Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Low Carb Tex-Mex Sloppy Joes To The Rescue!

Hiho Silver! Away!

Low Carb Tex-Mex Sloppy Joe with a side of Bing cherries!
I know, YOU know, I know… that everyone and their brother, most especially God and his Son are aware that I am slightly obsessed and geeked out about food, nutrition, how nutrition relates to health and wellness and cancer prevention.

Everyone under the sun also knows that I’m, oh let’s just be kind and say “fixated” on having my proverbial cake and eatin’ it too! I want healthy food that tastes awesome! I want comfort food to conform to my specific low carb diet. I want agents of rescue. I want the Lone Ranger of Low Carb to ride up on Trigger and sweep me away to a land of Texas splendor…

In case you just arrived at the scene of the crash, what the captain is really sayin’ here (or what I really mean) is that I want to continue to get a pleasure fix from food, have that endorphin rush from what I put in my “mouf”, while simultaneously eating food as if it
Tex-Mex Sloppy Joe is pure Comfort food with
a Capital C!! It won't even cross your mind that it's
low carb.
was a prescription for life – or at least a prescription for my individual life, losing weight, and living happily ever after.

High drama! Big dilemmas. Somewhere around here, I’m sure there’s a fluffy chix tied to a railroad track, screaming in hysteria, while marauding Indians approach. Sounds like something out of a mythical Western from Saturday mornings of bygone days, doesn’t it?

Um yeah.

Bit of a paradox there or as our British friends might say, “Bit of a sticky wicket, mate.”


Cuz I don’t know if you know this yet, and although food nerds the world round will try to extoll the virtues and taste bonanza inherent in eating a bite of perfectly raw, unadulterated, organically grown, slow food, baby arugula – I’m here to ring the bull*hit bell for ya!

Low Carb Steak and Blue Cheese Sandwich with
Horseradish Sauce. Um, yum.
Oh don’t get me wrong. I love arugula. I love organic baby arugula. It’s just that I ESPECIALLY love baby organic arugula when it sits dressed in heavenly blue cheese dressing on top of a mouth-watering sandwich made with a fresh artisan roll, gobs of rare roast beef, a generous slice of provolone cheese, with a side of horseradish sauce! But that doesn’t exactly sound like I will be losing weight while eating that arugula my way, does it?

It’s probably why I’m only sitting at 89lbs lost today, with more than 65lbs left to lose before I can call goal. Hellooooooooo! This has been a scenic tour. Kinda like Gilligan’s Weight Loss Island. The tour was only sposed to last 3 hours and it ended up lasting quite a few years!

Creativity can outshoot cravings in the Wild West of Diet Town.
See, I think the adventure is in the journey. I’m sure I will really dig the destination, but the tour has been fun. Part of the fun has been reinventing Fluffy Chix Comfort Food Classics into real life, nutritious, mostly Franken Food Free, mostly pre-packaged product free, low carb and sorta kinda Paleo dishes that continue to nurture, but still excite. The Lone Ranger visits and even Trigger approves the changes!

Wow! What a mouthful and what lofty goals!

You see, I know me. Every inch of my warped little mind. I’m a great starter and a terrible finisher.

“Hello Father Time? Can I have my 12 years back, please? No? Well hayullll!” It’s how that scenario always plays out!

Admit it! You're now jonesing for a Low Carb
Tex-Mex Sloppy Joe sammich aincha?
So I figure I better make the most of that time while I’m here…reinventing is part of that fun. Turns out, living the low carb lifestyle still allows me to eat that delicious roast beef, provolone, arugula and blue cheese sandwich! How? Well, cuz I’ve got my Revolutionary Rolls to use as the bread! Problem solved!

But not only that! Wait! There’s more! Growing up, we all looked forward to Sloppy Joe night! We didn’t get it too often, cuz I’m pretty sure Dad didn’t care for it too much. But dang. I sure did!

I didn’t care if the sloppy joes were made from “scratch” or came out of a Manwich can. I dug every square inch of them and often rushed to gobble up two sandwiches (greedy little Susie)! Whoooooo doggggggeyyyy! My excito-meter would go off the scale! (Think Spinal Tap here, “Our amps go up to 11,” excitement.)

It wasn’t until I hit my 20’s and was livin’ on my own and balancing budgets that I realized I could make my own sloppy joes on the cheap. I got creative with them. Italian? Sure, why not! German? Of course. Tex-Mex? Youbetcha! It’s so easy. So cheap. So comforting. Sooooo, just sooo FABULOUS! I’ve almost convinced myself I need to scrap the current dinner menu in favor of Tex-Mex Sloppy Joes. But nah, I have some veggies screamin’ to be free in the ice box. Better stick with the Veggie Hash Chile Rellenos for tonight!

