Sloppy Joe Sweet Potato Sliders

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I borrowed the Nikon D80 from my office last weekend, and I have no idea how to even use the thing and I am already obsessed.  Just tell me, TELL ME, how I am supposed to go back to iPhone pics?

If we're being 100% honest, this recipe started out as an attempt to make a Whole30 barbecue sauce that I would actually like!  After a failed attempt last summer that involved pureed peaches, I decided to give it another shot... But when it came down to the taste test, the hubs ruled that it just didn't taste like a BBQ sauce.  Don't get me wrong, I still think it would be delicious on some grilled chicken or pork -- BUT as it turns out, this sauce was destined for greater things.  Sloppier things.

The stars aligned when my grocery store had buy one get one FREE ground turkey (say whatt?!), and I found some beautiful, fat, cylindrical, sweet potatoes that would just make perfect slider "buns."

You know what they say... when life hands you some "eh" bbq sauce, make some sloppy joe sliders! Or something like that.

Check out the recipe below!  They are a little spicy, a little sweet, and I made 'em exxxtraaaa sloppy for ya!  The ingredients list is a bit long, with lots of spices and splashes of this and that to give it a great depth of flavor, but if you don't have something super specific, it should still turn out fine!  You can also adjust the amount of heat (more or less cayenne) to your tastes!


Sloppy Joe Sweet Potato Sliders

[Whole30 - Paleo - Gluten Free - Grain Free - Dairy Free]

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Ingredients:

1 red bell pepper

1 green bell pepper

1 red onion

2 lbs ground turkey

1.5 - 2 cups Sloppy Joe Sauce (ingredients below)

good handful of fresh cilantro

3 large (and fat) sweet potatoes (or zoodles, or baked potatoes)

Sloppy Joe Sauce (makes 2.5 - 3 cups):

2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 of a red onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
6-8 dried dates, diced
6oz can tomato paste
3/4 cup bone broth or stock of your choice
7oz can diced green chiles
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp spicy brown mustard
1 Tbsp smoked paprika
2 Tbsp chili powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp white pepper (or black pepper)
1/4 - 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (depending on how spicy you like it!)
1/4 tsp ground ginger
[optional ingredients:  1 Tbsp fish sauce, 1 Tbsp coconut aminos]

Instructions:

  1. First, make the Sloppy Joe Sauce.  Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil in a small saucepan, add diced onion and minced garlic, and cook for 5 minutes (until onions are translucent and garlic is very fragrant).
  2. Add in the rest of the ingredients and stir well to combine (whisk if necessary to incorporate all of the spices).  Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and allow to cook for 20 minutes while you prepare the other ingredients.
  3. In a very large skillet or a soup pot, heat 1 Tbsp olive oil over medium-high heat, then add in diced peppers and onions.
  4. Cook for 2 minutes then add in ground turkey.  Break up the meat as it browns.  Cook for 10 minutes or so, until the turkey is cooked through, then drain the fat off and reduce heat to low-medium.
  5. To finish the sauce, puree it (right in the pan) with an immersion blender, or transfer it to a regular blender and process until smooth.  Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
  6. Add 1.5 cups of the Sloppy Joe sauce into the pan and fold to coat the meat mixture.  If you want them to be extra sloppy, add some more sauce!  Stir in a handful of fresh cilantro, and reserve some for garnish.
  7. To make sweet potato slider buns, slice sweet potatoes into 1/2 inch slices and spray with olive oil.  Bake at 425 degrees for 15-20 minutes, flipping and checking for done-ness half way through.
  8. Serve the sloppy joe meat over baked sweet potato slider "buns," zoodles, or a baked potato!  Garnish with fresh cilantro.

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