4-6 servings


  • 1 pound ground beef (local if you can get it)
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 celery stalk, diced
  • 1 carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 3/4 tsp. fine sea salt
  • 3/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 16 ounces pureed tomatoes, fresh, frozen or canned
  • 2 tsp. honey (local if you can get it)
  • 1 tsp. yellow mustard
  • 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon


  1. In large cast iron skillet or Dutch oven, brown ground beef. Drain off most fat (leave about 1 Tbsp. to sauté veggies in) and set aside.
  2. Add onion, celery and carrot to pan. Cook on medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until softened, 3-4 minutes. Add garlic, salt and pepper and cook another 1-2 minutes.
  3. Add tomatoes and seasonings plus ground beef back into the pot. Simmer over low heat until sauce reaches desired consistency.
  4. When ready to eat, warm meat mixture. Serve over toasted whole wheat buns.