Saturday, October 8, 2011

Sloppy Joe Lettuce Cups

As a kid, one of my mom's favorite weeknight meals included the traditional Sloppy Joe:  sweet, messy and 100% comforting.  I recreated this dish with grass fed beef, onion, and red bell pepper for a fresh take on the original.  I used a little cocoa for depth and I didn't add any refined sugar.  You are welcome to put this inside your favorite warm hamburger bun, but if you are gluten-free or Paleo conscious, I must tell you it was perfectly delicious inside a cabbage leaf.  Yum!

The cabbage leaf holds the meat nicely and adds a little crunch: yum!
1lb ground beef (I used 15% fat grass fed beef from Trader Joe's)
1/2 large red onion (or 1 small), diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1tbs extra virgin olive oil
1/2tbs red wine vinegar
Seasonings to taste:  I didn't measure these out but I'll give you my best estimate
1tbs garlic powder
1tbs chili powder
2tsp dry mustard powder
2tsp onion powder
1tsp cocoa
2tsp paprika
1-12oz can tomato sauce
2tbs tomato paste
1 head cabbage, wash and pull some of the leaves off

1. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium high heat.  Add beef and brown, breaking it up as it cooks.  Drain fat.
2. Add onion and bell pepper and continue to cook for a few minutes.  Add vinegar and spices and cook a few more minutes until onion and peppers are soft.
3. Add tomato sauce and paste and turn heat down to medium-low.  Simmer for about 5 more minutes or until the flavors and sauce come together nicely. 
4. Scoop a pile of meat onto a cabbage leaf and enjoy!

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