I like to use the slow cooker when I have picked up a shift or have a busy day planned, but I try to avoid using packages of prepared sauces or soup mixes, because they are loaded with sodium and other ingredients that make me go “blech”.
If I make a meat dish, I prefer to make it stretch farther and add to its nutrition by adding a lot of veggies to it. I think the pureed veggies add flavor to my Veggie Infused Meatloaf recipe, and when I fiddled around with this Homemade Slow Cooker Sloppy Joe, I think it does the same thing.
You can see there is some good green stuff in there. For our veggie averse toddler, it helps to make sure she gets a little in her diet, even if I have to trick her for now.
Veggie Infused Slow Cooker Sloppy Joe (serves 8)
2 lb 85-90% lean ground beef(don’t go too lean or you lose flavor) or ground turkey
1 green bell pepper, finely diced
1 small to medium onion, finely diced
1-2 small zucchinis (either finely dice or run it through a food processor)
1 cup ketchup
2 TB yellow mustard
1 TB worcestershire sauce
1 small 6 oz can tomato paste
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt or Lawry’s Seasoned Salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 cup water
1 TB oats or cornstarch to thicken
pepper to taste
Add everything in slow cooker except oats or cornstarch and cook on high for 7 hours. Add oats or cornstarch to thicken in last 30 minutes and allow to simmer. For the strongly veggie averse, run all veggies through the food processor before adding to slow cooker, and they should blend in.
I’m a weirdo and I rarely eat a bun with my meat, but I found these sesame buns on clearance for $0.69. It was fantastic! Our 5 year old daughter ate multiple sandwiches.
Seriously, doesn’t that look good?