Sunday, August 14, 2011

{ Slow Cooker Sunday | Sloppy Jose Goes to Greece }

People see my mother and know that I inherited my looks from her. We get the “are you two sisters?” question a lot (which is either a stunning compliment to her or a hint for me to start using under-eye cream at night). We both love a good bargain, and enjoy making things with our hands. But what most people don’t know is that we have another shared trait, we both turn into complete ogres when we’re hungry. Not joking.

In high school I ran cross country, and by the time I got home from a two-hour after school practice, it had been a solid six hours since I’d eaten lunch. Mom would press the “express cook” on my dinner that was waiting in the microwave, and no one would even ask how my day was until I was halfway through my meal for fear of ogre-girl. Unfortunately, this tendency to be a little snippy when hungry rears its ugly head the worst on Sundays after church. I’ve just heard a great sermon, I’m determined to apply it to my life posthaste, everyone at church was super friendly and complimenting my new haircut and…BAM! It’s 12:45, I’m starving because breakfast was a half an apple nibbled while I applied my makeup in the car on the way to Sunday School four hours earlier, and everyone better just get out of the way because dinner will not be ready fast enough. Add to this the stress of a husband who needs to be out the door for work at 1PM and a daughter who is wailing for her own meal (that only mommy can provide)…and you can see where this is going: Ogre City.  

All this stress means we either end up in the McDonalds drive-thru (which is definitely not Food Revolution approved), or I hastily prepare a meal (whilst Annie screams in the background) that the hubby gets to eat before dashing out the door, and I get to eat alone. So…now that you know way too much about me (and my mom!), I’ll get to the point: I’ve found a solution! The slow-cooker, or crock pot, is a head-slappingly simple fix to the ogre infestation we have around here – but crock pot cooking requires a bit of planning and prep work, which I would surely fail to do except for now I am blogging about it and it is slow-cook or shame from now on.

Inspiration for today’s meal was found here, but I’ve added my own flare to this tex-mex-sloppy-joe/Greek concoction. I hope you enjoy it, but most importantly, may it keep your own ogres at bay.

Sloppy Jose Goes to Greece
You’ll need…
1 package ground turkey (20 oz or so)
1 eggplant, cubed
1 cup salsa
1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
1 T chili powder
1 t ground cumin
1 t dried oregano
1 (10 oz) package frozen corn
8-10 Pitas*
Fresh cilantro or parsley
Sour cream or tzatziki sauce
Shredded lettuce
Olives, sliced (black or kalamata)
Shredded cheddar cheese

Combine turkey, eggplant, salsa, tomato paste, chili powder, cumin, oregano, and corn in crock pot. Add about 12 ounces of water, salt & pepper to taste, and stir well. Cover and cook on high for about 4 hours.

Once your crock pot meal is cooked, prepare pitas. We grilled ours for about a minute on each side, but you can wrap the stack in foil and heat for 10-15 minutes in the oven at 300F or just eat them straight out of the package. Now would also be a good time to stir in a handful of chopped fresh cilantro or parsley to your crock pot meal.

Spoon meat mixture over pita (tostada-style or taco style) and add toppings as desired. Enjoy!

*I cannot say enough wonderful things about Alexia brand Greek flatbread-style pitas. They are delicious and freeze well. At my market, they’re located in the bakery near the fresh bread

PS: There are no photos of this meal because we ate it too quickly. Sorry…will try harder next time.

PPS: For those of you who go to church with my mom or hang out with her afterward, I have it on good authority that she now snacks between services.


  1. Actually, I eat breakfast later and only go to the 11 o'clock service now:) MOM

  2. I LOVE slow cooking! It is genius! I make meals for Nathanael on nights that I am working... the catch is for him to remember that something is inside! :) The sloppy joes sound amazing and worth a try... added to the list
    Kim Davis

  3. Ashley you are a great writer! Very witty and fun to read and that recipe sounds great :)
    cindy s