Sloppy Joe baked potatoes

Sloppy Joe baked potatoes | Me & The Moose. This lightened up version of sloppy Joes uses turkey meat and the bare minimum of sweetener in the filling and forgoes a carby bun for a crispy, salt, malt-vinegary baked potato. #meandthemoose #dinner #sloppyjoes #sloppyjoerecipes #healthysloppyjoes #healthyrecipes #healthydinnerrecipes #healthydinner #bakedpotato #glutenfree #dairyfree #kidfriendlydinner #familyfriendlydinner

These baked potatoes are dressed up with healthier turkey sloppy Joe filling for a tasty, healthy, and easy version of this kid-friendly sandwich.

Take me to the recipe!

Sloppy Joe baked potatoes | Me & The Moose. This lightened up version of sloppy Joes uses turkey meat and the bare minimum of sweetener in the filling and forgoes a carby bun for a crispy, salt, malt-vinegary baked potato. #meandthemoose #dinner #sloppyjoes #sloppyjoerecipes #healthysloppyjoes #healthyrecipes #healthydinnerrecipes #healthydinner #bakedpotato #glutenfree #dairyfree #kidfriendlydinner #familyfriendlydinner
Sloppy Joe baked potatoes | Me & The Moose. This lightened up version of sloppy Joes uses turkey meat and the bare minimum of sweetener in the filling and forgoes a carby bun for a crispy, salt, malt-vinegary baked potato. #meandthemoose #dinner #sloppyjoes #sloppyjoerecipes #healthysloppyjoes #healthyrecipes #healthydinnerrecipes #healthydinner #bakedpotato #glutenfree #dairyfree #kidfriendlydinner #familyfriendlydinner

M used to love sloppy Joes. LOVE THEM. However, when offered these, he declined saying, “I didn’t order that.” SOMEONE GAVE HIM THE GIFT OF SASS FOR HIS FOURTH BIRTHDAY AND I AM NOT HERE FOR IT.

After calmly explaining that I am, in fact, not his waitress, he proceeded to eat a dinner of pickles, cheese, and guacamole, all of which were the toppings and “safe” options I’d put out with the sloppy Joes. You win some, you lose some.

I’ve explained before how we started serving one family meal and adding lots of “safe” options as alternatives for M so that he can self-direct at dinner. Sometimes that means an apple and almond butter on the table or lots of condiments like pickles, olives, and cheese. Guacamole is usually reliable. But sometimes that means he doesn’t eat a ton for dinner and I’m slowly learning to be okay with that.

So, sloppy Joes, while traditionally a very kid-friendly option, were for the grownups in our house. But I have hope for the future.

Sloppy Joe baked potatoes | Me & The Moose. This lightened up version of sloppy Joes uses turkey meat and the bare minimum of sweetener in the filling and forgoes a carby bun for a crispy, salt, malt-vinegary baked potato. #meandthemoose #dinner #sloppyjoes #sloppyjoerecipes #healthysloppyjoes #healthyrecipes #healthydinnerrecipes #healthydinner #bakedpotato #glutenfree #dairyfree #kidfriendlydinner #familyfriendlydinner

What tends to appeal about Sloppy Joes is their sweetness, but I find that when the filling gets too sweet (like, when a recipe calls for a cup of ketchup), it can become cloyingly sweet. Also, who needs to eat all of that sugar for dinner?

However, the signature sloppy Joe flavor gets lost when you omit sweetener entirely, so I’ve included the bare minimum of brown sugar (2 tsp!) in this recipe. You can also wait to add it until the very end to decide for yourself if you really need it!

