Sunday, 6 May 2012

Sloppy Joes & Squash fries

Alright, it's official.  We eat nothing but comfort food at my house.  Casseroles, stir-fries, foods covered in gravy and slathered in glaze and dipped in sauce.  It's teen-friendly food to the max.  Last night was Sloppy Joe night, because my daughter asked for it over a week ago so it was written onto the menu--and neither teen was even home to eat with us last night!  Did we change the plan?  No.  We make a menu and we stick to it.  Its called budgeting.  We are on a very tight budget, my friends, and we eat more ground beef than anyone else I know.  But, hey, I like ground beef.  It's easy on the braces.

I discovered this awesome secret when making the squash fries last night.  I was so totally excited to try it out.  You know how squash and sweet potato fries tend to scorch a bit when you've cooking them on a baking sheet in the oven?  I went out and bought a wire cooling rack, like the kind you use to cool cookies, that fit perfectly into the baking sheet.  I baked the fries on that cooling rack set ontop of the baking sheet.  Did not turn them once.  Check out how sexy they cooked up!  Man, were they ever delicious.  I know, I know, I'm a superhero for telling you all this.  But squash fries are my favorite food right now.  You may see them alot in the near future.  I'll try to avoid posting pics of myself eating them dipped in home made mayo and hot sauce.  I said I'll try.  Not sayin' I'll succeed.

Ok, onto the recipe.


1 whole butter nut squash
olive oil for coating

Sloppy Joes:
1 1/2 lbs ground beef
1/2 onion, finely chopped
5-oz can tomato paste
1/2 can water
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp chipotle powder
1 tsp worchestershire sauce
1 tsp mustard powder
1/8 tsp ground cloves
3 tsp apple cider vinegar
3 tsp honey


Alright, heat your oven to 400 degrees.  Peel and slice your squash into medium-sized fry shapes.  Toss them in a large bowl with a bit of olive oil to soat.  Lay the fries out on a cooling rach placed over a baking sheet so they are not touching.  Salt the fries.  Bake in the middle of the oven for 45 minutes.  Don't even bother turning them.  Set them and forget them.

Now, get out a big frypan and heat it to med-high.  Brown up your beef and onions, breaking it up with a spatula, until it's no longer pink.  While this is cooking, mix all your other ingredients together in a small bowl.  When the meat is cooked through, reduce heat to low, add your sauce and stir it in to coat everything, then cover it and let it simmer until the fries are done.

Serve your meat over top of the fries.  Garnish with avocado (or cheese is you're a rebel).  This food is best eaten in front of a tv, for authentic "teen comfort food" if you're going for the whole experience.

And if you're the parent, and not the teen, and you've worked really hard in the yard all day long, the recommended wine pairing is beer (but only if you've really earned it).  This isn't sophisticated enough for wine.  I got my pool opened today, but I didn't own any beer.  Dang.  Well, dinner was delicious.  I added some hot sauce and I barely chewed mine.  It was that good.


  1. thanks for this! can't wait to try this version. I loved the idea of serving it over butternut squash fries.

  2. I may borrow this idea :D Most recipes for primal sloppy joes seem to want you to serve it on lettuce, but that would make the lettuce wilt and that's just gross. Butternut squash fries, on the other hand, are the food of the gods. SO GOOD.

  3. this was amazing! great recipe so quick, so easy, so delicious. totally satisfied. thank you!