As the name suggests, this has a messy appearance, a bolognaise mixture served between whole wheat rolls, but it’s a recipe all the family will love, and the filling can be prepared ahead or frozen. Lean ground chicken is used here as a healthy alternative to ground beef, but you could use either.
Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add the celery, onion, carrot, eggplant and garlic and fry for about 6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened.
Add the ground chicken to the pan, stirring well to break up the meat and mix with the vegetables. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until there is no trace of pink left in the chicken.
Stir in the canned tomatoes with their juice, and the water, tomato paste and basil. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover the pan and simmer gently for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has reduced and thickened slightly.
Just before serving, cut the rolls in half and lightly toast them. Spoon the chicken mixture over the bottom halves of the rolls, then cover with the top halves and serve immediately.
Variations: Make this into a more sophisticated dish by spicing it up a little. Add 1 teaspoon chili powder (or to taste) with the vegetables as they are softening in step 1 and/or 1 deseeded and finely chopped red chili with the chicken in step 2. You can use ground turkey instead of the chicken. If you prefer the taste of fresh basil to cooked, stir in the basil just before assembling the sloppy Joes.
Each serving: 34.5 g protein, 22.5 g fat of which 4.5 g saturates, 44 g carbohydrate, 10 g fibre, 538 Calories