Sloppy Joe baked potatoes

Yield: 3 cups or 23 oz
Time: between 60-75 minutes (35 minutes active time)

4 large Russet potatoes
2 Tbsp olive oil
Flaky sea salt


1 Tbsp olive oil
1 lb ground turkey
½ medium white onion, minced (about ¾ cup)
1 medium stalk celery, minced (about ¼ cup)
1 small carrot, peeled and minced (a scant ½ cup)
2 large cloves garlic, minced 
½ cup water, divided
6 oz tomato paste (one small can, about 10 Tbsp)
2 Tbsp yellow mustard
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp malt vinegar (or whatever vinegar you have on hand), plus more for the potatoes
2 tsp brown sugar (optional)
2 tsp flaky sea salt, divided

Optional garnishes: cheese, pickles, pickles jalapenos, guacamole, sour cream, yogurt, coleslaw


  1. Preheat the oven to 400.

  2. Scrub 4 potatoes thoroughly and prick all over with a fork or small paring knife. I usually do 10-12 stabs per potato.

  3. Brush the outside skin with a very thin coating of olive oil. You should have some of the 2 Tbsp left over. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt.

  4. Place the potatoes on a sheet pan and bake for 45 minutes to an hour, or until the skin is crisp and the potato is fork tender.

  5. While the potatoes cook, heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat for 1-2 minutes. Add the ground turkey and chop the meat into small pieces with the end of your spatula or spoon. Stir a few times and reduce the heat to medium low.

  6. Chop the onions and add to the pan, stirring a few times.

  7. Repeat with the celery, carrots, and garlic, letting each vegetable cook while you prep the next one.

  8. Cook and stir until the turkey is fully cooked and no pink remains. The whole process of cooking the turkey and veggies should take about 13-15 minutes.

  9. Turn the flame back up to medium and let the turkey and veggies brown slightly. When they begin sticking to the pan a bit (about 3-4 minutes), pour in ¼ cup of water and scrape the browned bits from the bottom of the pan.

  10. Add the tomato paste, mustard, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, 1 tsp salt, and brown sugar (if using), and mix well. If the mixture seems too dry, add the other ¼ cup of water. If you’ve added all of the water and it seems too wet, let the mixture bubble for a few minutes until your sauce has thickened.

  11. When the potatoes are done, carefully remove the pan from the oven and, using an oven mitt on one hand to steady the potato, cut it open with a sharp knife, being careful of the steam that escapes.

  12. Pour a few drops of malt vinegar and a large pinch of sea salt into each opened potato. Top with 1/2 -3/4 cup of the turkey mixture.

Sloppy Joe baked potatoes | Me & The Moose. This lightened up version of sloppy Joes uses turkey meat and the bare minimum of sweetener in the filling and forgoes a carby bun for a crispy, salt, malt-vinegary baked potato. #meandthemoose #dinner #sloppyjoes #sloppyjoerecipes #healthysloppyjoes #healthyrecipes #healthydinnerrecipes #healthydinner #bakedpotato #glutenfree #dairyfree #kidfriendlydinner #familyfriendlydinner

Sheet pan dinner: Sausage and purple cabbage

Sheet pan dinners are the easiest way to get dinner on (and off) the table. Purple cabbage, potatoes, and chicken or turkey sausage combine for a universally appealing dinner. #meandthemoose #sheetpandinner #purplecabbage #potatoes #sausage #Oktoberfest

Is there anything better than October? Everyone has settled into new routines, the weather is (generally) cooler, the leaf peeping and apple picking are in full swing, and it’s finally acceptable to buy enormous bags of candy and maintain the fiction that they’ll last until October 30th.

KIDDING! I would never pretend that that candy is making it to the end of the month.

Thick cuts of cabbage lead to crispy edges and softer interiors. #meandthemoose #sheetpandinner #purplecabbage #potatoes #sausage #Oktoberfest
Purple cabbage is magical. Look at that purple! #meandthemoose #sheetpandinner #purplecabbage #potatoes #sausage #Oktoberfest

But really, we are trying to maintain a modicum of healthy eating now that we’re super busy again with school and activities and the faster pace of non-summer months. That’s where sheet pan dinners like this one come in handy.

