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 The Low Carb Luxury Online Magazine  
 
    April 2006    Page 6       > About LCL Magazine     > Cover Page      > Inside Cover    Feature Pages:   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10      

 


Feature Articles
 Great Easter Recipes
 Make Beautiful Easter Eggs
 Cooking With Wine
 What About Lunch?
 The Health Value of Eggs
 Low Carb Sloppy Joes!
 Caffeine: Yes or No?
 Spring Re-Decorating
 Beat the Monday Blues
 Muscles Matter Most


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Re-Making an American Tradition: Sloppy Joes and Loose Meat Sandwiches

In the U.S., sloppy joes are usually hot sandwiches, comprised of ground beef. It's cooked in a skillet with highly seasoned tomato sauce or tomato paste and spread over a bun. Commercially made sauces, such as Manwich, are also available. Similar sandwiches may be filled with shredded beef, pork, or chicken in barbecue sauce.

It may also be served "open face," with the bun halves or slices of bread next to each other and the meat on top of each. The term "sloppy" comes from the fact that eating it as if it were a normal sandwich often results in the meat and sauce spilling out.

In the Midwestern region of the United States, particularly in the state of Iowa, a variant known as the "loose meat sandwich," or a "Maid-Rite" is found. This version of the sandwich is made with only seasoned ground beef, and does not include a tomato-based sauce. According to The Encyclopedia of American Food & Drink, it was created in 1934 at Ye Olde Tavern Inn by Abraham and Bertha Kaled. Taylor's Maid-Rite has their own history of the sandwich listed at their site. Some of you might remember that ABC's Roseanne show made these more popular when The Conner Family opened their own diner where they served "loose-meat" sandwiches.

In parts of New Jersey, sloppy joe refers to a completely different type of sandwich. There are a handful of variations depending on the deli, but it will always include some sort of deli meat (turkey, ham, roast beef, etc), swiss cheese, cole slaw, and russian dressing on rye bread. Legend has it, the sandwich was named after "Sloppy Joe's Bar" in Havana, Cuba. This is where Robert Sweeney, the mayor of Maplewood, first discovered a similar sandwich in 1934 and created a new version which found its way onto the menu at the "Town Hall Deli" in South Orange.

Where did the name come from? There seems to be quite a bit of debate about that. During the Great Depression, and shortly thereafter, ground beef gained popularity in America because it was both economical and nourishing. Recipes for hamburger steaks (aka hamburgers) were included in many popular American cookbooks. Cooks often added inexpensive fillers (bread crumbs, ketchup, tomato paste, etc.) to stretch the meat. This ground beef mixture was then fashioned into meatballs, meat loaves, hamburger stew, and loose meat sandwiches.

The origins of this dish are unknown, but recipes for the dish date back at least to the 1940s. It dates in print to 1935. There is probably no Joe after whom it is named — but its rather messy appearance and tendency to drip.

No matter what its history, or what the details are, Sloppy Joes remain an American Comfort-Food standard that low carb dieters clearly miss. It's an often requested recipe at Low Carb Luxury, and after experimenting with a lot of variations, here's our favorite mix for the classic sandwich...

Low Carb Sloppy Joes Sloppy Joe

  • 1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped fine
  • 1 cup Heinz One-Carb Ketchup
  • 1/3 cup beef broth *
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons Splenda granular
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, saute the ground beef for 5 minutes. Add the onion and green bell pepper; saute for 5 more minutes, or until onion is tender. Drain any fat.

Mix in Heinz One-Carb Ketchup and beef broth, stirring until well-mixed. Stir in garlic, chili powder, paprika, cumin, vinegar, Splenda, oregano and pepper.

Continue to heat for 5 to 10 minutes, or until mixture is thick and stewy.

Serve over lettuce cups, or over low carb bread/buns as desired.

* There's also a variation where instead of beef broth, you use Diet Cola (only Splenda sweetened like Diet Rite or Pepsi One, etc.) Cut the Splenda in the recipe to 1 Tablespoon if you use the cola. It's different, but still quite delicious.


Low Carb Loose Meat Sandwiches Loose Meat Sandwich

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • dash ground black pepper
  • yellow mustard
  • minced onion
  • dill pickle slices
  • low carb bread/buns for 4


Brown ground beef in a large skillet over medium-low heat. As the meat cooks use a wooden spoon (or a potato masher) to chop the meat into fine, rice-size pieces. Drain fat.

Add salt and pepper and continue to stir over low heat for 5 more minutes.

Build each sandwich by pressing the hot ground beef into a 1/2 cup measuring cup. Dump the meat onto the bottom of a low carb hamburger bun. Add mustard on the top bun, along with pickles and minced onion if desired. Top off the sandwich, then heat it up in your microwave oven for 10 seconds to warm the buns. Serve with a spoon.


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