SAM'S SLOPPY JOES

I don’t know what came over me, but last week I got a craving for some good ole sloppy joes! I honestly can’t remember the last time I had one but I knew I needed to make them right away haha! Typically I just throw a bunch of things in a pot, add some tomato sauce, and call it a day..but this time I decided to actually give some thought to what I was doing and I’m sure glad I did because they turned out REALLY good! Like eat straight from the pot (which I caught Nathan doing a couple times) good! My version of Sloppy Joes is slightly sweet (from the Molasses) which is a fun twist on the traditional flavor! You can go the classic route and pile it high on your favorite toasted bun, but these Joes are also really good served over a baked sweet potato, a Yukon gold potato or even in a zucchini boat for a super filling low-carb option!

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WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 1 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

  • 3-4 fresh garlic cloves, minced

  • 1 medium onion, chopped

  • 1 whole carrot chopped

  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped

  • 1 lb. ground beef (or ground turkey)

  • 1 Tbsp. steak seasoning blend

  • 1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar

  • 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

  • 2 Tbsp. Molasses

  • 2 cups tomato sauce

  • 2 Tbsp. tomato paste

WHAT TO DO:

  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat

  2. Once hot, add garlic until it becomes fragrant

  3. Add onion, carrot, and red bell pepper to skillet. Sauté until onions are softened (5-7 minutes)

  4. Transfer veggie mixture to bowl and set aside

  5. Add meat and the steak seasoning to the same skillet

  6. Once meat is browned, add the veggie mixture back to the skillet

  7. Add red wine vinegar and Worcestershire sauce to skillet, and cook with meat and veggies for 5 minutes

  8. Add tomato sauce, tomato paste, and molasses to skillet and stir to combine

  9. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce to a simmer

  10. Cook until sauce reduces, and mixture becomes thick

  11. Serve on a toasted bun, in zucchini boats, or over roasted sweet potatoes!

PESTO + RICOTTA ZUCCHINI ROLLUPS

If you’re anything like me, I’m always searching for new recipes to use fresh, in-season produce. This Pesto + Ricotta Zucchini Rollup recipe is not only super easy, but also incorporates extra summer produce you may have in your own personal garden or what you can easily find at end-of-summer vegetable stands. I like to make this recipe as a meal-prep dish for the week because its easy to pack for work lunches, but you could also prepare this for a dinner party as well since it makes a large portion. This dish is keto friendly/low-carb when served on its own, but is also quite tasty with a side of your favorite pasta or served over white rice. You can also make this recipe vegetarian by omitting the meat. When I have the time, I like to make my own pasta sauce and pesto for this dish, but feel free to use your favorite store-bought versions to cut back on time for a quick weeknight meal!

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WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

  • 2 TBSP. extra virgin olive oil

  • 1/2 lb. spicy Italian ground sausage (or mild if you prefer)

  • 1/2 lb. ground chicken (ground turkey or ground beef will also work)

  • 2 cups tomato sauce, homemade or store bought

  • 3-4 zucchini or yellow summer squash

  • 1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese

  • 1/2 cup Parmesean cheese

  • 1/2 cup basil pesto, homemade or store bought

  • 1/2 mozzarella cheese

  • fresh basil, for serving

WHAT TO DO:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9X13 baking dish

  2. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add sausage and ground chicken, cook until browned. Drain if needed. Once cooked, reduce heat to low and add the tomato sauce. Simmer for 10 minutes or until the sauce thickens slightly.

  3. While meat sauce is cooking, use a mandolin to slice the zucchini into 1/4 inch thick strips. Depending on the size of the zucchini, you should have around 30 strips. Lay zucchini strips flat on a paper towel lined counter and sprinkle with salt

  4. In a medium bowl, combine ricotta, parmesean and pesto

  5. Evenly spread a little over half of the meat sauce into the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Take 2 zucchini strips and lay them side by side lenghtwise, slightly overlapping. Spoon about 1 tbsp. of cheese mixture onto center of zucchini. Roll and place seam-side down in the baking dish. Repeat until baking dish is full or you have used all the zucchini strips.

  6. If there is any cheese mixture leftover, you can evenly spread on top of rollups

  7. Spoon the remaining meat sauce over the zucchini. Top with mozzarella cheese

  8. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until cheese has melted and is lightly browned.

  9. Cool before serving and enjoy!

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