Dijonnaise is a simple combo of dijon mustard, mayonnaise, and magic. #meandthemoose #sheetpandinner #purplecabbage #potatoes #sausage #Oktoberfest
Sheet pan dinners are the best and easiest way to get dinner on the table and cleanup done quickly. #meandthemoose #sheetpandinner #purplecabbage #sausage #potatoes #Oktoberfest

The combination of sausage, cabbage, and potatoes with a mustard-y sauce feels very Oktoberfest, which is obviously on-brand for this month.

Also, I haven’t yet found a vegetable that wasn’t made more delicious by roasting and purple cabbage and potatoes may be among my favorites. Find the smallest potatoes you can, or halve anything larger then a golf ball.

Roasting at high heat with plenty of olive oil and salt leads to a delicious, quick dinner. #meandthemoose #sheetpandinner #purplecabbage #potatoes #sausage #Oktoberfest

If you leave off any bread on the side and check your labels for the sausage, this dish is also gluten-free, dairy-free, and Whole 30 compliant.

A quick note about the sausage here: We always pre-cooked sausage. The timing gets tricky when starting with raw sausage and the chicken/turkey varieties are usually pre-cooked anyway.

SPD: German red cabbage, potatoes, and sausage

1/2 small head red cabbage, ¾ inch thick slices
1 lb small potatoes
1-2 Tbsp olive oil
salt to taste
1 lb pre-cooked turkey or chicken sausage (we use Wellshire Farms turkey kielbasa)

Dijonnaise

2 Tbsp mayonnaise
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard

 

Heat oven to 425.

Thickly slice the cabbage into ¾ inch thick steaks. Spread out on your baking sheet along with the small potatoes. Brush or spray with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt. Cook for 20 minutes or until the cabbage starts to singe in the sides.

Remove the sheet pan from the oven and tuck the sausage in with the potatoes and cabbage. I have cooked the sausage from frozen and when already defrosted, and it takes about the same amount of time.

If desired, smash the potatoes slightly with the bottom of a mug or measuring cup and spray or brush on more olive oil for a crispier, crunchier potato.

Return to the oven and cook for 10 more minutes or until the centers of the cabbage steaks are fork tender.

Yield: dinner for 3 adults or 2 adults and 2 children (with possibly some leftovers depending on how much your kids actually eat.)

Sheet pan dinners are the fastest, easiest way to get dinner on the table and clean up done quickly. #meandthemoose #sheetpandinner #purplecabbage #sausage #potatoes #Oktoberfest

Kitchen clambake

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What says summer more than a clambake? NOTHING! Well, maybe BBQ chicken, ice cream, popsicles, hamburgers, hotdogs, corndogs, corn, tomatoes, strawberries, blueberries, s'mores...you get the picture. But, clambakes are pretty darn summery. And did you know how easy they are? Super easy.

We've been using Martha Stewart's method for years and it's a pretty no-fail recipe as long as you cook things in the right order. However, Martha's recipe is HUGE and requires an extra large pot, which we don't have. Also, there are only three of us. So, I've scaled this one back and added some more tips to make sure you aren't overcooking any of the seafood.

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Also, this meal is so so quick to prepare and easy to clean up, leaving more time for all things summer.

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A couple of notes:
- Feel free to sub in water or stock instead if you want to avoid alcohol. But rest assured that the booze cooks out with the heat AND, the beer is only there for flavoring in the steam; You aren't actually eating it.
- Use the smallest potatoes you can find. If you have even golf ball sized potatoes, I would halve or quarter them to ensure that they cook enough.
- Clean the clams or mussels well. I like to put them all in a large pot of cool water a few hours before we cook them to let the shells open to release the sand.
- Swap in mussels for the clams or use a combination of both, but only use 1 lb. You can also use scallops, squid, or octopus in place of, or in combination with, the shrimp. I don't always love steaming those three because there's a thin margin of error for overcooking and turning them really tough, but if you like their flavor, go for it! But also use a total of 1 lb with those or a combination. 
- Don't skip the garlic butter for serving. This recipe is great without it, but the garlic butter takes it right over the top.
- For a dairy-free option, use clarified butter instead of regular butter. 

