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Sloppy Joes

By August 19, 2013November 29th, 2021Beef and Red Meats, Dairy Free, Main Dish


Poultry VS Beef

sloppy joes


When it comes to sloppy joes, do you choose turkey or beef? Many people trying to eat a healthier diet opt for a ground turkey when cooking believing it will be healthier for them. BUT are you often tired, have a hard time losing weight, have thinning hair??? Before you place your next order, you may want to take a closer look at the two types of meat to see how they compare. You may be switching back to the beef!

Iron is necessary to make hemoglobin, the substance that carries oxygen through your blood to all the cells in your body. Hemoglobin is what makes red blood cells red. With insufficient iron, and therefore not enough hemoglobin, red blood cells become small and pale and don’t carry enough oxygen. You may have heard the phrase “tired blood.” This really means blood that is low in iron and that can’t carry enough oxygen to vital organs and muscles. “Tired blood” results in a tired body. I often see clients that I would consider “workout warriors,” but they never lose a stitch of weight. When we do a ferritin level test, they are often low in iron. This is problem-some because to lose fat you must get the oxygen you inhale into the mitochondria of your cells where you burn fat.

Iron is needed not only for blood, but also for brains. Neurotransmitters, the neurochemicals that carry messages from one nerve to another, require sufficient iron to function properly. A person with an iron deficiency may have a tired mind as well as a tired body.

To be fair, it really depends on what the beef AND the turkeys have been fed. In order to compare apples to apples, the nutritional value of extra lean ground beef (not more than four percent fat) and extra lean turkey meat is very close. While there are certainly differences between the two, it may shock some to see that the turkey burger and the hamburger only vary slightly across the board.

Now, let’s check out grass-fed beef. It is much higher in vitamin E, and very rich in essential fatty acids like omega-3s and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). CLA also helps convert fat to lean muscle mass. When taken in effective doses, CLA decreases body fat, especially in the area of the abdomen. Various studies prove the following additional benefits:

1. It can increase the rate of metabolism and is evidently very beneficial for thyroid patients.

2. People suffering from high cholesterol level and triglycerides can use this to lower levels at a faster rate.

3. It can also increase the growth of muscles which we now know stimulates our metabolism.

4. Many people suffer from the serious issue of insulin resistance in which CLA can be used to lower this resistance and therefore assist in controlling weight.

5. It can decrease Adrenal imbalances, which decreases abdominal fat stores.

6. It can help calm hormonal shifts; an area of concern to thyroid patients.

7. CLA has a very positive effect on our body by enhancing our immune system.

Many athletes and clients that want to lose weight spend loads of money on supplements containing CLA, but if they would just spend the extra money on quality beef, they could skip the supplements. If you are interested in more information on where nutrients are found, check out our book KETO: The Complete Guide to Success on a Ketogenic Diet. Craig made great charts on where to find the most nutrients. 

Let’s go back to turkey…it doesn’t have CLA…it does have arsenic though. Since the 1960s, large-scale poultry producers have added arsenic to their poultry feed. Small amounts speed the growth of the birds, make their breast meat pinker, and kill certain bacteria. Chronic exposure to high levels of arsenic has been linked with cancer, heart disease, diabetes and a decline in brain function. But as long as poultry meat has fewer than 0.5 parts of arsenic per million, the USDA has declared that it is safe to eat.

That was set in the 1950s, and is way out of date. Within the past few years, studies show that arsenic is a more potent cancer promoter than first believed. It has to do with its effect on blood vessels. The reason that arsenic makes white meat pinker is that it increases the growth of blood vessels in the meat. The more blood, the pinker the meat. That process is called “angiogenesis.” It plays a major role in cancer promotion. Cancer cells can’t speed up their growth without the creation of new blood vessels to fuel them with nutrients. Arsenic does the trick. The European Union banned the use of arsenic in poultry production in 1999.

So with that said… I’m sticking to my grass fed beef! It tastes WAY better anyway.


I do not like spending time driving to the store, shopping and waiting in line so I get as many things delivered to me as I can; which is why I adore ButcherBox! We love using Butcherbox ground beef for lots of recipes including my Keto Sloppy Joes! Check out this video with Micah as my assistant on what you get in a box each month! You can customize your box too! We now are getting ribs and ground beef which we eat all the time!

Click HERE to save time and get a the CURRENT Butcherbox Deal!


