I did not grow up in a house that ever served sloppy joes – they were one of the foods my mother considered junk food, so she never made them. I do remember going to my grandmother’s house and getting to eat Manwich sloppy joes and drink cups of Sunny D and loving every bit of it… even though my mom pursed her lips when we asked for Sunny D because it wasn’t real juice.
Now, as an adult, there is a restaurant near my house that serves a lentil sloppy joe and big plates of delicious sweet potato fries, which was part of the inspiration for my Sunday night dinner this week. While scrolling through an extensive back log of recipes I haven’t tried yet, a lighter option for sloppy joe sandwiches sounded like just what I needed, and I knew that sweet potato fries had to be paired with it.
Although coordinating two untested recipes at the same time is often a good way for my kitchen to become a disaster, I actually found it very easy to make these together: I cut the potatoes and put them in a bowl of water in the fridge before making the sloppy joe meat, then as the sauce simmered, I finished making the fries. All the food was done at the same time and I felt like a genius.