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Stovetop clambake

1 large onion
3 cloves garlic, smashed
1 cup beer
1 cup water
1 tsp sea salt
1 lb small potatoes (if slightly bigger, like the size of a golf ball, quarter the potatoes before cooking) 
8 oz sausage, cut into chunks (whatever your favorites are: I like chorizo or andouille. Just make sure it’s in a casing)
2 lobster tales (about 8-10 oz total)
1 lb clams or mussels (or a combination)
2-3 ears of corn cut in half or thirds
1 lb shrimp, in or out of the shell

4 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 large garlic clove, minced
Fresh parsley (optional; I left it out because I generally dislike parsley)
1 large lemon
Old bay seasoning

Chop the onions and smash the garlic. Add to a large pot with beer, water, and salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium. (You still want some vigorous bubbling, but you don’t want too much of the liquid to evaporate.) Cover with a steamer basket (or, as we did, a small pizza sheet because we couldn't find the steamer basket. Whoops.)

Add the potatoes, sausage, and lobster tails to the steamer. Cook for 5-6 minutes until the shells start to turn orangey red.

Add the clams (or other hard-shelled seafood like mussels) and the corn. Steam for another 6-8 minutes until the shells open. Discard any shells that remain closed.

Add the shrimp (or other soft shelled or de-shelled seafood) and cook for about 4 more minutes until the shrimp is pink all over.  

While making the seafood, melt the butter in a ramekin and add the chopped garlic and parsley (if using). Stir to combine and set aside.

Dump out the seafood, veggies, and sausage onto a large, parchment-covered sheet pan. Sprinkle with old bay seasoning to taste. Serve with lemon wedges, extra old bay, and garlic butter.

Yield: A lot. This recipe comfortably feeds 2 adults and 2 kids, likely with leftovers.

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Sheet pan dinner: Chicken, potatoes, poblanos, and scallions

Sheet pan dinner: chicken thighs with poblano peppers, potatoes, and scallions.

Guys, this is one of the fastest, easiest dinners you can make. As long as the chicken is defrosted (always dicey in our house as I am notorious for leaving things in the freezer), this can be on your table about 30 minutes. Ready...go! 

Fresh poblano peppers and scallions mellow considerably when roasted.

I love a sheet pan dinner for so many reasons. It's fast. The cleanup is easy. Roasting is a simple way to add flavor and texture by using heat to crisp and caramelize everything. And obviously, wrapping things in a tortilla and serving it in a taco truck like this one is a surefire way to get my toddler to eat anything.

AND, this sheet pan is customizable for any dietary need. Want gluten-free? Choose corn or gluten free tortillas. Doing a Whole 30 or following a Paleo diet? Forget the cheese and tortillas altogether or eat this as a hearty salad over greens with avocado and an olive oil and lime dressing. Vegetarian or vegan? Swap in tofu for the chicken or increase the veggies and put the spices directly onto the potatoes. See? Something for everyone.

This Tex-Mex rub is cumin, oregano, chili powder, coriander, garlic powder and salt.

A couple of notes:

  • I've listed two tablespoons of oil in the ingredients, but use the second tablespoon sparingly. The fat that renders from the chicken when cooking is usually enough for the potatoes and other veggies. I spray the parchment with olive oil before adding the potatoes to prevent sticking and then let the chicken fat do the rest of the work.

  • The poblano peppers and chili powder that I've used in this recipe are really mild and fine for my almost-3-year-old. If you're concerned about spiciness, feel free to sub a can or two of roasted poblano peppers that are marked "mild" and don't cook them; just stir them into the hot veggies and chicken at the end. Also, taste your chili powder before using it to gauge its heat. If it feels too hot for your kiddos, swap in an equal amount of paprika or skip it altogether.

