Friday, July 25, 2014

Sloppy Joes

Working in the school system affords me the opportunity to travel a little bit more easily because my summer schedule is more lax. I still work, but I don't have a set schedule and can take my vacation at any point. Every summer since my parents and sister moved to the suburbs of Chicago seven years ago, I've tried to take a trip to visit them. Especially in the last few years, because my sister has started having children, and being a part of my nephews' lives is really important to me. Sadly, my husband doesn't have the same vacation time that I do, so most of my trips up north are solo. Since he and I both work two jobs, and he doesn't get home until after 8:30 every night during the week, I like to make things as easy as possible for him by leaving some already cooked and/or prepped meals.

Below is what I either cooked ahead of time or prepped and froze for him. Note: for side items, I left directions for steaming different veggies in the microwave. Easy peasy :o) 

  • Pineapple salsa chicken bake: cook a whole chicken, then shred it and combine with 1 jar of pineapple salsa, 1/2 can of diced tomatoes, 2 ounces of green chilies, and 1 cup of pineapple. Top with your favorite cheese --if you can handle dairy-- and bake for 15-20 minutes at 350 until the cheese is golden and bubbly.)
  • Chili pork pot roast w/ onions: place a 1.5-2 lb pork roast or loin and 1 small-medium sliced yellow onion in a freezer bag with 1 cup of beef broth, 1/2 can of diced tomatoes, 2 ounces of green chilies, 1 tsp of chili powder, 1 tsp of garlic powder, 1/2 tsp of cumin, and 1/2 tsp of onion powder. I left directions on the bag to place all ingredients in a crockpot on low for 6-8 hours. 
  • Stir fry w/ fajita strips: place 1 lb of beef fajita strips in a freezer bag with 1 tbsp of coconut aminos, 1 tsp of garlic powder, 1 tsp of ginger. Then I bought a pre-chopped bowl of stir-fry veggies (broccoli, peppers, onion, mushrooms, bamboo shoots, baby corn) from Trader Joe's and left directions to heat 1 tbsp of coconut oil in a wok (or large sauté pan) on medium-high heat. When it's HOT, cook the strips for 2-3 minutes and then remove. Add the veggies w/ 2 tbsp of coconut aminos, 1 tsp of garlic powder, 1 tsp of ginger and cook until desired tenderness is reached. Add the meat back in and cook for 2-3 more minutes.
  • Organic ribeye: place steak in a freezer bag with 3 tbsp of mojo marinade, 1 tsp of worcestershire, and 1/2 tsp of 21 Seasoning Salute (Trader Joe's). You can pan sear (high w/ 1 tsp of coconut oil for 3-5 minutes on each side) or grill (on medium-high for 5-7 minutes on each side)
  • Honey mustard chicken thighs - recipe in the The Paleo Kitchen Cookbook
  • Simple Sloppy Joes (recipe below)
Simple Sloppy Joes

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Serves: 2-3

Special Tools:
Large saute pan with deep sides

1 lb ground beef
1 tbsp Sugar free steak seasoning
1 tbsp Coconut palm sugar
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium pepper, chopped
1 tbsp of red wine vinegar
1 tbsp of Worcestershire (sugar free if you can)
1 can of organic tomato sauce
2 tbsp of tomato paste
pre-made Paleo burger buns (Against All Grain has a recipe) or you can buy gluten-free buns.

Place the pan over medium heat. Add the ground beef and let it start to brown. As you begin to break it apart, add the steak seasoning and coconut palm sugar and continue cooking.
Once the beef is almost all browned, add the onion, pepper, vinegar, and worcestershire and cook for 3-5 minutes until the veggies begin to soften. 
Add the tomato sauce and paste and simmer on medium heat for 10-15 minutes. 
Place in an airtight container and store for up to a week. 
Note: waiting until the next day to eat it is always better! All the favors really have time to meld. Check out what Danny texted me...he added cheese, lettuce, coleslaw, and cilantro to his Joes. I think he liked them!

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