Find easy Dairy Free and Nut Free recipes like my Keto Sloppy Joes in my 30 Day Ketogenic Cleanse book! Click HERE to get 30 day dairy free and nut free meal plans, grocery lists, work out plans and much much more! 

Thank you for your love and support!


1 pound grass fed ground beef
2 TBS onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup tomato paste (Bionature) in a glass jar
3/4 cup water (or quality beef broth: for “umami” favor!)
2 TBS Swerve Confectioners (or 1 drop stevia glycerite)
1 1/2 tsp coconut vinegar
1/2 tsp mustard
1/2 tsp Celtic sea salt
1/8 tsp pepper

Click HERE to find Keto BREAD.
In a large pan, brown the beef, onion, celery and garlic; drain fat. Stir in all remaining ingredients. Simmer for 20 minutes on low for the flavors to open up. Serve on my Keto Bread for Pure Protein and Fat meal.  Makes 6 servings.

NUTRITIONAL COMPARISON (per serving of meat only: no bun)
With Manwich = 200 calories, 9g fat, 22g protein, 7g carbs, 0.6g fiber
“Healthified” = 219 calories, 13.2g fat, 21g protein, 2.8g carbs, 0.6g fiber (55% fat, 38% protein, 5% carbs)

BUSY FAMILY TIP: Use a crock-pot for this recipe and have the buns already made. I store extra in the freezer for an easy addition to dinner.

sloppy joes

Testimony of the Day 

“I completed day 30 of your meal plans in The 30 Day Ketogenic Cleanse and was amazed. When I started I had a whopping 200 excess pounds to shed. Knowing the last time I was at my goal weight was 27 years ago I was terrified that this would not work for me but I have followed the program diligently and it has already paid off. I have shed 26 pounds in 28 days and am feeling better than I have in years. 

I am 62 years young, have multiple health issues and have been extremely sedentary for decades. This 26 pounds has come off without exercise!

I am so encouraged as I know that I will surely shed the rest of my excess weight. Having dropped 26 pounds with no exercise or supplements to support me just think what will happen as I add those in as part of my health care regime.

Thank you soooo much Maria for what you are doing.

God Bless – KaraAnn”

Click HERE to start your journey to a keto-adapted diet!


Maria Emmerich

Maria is a wellness expert who has helped clients follow a Ketogenic lifestyle to heal and lose weight for over 20 years. She has helped thousands of clients get healthy, get off medications and heal their bodies; losing weight is just a bonus. She is the international best selling author of several books including "Keto: The Complete Guide to Success on the Ketogenic Diet.".


  • Susanne says:

    Thanks for posting this, Maria! Just a couple weeks ago I was craving Manwich like crazy but was disgusted to see HFCS in the ingredients and refused to buy it. I was searching all my favorite health food websites (including yours!) for a healthy manwich recipe to no avail…and then here it is, like magic! 🙂 Thanks for all you do!

  • Thanks Susan! I love it when things happen that way!

    Happy eating!

  • Natalie says:

    I make my sloppy joes pretty much the same, but with green peppers (I like the pepper flavor addition). I made it just last week and I really couldn’t stop eating it, and I said to my husband that I like my sloppy joes so much better than Manwich. He agreed 🙂

  • Natalie says:

    And it’s really funny that you mentioned the hormones chapter because I just read that Monday 😉

  • Anonymous says:

    Maria-I love your site and have found it a great addition to LC resources for my family. As a woman with PCOS (normal weight, but IR), LCing is a way of life for me.

    I am curious why you don’t avoid canned goods such as the above that contain BPA? With your concerns over estrogens, etc. I am surprised that you are okay with using canned goods with BPA linings? Tomatoes cans pretty much all contain BPA because of the acidic nature of the contents. I usually opt for tomato paste (Bionature) in a glass jar, or my own frozen tomato puree, or the Bionature strained tomatoes. Pomi makes aseptic packs of tomatoes as well that are supposedly BPA-free. I often wonder what they are lined with however.

    BPA has been linked to insulin resistance, central adiposity, has estrogenic properties and is thought by some to be an obesenogen. I’m just surprised when I see you using canned products knowing your stance on so many other things.

    That said, I’m tremendously thankful for your site and your recipes! I’m going to preorder the cookbook for myself and another copy for my parents, who also LC.

