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Sloppy Giovanni’s (Italian Sloppy Joe’s)
Do you see those beautiful ciabatta buns in the photos? If you can believe it or not, they’re gluten-free! One of the saddest things for me about gluten-free has been missing out on delicious artisan breads. I saw these at a local gluten-free grocery store and had heard good things about the Schaer brand so I decided to splurge and spend $7 on a package of 4 buns for this Sloppy Joe twist.
They did not disappoint. I highly, highly recommend these babies! They were crisp on the outside and chewy on the inside; just like real ciabatta. I’m still swooning over these.
This story ends in sadness though. These come par-baked (meaning they are mostly baked but you still need to finish them off in the oven just before serving). I baked up two of them for these Sloppy Giovannis (or Italian Joes… what do you think is a better name?) and left the other two on the counter to enjoy another day. Unfortunately, a few more days than I was anticipating went by before I used them and they went mouldy. So in the end I paid $3.50 for each bun that I ate! That’s more expensive than substituting for gluten-free in a restaurant!
But let’s talk about this meat sauce, chili….thing. What category would you put Sloppy Joe’s in? Regardless, these sloppies are absolutely heavenly. They’re an Italian twist on the classic Sloppy Joe. I love classic food and all but what I love even more is putting a different spin on them. I had made a recipe for Sloppy Giovannis from a cookbook years ago and remember loving it but could no longer remember where I got it from. So I made my own version.
If you’re observant you’ll notice that the photos show chickpeas in the sauce. While they weren’t completely horrible the chickpeas were not the best match for this dish. The size of them threw off the texture. I re-made this dish using navy beans (pinto beans) and it was a match made in heaven! So if all you have on hand are chickpeas, they’ll do but the recipe won’t be top-notch.
Why It’s A Smart Choice
I threw in some frozen spinach to healthboost this recipe. I love adding spinach to sauces, fillings, and curries. You barely notice it but the spinach adds key nutrients such as folate, Vitamin A, and iron. The Vitamin C in the red pepper helps the body to absorb the iron from the spinach and the meat. Cook this in a cast iron pot and you’ll pump up the iron content even more! This trick works especially well for acidic foods such as tomato-based sauces.
If you give this recipe a go, let me know! Leave a comment, rate it, or snap a photo and tag it with #smartnutritionrecipes on Instagram! I’d love to see your creations! Knowing someone has enjoyed one of my recipes always makes my day brighter.
- 1 lb ground turkey chicken, or beef
- 1 link italian sausage sliced
- 1 large onion chopped
- 2 stalks celery chopped
- 8 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp basil
- ½ tsp fennel seeds
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp chili flakes
- 150 g frozen chopped spinach defrosted
- 1 can navy or lima beans drained and rinsed (or 1 ½ cups cooked)
- 1 can 398 ml or 14 oz tomato sauce
- 1 red pepper diced
- Ciabatta buns for serving
- Red onion slices for serving
- In a large skillet or pot, brown the ground meat, italian sausage, onion, and celery.
- Once the meat is fully cooked, add in the garlic, oregano, basil, fennel seeds, salt, and chili flakes.
- Saute one minute.
- Then add the spinach, beans, and tomato sauce. Cook until heated through.
- Throw in the red pepper and stir to combine.
- Serve over ciabatta buns and top with red onion slices.
Calories: 191.5 | Fat: 7g | Carbs: 16g | Fibre: 4g | Sugar: 5g | Protein: 16.5g
(nutrition information doesn’t include the bun)
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