Not-So-Sloppy Joes

Kids Cooking

Last week, as we were restocking our Take-One-Leave-One  Cookbook Library (located at the North East entrance), we stumbled on a book that was a mainstay in many households.  From the mid-80’s, it was the go-to book for many a mom looking for quick and nutritious meals that their kids would not only eat, but could also help cook.  We’re big fans of getting kids in the kitchen around here; teach them how to love food when they’re young and they’ll have a lifetime of rich memories and full tummies.  And maybe we were just being nostalgic, but we thought we’d rock a family-friendly, get-’em-in-the-kitchen (read: SUPER easy) meal this week.

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Market Sourced Ingredients

1lb of extra lean ground beef from Silver Sage Beef

1 shallot from Cherry Pit

4-6 hamburger buns from Yum Bakery

2 Beck Farms carrots from Innisfail Growers

1 stalk of celery from Cherry Pit

ketchup and mustard (what family doesn’t have these in the fridge?!)

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As our “Very Slightly Messy Manual” instructs our little chef, have your assistant (read: mom, dad, aunt… any responsible adult that can wield a sharp knife safely) finely chop the carrots, celery, and shallots.  Add to a hot pan with a little olive oil and saute for a few minutes.

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Add ground beef to the pan with the vegetables and break apart, cooking until brown.  Season with salt and pepper.

Add a good squirt of ketchup (or 1/4 cup if you’re teaching measuring skills) and one tablespoon of hot mustard.

At this point, if you’re hoping to extend the recipe to feed a larger family (or just want some leftovers for an easy lunch the day after), you can add a can of brown beans to this recipe.  Is it vital to making these Sloppy Joes yummy?  Nope.  But it is an easy and affordable way to stretch this dinner if we’re trying to tighten our purse strings.

Spoon beef onto your hamburger buns and “serve with milk”.  Another good recommendation from the manual.  It isn’t every day that you find a solid (and highly entertaining) cookbook for kids; let your tots have a shot at this simple, yummy, and budget-friendly recipe.

2013-11-14 08.18.23And if you want to serve these Not-So-Sloppy Joes with the Oven French Fries from the Kids Cooking book (as pictured), all you need is a couple of potatoes and a little olive oil.  Start by asking your assistant to help with cutting the potatoes.  We used a mandolin (which is WAY to sharp for little fingers) to cut these shoestring thin, but cutting them into wedges is awfully yummy too.  Preheat your oven to 450 degrees while mom is slicing the potatoes.  Toss the potato wedges in a bowl with a little olive oil and a dash of salt.  Place them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 20 minutes if thin-cut, or about 45 for thick wedges.  Move them around halfway through to prevent them from burning on one side.  And voila!  French Fries with your Joes.