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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Diet Coke Sloppy Joes

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 SJ night at least once a week while growing up.  It sounds funny, but besides her homemade chili (*by the way, Scott's Spicy Chili Recipe is coming soon!) my mom's sloppy joes was my favorite.

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
serves: 4

To make sloppy joes: start by chopping up your veggies.  You don't have to have onion and peppers in your SJs, but I think it adds flavor and texture...not to mention sneaks in some greens! :)

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.
*NOTE: You can also 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: SJ mixture will look a little liquidy.  It will thicken during your simmer time.

After half an hour the sauce will be thick enough to serve.

*TIP: 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.

*NOTE: 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 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 sloppy joes, (which are always going to be a mess) do they work for your everyday bun needs?


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