Whelp, it was only a matter of time, but that time finally came. My counterpoints that food costs had risen and ¨I’m a food blogger, what do you expect¨ were to no avail. Nope, my husband Joe laid down the law – the grocery bill was too high and I needed to bring it down. So, like any food blogger would do, I turned the directive into a new series …Welcome to Cheap Meal of the Week!
It seemed totally appropriate that the first dish of this series be Sloppy JOE pasta (get it? HA!). But talk about a blessing in disguise, cuz this stuff is good. So good. And easy and cheap and it reheats very well …add a salad it makes for a healthy dinner even. And so yummy even our cat Spiderman checked it out…
So, challenge answered. For less than $7.00 I fed my family. ..and I fed them well 🙂
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 green bell pepper, diced
- 2 T brown sugar
- 3 t yellow mustard
- 3/4 c ketchup
- 2 T Worcestershire
- 1 t kosher salt
- 1/2 t garlic powder
- 1/2 t onion powder
- 1 can petite diced tomatoes, drained (optional)
- 1/2 lb rotini pasta (or whatever shape you have on hand)
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
- Meanwhile, heat a large skillet on high heat. Add the ground beef and cook until no longer pink. Drain off any fat. Add the bell pepper and saute 1 minute to soften. Reduce heat to medium-low, and add the brown sugar, mustard, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, salt, garlic powder, and onion powder. Stir well to combine. (Note: you can stop here and pile this on hamburger buns for delicious, traditional Sloppy Joes!)
- Add the tomatoes and gently stir them in. Simmer gently to blend flavors while you cook the pasta.
- Add a palmful of kosher salt to the boiling water and cook the pasta to al dente according to package directions. Drain and toss into the Sloppy Joe mixture. Yield: 4 servings.
I paid $6.99 for what I needed: $1.19 for the pasta, $0.89 for the can of tomatoes, $0.64 for the bell pepper, and $4.27 for the ground beef (which was on sale). All of the other ingredients were pantry stuff I had on hand. See this article about My Pantry to learn more about what I keep stocked!