Make tonight Sloppy Joe night in your house. I betcha everyone in your house will think you’re the Lone Ranger sent to rescue dinner from the depths of Duldrum Gulch! Hiho Silver, away!!

Tex-Mex Sloppy Joe
Serving Size: 4 servings  Serving Size: 1 Sloppy Joe Sandwich with Cheddar Cheese

Preparation Time : 15 Minutes
Cooking Time: 15 Minutes
Difficulty: So easy Trigger could make it. (If Trigger had thumbs...)

Quick, easy and low carb too. This sloppy joe mixture makes a terrific week night dinner when everyone is on the go. Oh and did I fail to mention it’s a healthy alternative to unhealthy stuff?

Low Carb Tex-Mex Sloppy Joes fill the comfort food void.
For Sloppy Joe Mixture
¼ teaspoon  coriander seeds, ground
1 pound  ground chuck
4 ounces  onion, chopped
1 whole  fresh jalapeno pepper, chopped
¼ cup  cilantro, coarsely chopped
4 ounces  cabbage, shredded (about 1-1/2 cups)
½ teaspoon  cumin powder
1 teaspoon  granulated garlic
1 teaspoon chile powder
½ teaspoon  kosher salt
½ teaspoon  black pepper, freshly ground
1 tablespoon  Worcestershire sauce
4 ounces  tomato, chopped (about 1 cup)

For Sloppy Joe Sandwiches
4 each  Basic Revolution Rolls, split (or hey, serve it on a bed of lettuce!)
4 ounces  cheddar cheese, shredded

Add coriander seeds to a dry skillet and heat over medium high until you start to smell the coriander seeds toasting. Remove from heat. Place coriander in coffee grinder and blend to make coriander powder.
Reserve ground coriander for the meat mixture.

(Note: Fluffy Chix toast coriander seeds in small batches then grind the seeds and save the ground coriander in empty old spice jars. By planning ahead, we always have a good supply of ground coriander available at a moment's notice. 1 teaspoon of seeds yields approximately 1/2 teaspoon of ground coriander.)

Crumble ground chuck into the same medium, non-stick sauté pan used to toast coriander seeds. Chop onion, jalapeno and cilantro, then add to meat along with shredded cabbage.

Add cumin, coriander powder.

Add granulated garlic powder and chile powder.

Saute until almost tender and add tomatoes in the last 5 minutes of cooking along with Worcestershire Sauce.

Add salt.

Don't forget the pepper.

Sauté meat until browned and veggies are tender. Cook until tomato softens (about 3-5 minutes).

Split Fluffy Chix Basic Revolution Rolls and add about 1 ounce of shredded cheddar to each roll.

Lightly tent rolls with foil to keep them from browning and to allow the rolls to steam. Heat cheese rolls in a 350° oven until cheese melts and rolls soften. You may also heat them in a microwave on high power for 20-30 seconds. You want a soft, "steamed" type of bun for the sloppy joes.

Top half of bun with 1/4 of the sloppy joe mixture called for in the recipe (about heaping 1/2 cup per serving).

Cover sloppy joe mixture with the other half of the bun and enjoy!

Nutrition Per Serving (1 Bun with 1 ounce Cheddar and ½ cup of Tex-Mex Sloppy Joe):
548 Calories; 39g Fat (64.4% calories from fat); 39g Protein; 10g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber; 269mg Cholesterol; 737mg Sodium.

Exchanges: 0 Grain(Starch); 5 Lean Meat; 1 Vegetable; 4 1/2 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates.

Tex-Mex Sloppy Joes are a quick and easy weeknight meal. They're hearty and comforting, maybe even more than a hamburger. You don't feel deprived when eating one of these babies!

And cheap? Shoot! They're so cheap you can feed a house full for about a buck per sandwich! Doncha think that deserves a four fork rating?

Low Carb Tex-Mex Sloppy Joes go well with so many
different side dishes! Get creative! My bets are you will
be the Lone Ranger and rescue your tummy from
dastardly food cravings!
Full Recipe: $4.08
Single Serving: $1.02

(I scored big - ground chuck was on sale for $1.77/lb and tomatoes were on sale $0.79/lb)

If you want to "lighten" this recipe, substitute a leaner cut of meat for the ground chuck. 90/10 ground sirloin, ground skinless turkey breast and chicken breast, buffalo, lamb, venison and elk, even ground alligator all make lean meat choices if you need to reduce your calories or watch your fat grams.

