Sloppy Joe’s are such a simple go-to dinner. Most kids and adults make and enjoy these deliciously messy sandwiches with hamburger meat seasoned from a packet mix or a can of sauce. Too bad those packets and cans have gluten fillers, preservatives, and artificial ingredients. Homemade sauce and organic beef would be a huge step up! But I’ve found that, especially as Americans, the amount of meat (more especially red meat) consumed on a daily basis is way higher than necessary. There’s a great article in the Washington Post by Roberto A. Ferdman about this very topic.
It’s not as hard as you might think to cut out meat and processed food, even it it’s just a few nights a week. It’s even possible if you follow a gluten free and/or Paleo diet. This is how we feed our family so I know it’s possible, along with going meatless 3 or 4 times a week. It not only saves us money on groceries, helps reduce our carbon foot print, and maybe saves a few animals, but is also really healthy. Our bodies naturally need less meat in the hot summer months anyway and never need the toxic overload of processed foods.
So when I wanted a classic Sloppy Joe dinner, I did a little tweaking to make it vegan (hello, quinoa!)…while still being super filling and yummy. I also added some beans for more filling protein. I piled the filling on my GLUTEN FREE, GRAIN FREE, & PALEO HAMBURGER BUNS – recipe coming soon! It was a hit! And what made it even easier was that I threw everything in my slow cooker – I love my Crock Pot, BTW.
Crock Pot Sloppy Joe’s
When shopping for ingredients, organic is always best!
Sloppy Joe Sauce:
- 1/2 tbsp. chili powder
- 1 tsp. sea salt
- 1/2 tsp. black pepper
- 1/4 tsp. dry mustard
- 2 cloves garlic ( about 1 – 2 tsp. minced) or 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 2 tsp. honey
- 8 oz. tomato paste
- 2 cups vegetable, beef or chicken broth (*only add 1 cup broth if using meat)
Sloppy Joe Filling:
- 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
- 15 oz. beans, drained and rinsed (black, kidney, or pinto work)
- 2 celery stocks, chopped
- 1 cup chopped red, green, orange, or yellow bell peppers
- 1 onion, chopped
- *Optional: 2 lbs. organic roast beef in place of the quinoa and beans if you want a meaty meal.
In a bowl, combine all the ingredients for the Sloppy Joe Sauce. Put all the ingredients for the filling in the Crock Pot and pour the sauce over. Stir to combine. *If using meat, season with additional salt and pepper before topping with the sauce and veggies. Shred with a fork after 4-5 hours in the slow cooker.
Cook in the Crock Pot on low heat for 4 hours (6 – 8 hours if using meat).