Ingredients list: chicken thighs, scallions, poblano peppers, and potatoes. Add olive oil and a Tex-Mex spice mix for a sheet pan dinner that will please the entire family.

Sheet pan chicken with potatoes, poblanos, and scallions

2 lb skinless boneless chicken thighs
2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
1 tsp cumin
½ tsp Mexican oregano (or regular oregano)
½ tsp mild chili powder
½ tsp coriander
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp kosher salt
1 lb Yukon potatoes
2 large poblano peppers
1 bunch scallions

Preheat the oven to 425. Cover a large sheet pan with parchment paper or tin foil and set aside.

In a large plastic bag, combine the chicken, 1 Tbsp of olive oil, and the dry spices. Close the bag tightly and shake and squish around to combine and distribute. I like to mix the spices together in a small jar to avoid any pockets of one flavor, but that’s not strictly necessary. Set aside.

Chop your potatoes into medium-small cubes. Mine are about 1 inch long and ½ an inch wide, but every potato is shaped differently. You want your cubes to be small enough that they’ll roast quickly, but large enough that they won’t turn to mush.

Lightly oil the parchment and then spread the potatoes in a single layer on the parchment-covered pan (see note above). Sprinkle the potatoes VERY lightly with salt. (There's a fair amount of salt and spice on the chicken that will transfer to the veggies during cooking, so don't go overboard.) Remove the chicken from the bag and place the pieces on top of the potatoes.

Roast for 12 minutes.

While the chicken and potatoes are cooking, slice the poblanos into thin sticks. Trim the hairy bottoms and any yucky bits from the scallions. Set aside.

After 12 minutes, remove the pan from the oven and scatter the scallions and peppers evenly over the pan. Using tongs, carefully fish out the chicken pieces and place them on top of the scallions and peppers. Put the whole shebang back into the oven and cook for 5 more minutes until a thermometer in the thickest part of the chicken reads at least 165.

Remove the chicken with tongs and set aside. Continue to cook the vegetables for 5 more minutes or as needed to reach your desired doneness. We're usually set after 5 minutes.

See serving suggestions above, but however you eat this roasted goodness, first SPRINKLE ALL OF IT WITH LIME JUICE!

Yield: 4 servings

This sheet pan dinner is delicious served in a taco or on its own. Use corn tacos for a gluten-free meal either way.
Serve this sheet pan dinner as a salad or rice bowl for another healthy dinner option that can suit anyone at your table.

Spanish frittata

Spanish frittata | Me & The Moose. This Whole 30-compliant frittata is another fast and easy Whole 30 recipe that is on the table in minutes, requires only a few ingredients, and is interesting and delicious for the entire family. #meandthemoose #whole30 #whole30recipes #frittata #easydinner #quickdinner #dinnerrecipes #fritattarecipes

Man, oh man did I want to quit Whole 30 this weekend. It snowed in New York and I desperately wanted hot chocolate, grilled cheese with tomato soup, and red wine. They were more than cravings: They felt like yearnings. For the first time, I felt like I was missing out on something by restricting my diet. I hemmed and hawed because one of the primary reasons to do this program is to determine if you have any food sensitivities and I'm pretty sure that I don't. So, I spent some time thinking about why else I'm doing it and I thought I'd share some of them. But please keep in mind that these are the reasons this works FOR ME, not a prescription for anyone else.


I know what's in my food. For real: Cooking all of our meals for 30 days is a huge time and energy commitment, but the payoff is immense. I'm reminded that I can throw together something delicious on even the roughest day and that takeout doesn't have to be our default. Which also means, I decide how much and what type of salt and fat we eat, what processes by which our fruits and vegetables are grown, and how humanely our meat is raised.

I get to be the food boss: Eating this way removes some of food's power. Though I really wanted some of my wintry favorites this weekend, red wine isn't exactly oxygen. I won't die if I don't have any. These short-term "rules" make it easier to resist those cravings (yearnings?) and realize that I'm the boss, not the food. That's not to say that I never have any control over what I eat, quite the contrary. But I have less control than I'd like and this short reset gets me back on track. 