You can also drain and rinse the meat before adding spices, but Fluffy Chix think that rinses away so much of the flavor along with valuable vitamins and minerals. We'd rather use a leaner cut of meat.

Serving Ideas:
Serve Tex-Mex Sloppy Joes on a Basic Revolution Roll steamed to melt cheddar or pepper jack cheese.

Roasted veggies such as Brussel Sprouts, Ugly Green Beans, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Oven Fried Onion Rings - so many comfort food sides go great with Tex-Mex Sloppy Joes.

You can even serve them with a simple side salad of marinated tomatoes, red onions and red bell pepper in Fluffy Chix House Vinaigrette.

Even simpler, serve Tex-Mex Sloppy Joes with a small side of berries or baby carrots. (Yes, baby carrots make a good addition to a low carb diet. They may have a higher glycemic value, but they have a very high glycemic load. You have to eat a LOT of them to get them to affect your blood sugar.)



  1. Oh man, not going to lie--I bookmarked this page because I think I'm going to make those sloppy joes tonight for dinner. They look amazing (though I'll probably opt to go bunless, lol) However, as I was reading through your entry, I couldn't help but notice you said

    "In case you just arrived at the scene of the crash, what the captain is really sayin’ here (or what I really mean) is that I want to continue to get a pleasure fix from food, have that endorphin rush from what I put in my 'mouf.'"

    There's nothing wrong with enjoying food, but if you're looking to lose the extra fluff, you'll have to address this relationship with food. People eat for a variety of reasons beyond just "being hungry": looking for comfort after a stressful day, seeking variety in a boring life or wanting to bond with others through food. However, when these factors take over, we get to a point of frustration: we know what we need to do to lose weight, but don't seem to be able to actually DO IT. Take a look at the video in my link; it explains these different human needs and what we can do to tackle them long-term.

    1. Hey Courtney! Very good comments and insight! And I'm not gonna lie to you either. I took out a pound of ground beef to make these Tex-Mex Sloppy Joes for our supper again tonight! :) ;) Yes, they are THAT good!

      I don't know if you are new to FCC or not, but some background info for you. As of today, I've succesfully lost 89lbs. I have 65lbs left to get to where the Wizard of Oncology wants me to be in order to have a fighting chance at remaining Stage IIIC breast cancer free. (And I also lost weight during cancer treatment - a time filled with oral and IV steroids as well as other drugs that tend to make people gain 10-20lbs during treatment.)

      I do think that eating for the "wrong" reasons or inappropriately comes with consequences. I have to do some pretty tough gyrations to get this drug-filled, post-menopausal, almost 50 year old body to lose weight. Take a look over at my menu blog and you will see that I'm not eating a lot. And if I do eat a lot. I gain. Trust me I know my body like the well, my body! :)

      So I no longer "stuff" food to help me through emotional storms. I use CBT to help me with that kind of behavior. It really is a useful tool!

      But I do think that people are all wired differently. The quickest way to get me to fall off the wagon and binge would be to tell me I must start treating food as a prescription and something that I must eat within a very narrow window and relationship.

      At this point in my life, I have so many stressors - mostly physical and psychic due to fear of cancer recurrence, that I have no desire to remove the comfort out of my food. Especially if it's allowed me to lose 89lb so far and almost 50lbs of them during cancer treatment and recovery.

      Now, if I was gaining? Or if my blood sugar was nutso, or if I felt bad, or if my blood pressure was out of whack again, or even if the Wizard of Oncology issued an edict that I do so...I would immediately examine what needs to be changed in my diet.

      I think learning a "balance" and how to flexibly adapt a diet into a lifelong, let's call it a lifestyle is more important. I hope that's what I'm illustrating here. If I'm failing to do that and get that point across, I better go back to watching how I say things. I don't want to mislead anyone of give them the wrong impression!!

      Thanks so much for your thoughtful comments! Hope you like the recipe! (Oh by the way, my bun is perfectly Low Carb Induction Friendly by Atkins '72 & DANDR definitions! :)

  2. Well, this is another variation I've got to try out! You'd think I'd get tired of SJ's, but it's my #1 comfort food.
    This one is just pretty enough that that I can serve it to my non-low-carb (is that a word?) friends.

    Danke schoen, Kiddo!

    1. Bitte!

      I seriously heart you! MUAH!

      It's really pretty awesome. I have my buns ready and waiting! ;)


Hey guys! Comments keep us going! Leave your thoughts, please? XOXO!