makes 8 servings · prep time: 10 minutes · cook time: 25 minutes
Growing up, we ate a lot of sloppy Joes—that notorious cloyingly sweet canned sauce cooked with ground beef and served on a big hamburger bun. It was usually accompanied by tater tots and ketchup, and I loved every last bite. But as I grew up and my palate began to mature and change, my childhood favorite became less appealing to me. It wasn’t until I made my own version from scratch with real-food ingredients that I began to love the sloppy meat mixture once again.
• 4 large bell peppers (any color)
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 1 small onion, chopped (about ½ cup)
• 1 rib celery, chopped
• 3 cloves garlic, minced
• 1½ pounds ground beef
• 1 cup tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes
• ¼ cup reduced-sugar ketchup
• 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
• 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
• 2 teaspoons chili powder
• 1 teaspoon ground cumin
• ¾ teaspoon sea salt
• 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1.Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
2.Cut the peppers in half vertically and remove the ribs and seeds. Place the peppers cut side up on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until they are tender.
3.While the peppers are in the oven, make the sloppy Joe mixture: Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When the pan is hot, add the onion, celery, and garlic. Cook until the onion and celery are soft and the garlic is fragrant.
4.Add the ground beef, breaking it up with a heatproof spatula, and cook until browned, about 8 minutes.
5.Mix in the tomato sauce, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, Dijon mustard, chili powder, cumin, and salt. Simmer for 5 to 7 minutes, until the sauce has thickened.
6.Stuff the sloppy Joe mixture into the pepper halves and garnish with the parsley.
CALORIES: 205 | FAT: 10 g | PROTEIN: 19 g | TOTAL CARBS: 8.5 g | DIETARY FIBER: 2.5 g | NET CARBS: 6 g