“Easy as That” Sloppy Joe

Buying a bunch of individual pound of beef packages, and throwing it in the freezer is something all college students should do. The amount of things you can do with a pound of hamburger are almost limitless. You can cook it up and add it to a Hamburger Helper meal, you can make it into taco meat in which you could make quesadillas or tacos, or you could simply add some seasoning and make hamburgers.

What I do is take the pound of meat out of the freezer and place it into a bowl then into my fridge. This is when I know I will be cooking it up to make something.

You can very easily take the meat from the package and place it into the microwave on the defrost setting. Either will work.

Tonight, I had some meat I had thawed out, and decided to make some Sloppy Joes. The ingredients are simple:

  • 1 Pound Hamburger Meat
  • Ketchup
  • Mustard
  • BBQ Sauce
  • Chili Powder
  • Garlic Powder
  • Salt
  • Pepper

**I never make it the same way twice, so there are no specific measurements. I will talk you through the process though.**

First, brown the thawed hamburger meat in a pan. Add some salt, pepper, and garlic powder for tasting. If you want a little kick you can add a lot of chili powder as well. I usually add about 2 pinches worth.

Drain the meat. I learned a tip from the dietitian at the local HyVee store that if you want to reduce fat, you can rinse the meat with hot water in the step.

If you rinse the meat, add the salt, pepper, garlic powder, and chili powder after.

Add about a 1/3 cup ketchup to the meat. Then, drizzle mustard over the top layer. Depending on how saucy you want the meat to be, add as much BBQ sauce as you would like.

Mix it all together, and let it simmer for about 5 minutes.

Next, slather the meat on some bread. If desired you can add some ketchup, mustard, and pickles.

The "Easy as That" sloppy joe sandwich!

The “Easy as That” sloppy joe sandwich!



Ham Panini with a Punch

Sometimes the regular deli sandwich I throw together on my lunch break just doesn’t cut it. I want something with a little kick, and not just an ordinary mayo/meat combo sandwich. This is why I am so incredibly thankful that my roommate brought a panini maker to our apartment. It’s amazing what a little heat and cheese can do!

For starters, the ingredients I suggest you to use for your sandwich are …


  • Any wheat bread, but try and get something soft. If you’re really feeling frisky, grab a loaf of bread from your local bakery with some cheese on top.
  • Move Over Butter. This stuff is AMAZING. Super easy to spread and way less fat than real butter.
  • Kraft Mayo with Olive Oil. It’s easier to spread and has less fat. Tastes great too!
  • Any type of Honey Dijon Mustard.
  • Hormel Natural Choice No Preservatives lunch meat. I suggest Ham or Turkey, but really any kind is great.
  • Any kind of a spicy cheese. This time I bought some Caribbean Red Hot Jack Cheese from HyVee. It has a kick, but is so delicious!

**If you want you can add some lettuce to your panini after it has been cooked**

After making numerous Panini’s I think I have found the easiest way to make them without getting butter everywhere. What I do is butter one side of each slice of bread. Then, put the two buttered sides together so you can hold your bread to spread the mayonnaise and mustard without getting butter everywhere. After you have slathered the mayo and mustard on, take the pieces apart, and put one of the buttered sides onto the panini press. Next, add your meat and cheese slices. Last, place the other piece of bread (butter side on the outside) on your sandwich, and wait about 5 minutes until the panini is a golden brown, and the cheese is melted.

Warning: You may want a glass of cold milk at hand.