  • That’s awesome Natalie!!

    Thank you so much for your support!!!

  • Thanks Anonymous! I appreciate your feedback.

    I updated the recipe thanks to you!!!

  • Connie says:

    How do you add the green pepper? And how much?

  • gregjen says:

    I am hesitant to post this question as I am aggravated when others ask about subbing ingredients (I usually shout out to my computer screen – “just following the freakin’ recipe and if you don’t want to use what they put find another recipe!!!” – lol) Alas, I find myself so new to your blog and all these different ingredients and this new way of eating that I DO have a subbing question, but only because I want to see if I can get by with not having to buy the brown sugar listed above when I have regular brown sugar that I want to use up and not waste – ANYWAY, my question is actually about Coconut sugar…I just bought that to use in another of your recipes and it has the look of brown sugar. I was wondering if the coconut sugar would give it a similar flavor so that I don’t have to use the regular brown sugar and I don’t have to buy a new brown sugar? I know, I know – shoot me now and tell me to either try it for myself or use whatever I want since I am the one being difficult. But really my question is because I would like to know what I could use coconut sugar for in the future – it is all new to me! Thank you, thank you for all you do. I won’t go into detail of all my ailments that I am hoping to rectify by following your advice!

    • Ha! You are too funny. 🙂 Sorry, I don’t recommend coconut sugar. It has the same calories and grams of sugar as cane sugar. You could just try the sub listed above (stevia). 🙂

  • gregjen says:

    Thank you! Learning new things everyday…I must correct myself, the coconut sugar was for a recipe from another blog, not yours. AHHHH, so confused with all the new cool ingredients I am learning about! BTW – my picky 2 year old eater (he is in a stage where any food with color, i.e veggies, herbs, etc, is yucky even though he used to love all veggies – grrrrrrr) loves all your “bread” things (tortillas, chicken pot pie crust, broccoli braid dough), he calls them “cookies” – I guess the coconut flour gives it that sweet taste – lol.

  • Melanie says:

    Hi Maria, was just looking at this recipe in the Kids’ cookbook and want to try it in the slow cooker. Do you brown the beef first or just throw everything into the slow cooker? How long do you let it cook? Thanks so much! Happy New Year 🙂

    • If you don’t brown it first you will have extra oil and juices that might make the texture different. If you brown it you can just have it on low or keep work depending on how long you will have it in there. 🙂

  • Megan Napier says:

    This recipe was a huge hit! I made it last night for my fiance. It was super easy and quick. I served mine on your protein bread.

  • Megan Napier says:

    I haven’t been sleeping well recently and it’s causing me to over eat the next day. I can’t seem to get out of this cycle of bad sleep/eating bigger portions the next day bc I am tired. Is there a way to avoid over eating on tired days?

  • Sara says:

    Just made this tonight…so quick, easy, and delicious! Thank you.

  • Pamela Caldwell says:

    How much fat in this recipe. Very good! Thanks

  • cheryl says:

    thank you Maria & Craig – this is a wonderful recipe! I added green & red peppers – fantastic! My whole family enjoyed this! The recipe is easy to follow & very tasty.

  • Rachel Thompson says:

    Where do you find the low carb buns?

  • Joan says:

    I am wonder about carbs in the tomato puree and how much it would raise your blood glucose. Also I am quite surprised at the addition of 2 TBS Swerve Confectioners (or 1 drop stevia glyceriite) . Do we really need to add any artificial sweetener at all ? Especially for those following a Keto Adapted Diet the less sugars we consume the better, whether it be artificial or natural , the better our body and brain will function.

    • cemmerich says:

      This is only 2.8g carbs per serving. So that shouldn’t spike blood sugar. You can omit swerve if you like. 🙂

  • Jamie says:

    Can you substitute the coconut vinegar for apple cider vinegar?

  • LC says:

    Loved it! I added green pepper, cut back the sweetener a little, and added a touch more vinegar. My husband had been asking for Manwiches. I had mine over your keto bagel. It’s a winner!

  • Diana says:

    just found this recipe– my husband loves it made a double batch and was even better the 2nd time
    did I mention that he si on the band wagon kicking and screaming –so when I find something he loves win=win

  • Sarah Jane says:

    dry mustard?

  • Kassie says:

    I can’t seem to find the recipe for the bun you show in your sloppy joe photo. Would you please email it to me?

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