Cocoa Sloppy Joes
Upgrade your sloppy joes and get the health benefits of chocolate with this easy, delicious recipe.
Sloppy Joes are already an easy crowd-pleaser but just imagine them with the added benefits and delicious taste of cocoa. Study after study reinforces the idea that eating chocolate, especially dark chocolate, is good for you (in moderation, of course). One reason is that cocoa, the main ingredient in chocolate, is packed with antioxidants called polyphenols. This recipe, made with cocoa powder, will let you reap the health benefits of dark chocolate, plus enjoy a variety of nutritious veggies.
To make this recipe you will need a large skillet, a bowl and sharp knife for mincing and dicing.
Nutrition information (per serving)*: Total Fat (26.7g); Carbohydrates (47g); Sodium (1420mg); Sugar (27g); Fiber (8g); Cholesterol (103mg); Protein (36g)
1 Tbsp. canola or grapeseed oil
1 pound extra lean ground beef
1 large onion, diced
1 medium carrot, shredded
2 cups cremini mushrooms, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 cup tomato sauce
2 Tbsp. cocoa powder
2 Tbsp. cider vinegar
1 Tbsp. honey
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. chili powder or cayenne
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce (optional)
2 Tbsp. tomato paste
2 cups premixed coleslaw
4 whole-grain buns
1. Cook beef, onion, carrot and mushrooms
Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Cook ground beef, onion, carrot and mushrooms until beef is browned and vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.
2. Add garlic and bell pepper
Stir in garlic and bell pepper; cook 2 minutes more.
3. Make sauce
In a bowl, stir together tomato paste and sauce, cocoa powder, vinegar, honey, cumin, salt, chili powder, Worcestershire, if desired, and 1/4 cup water. Add to beef.
4. Simmer and serve
Simmer 10 minutes or until thickened. Serve on buns and top with coleslaw.
Ingredient Tips & Benefits
- Premade coleslaw, canned sauces and tomato paste make life easier and cooking more do-able. They can also be packed with excess salt, sugar and calories. Just make sure to check the labels of the items you buy and do the seasoning yourself when possible to cut back on sodium, sugar and fat.
- Carrot and bell pepper share plant pigments that also supply them with antioxidants. They get their bright colors from carotenoids like beta-cryptoxanthin. Some research suggests eating more foods rich in this compound could reduce your risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and other inflammatory conditions.
- Garlic and onion not only add extra flavor to your recipes they’re arthritis-friendly too. These pungent vegetables are all members of the allium family, which are rich in a type of antioxidant called quercetin. This antioxidant may have the potential to relieve inflammation in conditions like RA. They also contain a compound called diallyl disulphine, which may reduce the enzymes that damage cartilage.
*Disclaimer: All nutritional information provided is approximate and based on USDA measurements. Actual amounts may vary based on exact ingredients used, how they are prepared and serving size.
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