I feel damn good: This is my third go-round with Whole 30 and I can honestly say that I feel terrific once I get a few days under my belt. Yes, the first week or so is tough because I feel tired and cranky. But after a short while, my skin looks better, I have more energy, and I'm sleeping better. For some people, this happens while eating dairy, legumes, and grains. Unfortunately, I'm not always one of those people.

We still get to eat REALLY good food: Bread and cheese aren't the ONLY delicious foods in the universe. This next recipe is all the proof I need.

 

Spanish frittata | Me & The Moose. This Whole 30-compliant frittata is another fast and easy Whole 30 recipe that is on the table in minutes, requires only a few ingredients, and is interesting and delicious for the entire family. #meandthemoose #whole30 #whole30recipes #frittata #easydinner #quickdinner #dinnerrecipes #fritattarecipes

I based this recipe on Mario Batali's Tortilla Espanola from Food & Wine. After doing a lot of research on tradition recipes for this dish, I realized that they all required frying the potatoes in several cups of oil and then flipping the entire egg and vegetable structure over and over using a large plate and a cast iron pan while cooking. What?!?! Do Spanish people do this with toddlers underfoot? If so, I salute you, Spanish parents. I wasn't game to take this on, but MB's recipe uses much less oil and forgoes the flipping, proving that it can be done! I cooked this like a frittata, letting the eggs set on the side and then cooking the rest in the oven because, laziness.

Spanish frittata | Me & The Moose. This Whole 30-compliant frittata is another fast and easy Whole 30 recipe that is on the table in minutes, requires only a few ingredients, and is interesting and delicious for the entire family. #meandthemoose #whole30 #whole30recipes #frittata #easydinner #quickdinner #dinnerrecipes #fritattarecipes

Spanish frittata

1 lb potatoes, sliced into 1/8 inch thick pieces or thinner
1 large fennel bulb (about 8 oz), sliced thinly
6 scallions, chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
2 small links chorizo (4 oz), sliced
8 eggs
S/P

Preheat oven to 350. Heat your oil in a 10-inch cast iron or other oven-safe skillet over medium heat. Add the sliced potatoes and fennel and season generously with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often to prevent browning, until the potatoes are fork tender. Cooking time with vary depending on the thickness of your potatoes, but plan for anywhere from 10-20 minutes.

While the veggies are cooking, crack your eggs into a large bowl (pausing to stir the potatoes and fennel) and whisk to combine the whites and yolks. Don’t overwhisk! These don’t need to be frothy, just combined.

When your veggies are cooked, add the scallions and cook for one minute more. Turn off the heat and let the veggies cool slightly while you slice and add the chorizo to the whisked eggs. Add the cooked veggies and stir to combine. Reheat your pan over a medium flame and dump the egg, meat, and vegetable mess back into the pan. Cook on the stovetop until the sides begin to set, about 7-10 minutes. Put into the oven to cook through, about 10-15 minutes. Check the middle with a skewer, chop stick, or popsicle stick to test for doneness.

Serve immediately or let sit out for up to three hours. This is also delicious cold!

Yield: 8-10 servings.

Spanish frittata | Me & The Moose. This Whole 30-compliant frittata is another fast and easy Whole 30 recipe that is on the table in minutes, requires only a few ingredients, and is interesting and delicious for the entire family. #meandthemoose #whole30 #whole30recipes #frittata #easydinner #quickdinner #dinnerrecipes #fritattarecipes
Spanish frittata | Me & The Moose. This Whole 30-compliant frittata is another fast and easy Whole 30 recipe that is on the table in minutes, requires only a few ingredients, and is interesting and delicious for the entire family. #meandthemoose #whole30 #whole30recipes #frittata #easydinner #quickdinner #dinnerrecipes #fritattarecipes