Hot Outta The Oven: Sloppy Joes On A Recessionista’s Budget

Hot foodie Teri Tsang Barrett knows her way around a kitchen—a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education, she works as a Food Editor at Everyday With Rachael Ray in constant search of the perfect thin crust pizza. Here she unveils her favorite frisky recipes—good food that every ravenous gal can make in a pinch. Got a rumble in your belly for something you want her to cook up a recipe for? Email us at [email protected].

In preparation for the financial apocalypse, I was challenged by Amelia to come up with five recipes for Frisky readers eatin’ on the cheap. Check out the full grocery list for all the recipes here. I tried to stick with an “under $10” budget* for each recipe, so set aside $50 and let me know if I was wrong. After the jump, the fifth and final recipe I’ve concocted…
There’s nothing like a big vat of stewed economy ground beef to make me feel like I’m living in a recession. Luckily, Sloppy Joes and their carb-less brethren chili are two of my favorite foods. In a pinch, particularly when I’m hungover, you cook up some ground beef, season it and voila! A dish with the same healing effect as a dose of Advil. Here’s my favorite dish for when I’m hurting—whether it be financially or due to a late night.

Sloppy Joes with Capers and Olives
Serves 4

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
½ onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon capers with their juice
¾ pound ground beef
One 15-ounce can fire-roasted crushed tomatoes
½ cup olives, preferably kalamata, roughly chopped
Zest and juice of ½ lemon
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
4 hamburger buns or potato rolls, split and toasted

In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions, season with salt and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the capers and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the beef, season with salt and cook, breaking it up, until just no longer pink, about 7 minutes. Stir in the crushed tomatoes, season with salt, lower the heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Uncover and simmer until thickened about 10 minutes more. Stir in the olives, lemon zest and peel and the parsley. Top each bun bottom with ¼ of the mixture and set the bun tops into place.

*based on amounts used – this may sound like it’s cheating, but I swear I used up leftovers in the following four recipes, so consider this your budget weekly meal plan. You’re welcome.


  • Grocery List For Five Recession Friendly Meals
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  • Cumin Roasted Cauliflower Pasta
  • Tortilla Espanola