Sloppy Joes

This recipe comes from my Grandma. Admittedly, I didn’t always appreciate how good it was when I was younger, but I’ve since grown wiser.

Sometime during this past year, I heard my husband mention that he liked Sloppy Joes, and I realized that we’d never made any. I whipped these up one evening, and he loved them. He ate several and our leftovers didn’t last long.

Foolishly, I thought I would try another Sloppy Joe recipe that I found on another site. It looked promising, but in the end it was a big disappointment! For our house, we’ll just stick with Grandma’s tried and true!

One thing I did differently, though, is I substituted ground turkey for the ground beef to make it a little healthier. Either works well and tastes great.


Grandma’s Sloppy Joes

1 lb ground beef or ground turkey
1 small onion, diced
1 T flour
1/3 c water
about 2 c Ketchup
1/2 – 1 T Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp chili powder
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 T sugar
1/4 tsp pepper

In a large skillet, scramble meat over medium heat. Add onion to meat while it is cooking to help the onion soften.

Once meat is scrambled and is no longer pink, add all other ingredients. Note: all measurements are approximations. Grandma cooks using her senses–sight, smell, taste, feel, etc. I sort of do the same with this recipe, but these are the approximate measurements I use.

Simmer uncovered for 10-15 minutes.

Serve on buns with lettuce, if desired.


Italian Turkey Soup

I found this recipe one day when I was hunting for something yummy and warm on a cold, wet day. This looked promising, although I was a bit skeptical about adding the spinach. Silly me! It was absolutely scrumptious, and my husband and I were able to enjoy it for a few days.

We basically prepared the soup according to the recipe found at Our Best Bites, but next time, I’d like to try substituting Italian turkey sausage for the ground turkey.


Italian Turkey Soup
from Our Best Bites

Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 lb ground turkey
1 small onion (about 3/4 C) diced
4-5 garlic cloves, minced
1 T Dry Italian seasoning (or I think Kate used this)
1 can (15oz) canned diced tomatoes
1 can (15oz) white beans (Cannelini, Great Northern, etc) drained and rinsed
32 oz chicken broth
(Note: I mixed up my own broth using Better than Bouillon)
1 tsp dry oregano
1/4 tsp dry basil
1 T dried parsley (or about 1/4 C fresh)
4-6 C fresh spinach (you could use frozen too)
fresh Parmesan cheese

Pour a couple swigs of extra virgin olive oil (1-2 T) into a large stock pot. Turn burner to med-high heat.

When oil is nice and hot, add diced onions, minced garlic, and ground turkey. Stir to combine and add the 1T dry Italian seasoning, along with about 1/2 t salt and several turns of black pepper. Cook until turkey is completely cooked through. When you’re browning ground beef or turkey for soup it’s important to cook it all the way through before adding the liquid or it will end up mushy.

(If you want to cook this via slow-cooker, place the turkey mixture in the crock pot now and continue. Although, you may want to hold off adding your beans until about 15 minutes before you’re ready to eat or they might turn to mush in there.)

Add in canned tomatoes (including all the juice), the drained beans, and the chicken broth. Add oregano and basil and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and simmer for at least 10 minutes, and up to 20.

While soup is simmering chop spinach. I chop it up really small so my kiddo doesn’t notice it’s something healthy. Add in spinach and parsley and stir until wilted. Also, additional salt and pepper to taste. Ladle into bowls and top with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

Bruschetta Linguine

Okay, so I really don’t know what to call this dish.

“Bruschetta Linguine” will work, I think.

And, sorry, but this is going to be one of the recipes that doesn’t offer specific measurements. Pretty much everything is “to taste.”

This is a dish that I enjoyed countless times this summer. I love that it is so fresh, so light, so healthy, so easy, and so fast!!! AND it’s scalable. I can easily prepare it for one, for two, or for many more!

Before I share the recipe, I need to endorse Dreamfields pasta. This pasta has changed my life! In my attempts to try to choose “good carbs,” I’ve tried so many brands of whole grain and whole wheat pastas, and I’ve never been impressed. Actually, I’ve been quite disappointed. My experience has been that most turn out mushy and/or grainy. For one who has texture issues, this is a deal breaker.

Fortunately, my husband discovered the Dreamfileds brand about a year ago and we haven’t looked back since. Other pastas, even the whole grain ones, weren’t helping me out on the scale the following morning. Quite the contrary! Dreamfields and my scale are happily compatible, though!

Not only does my waistline appreciate the consideration, but my tastebuds do, as well! YUMMY!

So, if you’re wanting to minimize your carb intake AND not sacrifice taste, this is the pasta for you!

Don’t see it on your favorite grocer’s shelves? No worries! Amazon will be happy to deliver some to your door. Can’t beat that!

Bruschetta Linguine

Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Tomatoes, fresh & diced
Basil, fresh
Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast
Parmiggiano Reggiano

Cook linguine according to package directions. Drain.

Thoroughly cook chicken breast in a little olive oil. Slice cooked breast.

Dice fresh tomatoes and chiffonade basil.

Toss linguine, oil, tomatoes, and basil together. Place chicken on top of pasta. Liberally grate fresh Parmiggiano Reggiano over the entire dish.

Buon appetito!

Baked Sweet Potato Fries

As of late, I’ve been trying to lower my postpartum spectacular carb intake.

Several years ago, I read The South Beach Diet, and I decided to give it a whirl. Those first two weeks of phase one were really tough on me, but I survived. I’m such a picky eater (I think it mostly stems from a texture aversion to a whole of foods) that I was even more limited than most on what I was willing and allowed to eat during Phase 1. My morning weigh-ins ultimately gave me the incentive I needed to persevere, though. Once I transitioned into Phase 2 (in which you’re allowed to introduce “good carbs” and “good fats” back into your diet), it got a lot easier.

Anyhow, after reading the book, I learned that sweet potatos actually have a lower glycemic count than your run of the mill white potato. Counterintuitive? Tell me about it!

And the great news? I like them SOOOOO much more than traditional french fries. I think the flavor is amazing!

A baby shower that my mom and sisters hosted for me earlier this year took place at a local bed and breakfast. At the luncheon, sweet potato fries were served, and I couldn’t get enough! YUM! (I realize that the intense craving may have been slightly tied to simply being pregnant, but I even crave them now–several months after delivery). I’ve been on the hunt for a good recipe ever since.

Special thanks to my friend, ReBecca, for pointing out to me that a great recipe was under my nose the entire time–in one my cookbooks!

South Beach Diet Baked Sweet Potato Fries
from The South Beach Diet: Quick & Easy Cookbook, page 282

Sweet potato makes these golden oven fries much healthier than the fried white potatoes we all grew up eating. If you want to add a spicy touch, use Hungarian hot paprika.

2 medium sweet potatoes, scrubbed and dried
1 T extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp paprika

Heat oven to 425.

Slice each sweet potato lengthwise into 8 pieces. Toss with oil, salt, and paprika. Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake until lightly browned on the bottom (about 15 minutes).

Turn slices and bake until bottom is browned and potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes more. Serve hot.

Notes: I actually cooked mine longer because I like a crispy exterior. I also didn’t measure the ingredients–just mixed till it looked right. I also used Kosher salt instead of table salt because it is more forgiving & I didn’t want these to be too salty.

Yield: 4 servings