Thursday, October 21, 2010

"Greek Style" Sloppy Joes

Our first foray into the new cookbook met with less than stellar results. However, we have cracked it open a time or two since then with relatively tasty success and even hit a couple of home runs with it. This recipe is one of our new favorites. It's a little strange to think of sloppy joes without buns, but the whole wheat orzo is a great substitute and the feta flavor really compliments the spices. I just have one cautionary note. Even though this is one of those rare dishes that tasted even better the next day when I heated the leftovers for lunch, I do not recommend trying to eat it while driving (as I was forced to do since my lunch hours are basically non-existent lately). Which, I know, should be obvious since the word Sloppy is in the title. Big. Old. Mess.

five oz. (about 3/4 cup) whole wheat orzo
two cups low sodium beef broth
one Tbs. olive oil
one large, sweet onion, finely chopped
three cloves garlic, finely chopped
one red bell pepper, finely chopped
one lb. ground sirloin
one tsp. ground cinnamon
one tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
one can chopped tomatoes
three Tbs. tomato paste
1/4 cup water
three scallions, thinly sliced
crumbled reduced fat feta cheese

Bring broth to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add orzo and cook according to package directions. You can use lightly salted water instead of the broth, but I like the added hit of flavor.

While pasta is cooking, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions, garlic, bell pepper and sauté until onion is soft and translucent (about five minutes). Add sirloin, sprinkle with spices and cook, using a metal spoon to break the meat up, until only a little pink remains (about three minutes). Add the canned tomatoes with juice, tomato paste, and water, lower heat to medium and simmer about ten minutes or until sauce is thick and flavorful.

Strain broth from orzo and divide evenly into four bowls, spoon meat-sauce over the orzo, then top with scallion and as much feta as you desire. Sit down at a table, tuck a napkin in your lap, and enjoy!

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