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Diane KarrI remember supper with my aunt and uncle in Iowa when they served Sloppy Joes. As a kid, I was totally confused.

I was raised to call them Yum Yums. Maybe it’s a Nebraska thing? Don’t even get me started on Runzas….

At any rate, Yum Yums are super easy to make, and are a good go-to meal during busy times of the year. Right now, planting intersects with baseball, soccer, and track season – which means that we don’t always get to sit down together for our evening meal. Yum Yums can be kept warm in the crock pot, so everyone can have a warm meal even if its not at the same time.

Besides using high quality Nebraska ground beef in my Yum Yums, I served this kid sized portion with with a whole wheat bun, carrot sticks, and apples. Good – and good for you!

Yum Yum's Nebraska Sloppy Joes Recipe Diane Karr CommonGround NebraskaThe best part of Yum Yums is the versatility! I keep the recipe tame for youngsters who don’t like spicy food, and kick it up a notch for truckers during harvest season by adding a can or two of chopped green chilies, a little red pepper sauce, and larger proportions of onion, garlic, and pepper. Another variation: serve over tortilla chips and add toppings for a Sloppy Nacho. Plus, ingredient substitutions always work well – I’ve never had a bad batch of Yum Yums. My recipe for Yum Yums is a thrown together combo of what my mom used to make and what I’ve seen in cookbooks.

Sometimes something easy and basic makes everybody happy! Here’s the How-To:

Yum Yum’s
Ingredients
1 1/2 pounds of ground beef
1/4 tsp coarse black pepper
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 can chicken gumbo soup
1 cup ketchup or 1 can tomato sauce
1/2 tablespoon mustard
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

Optional:
1 can chopped green chilies
1-2 drops red pepper sauce

1. Add your (defrosted) ground beef to a skillet on medium heat. I’m using 1-1/2 pounds. Continue to stir and move it around in the skillet so it can brown evenly. I’ll take my steak medium rare – but we don’t want to see any pink in the ground beef! While you’re doing this, grind some fresh pepper over the meat to taste.
DianeK_12. Add a few dried onion flakes. This is about a 1/2 tablespoon. Or, add finely chopped fresh onion. I’d start with 1/4 cup, and increase from there depending on your love of onions. Today, I’m in a hurry. Onion flakes it is. When the beef is browned, drain off the grease.DianeK_23. Surprise! Add a can of chicken gumbo soup. If you need to stretch the recipe, add another can. DianeK_34. Add a cup of ketchup. Or a can of tomato sauce. You can’t go wrong.
DianeK_45. Mustard loves ketchup. Add 1/2 Tablespoon.
DianeK_56. Add 1/2 teaspoon of garlic salt. Or more, if you’re kicking it up.
DianeK_67. I like a teaspoon or two of Worcestershire sauce. Throttle the heat down to medium low. Simmer for a few minutes until everything is heated through.
DianeK_7If you think your Yum Yum’s need more pizzazz at this point, add a small can (or two) of diced green chilies, more black pepper, and a couple drops of red pepper sauce.

If you want them thicker, cook a little longer. If you want them saucier, add a tablespoon of water at a time or add more ketchup or tomato sauce.

See? Told you it was easy!

Feel free to accessorize with…. I don’t know what this is.DianeK_8

A blooming carrot? My kids like to dip their carrots in peanut butter… And I’m ok with that!

Serve over whole wheat buns. Then, smile for the camera and tell Mom how much you like your Yum Yums. Or make a funny face.
DianeK_9Alternatively, for Sloppy Nachos, serve over tortilla chips and top with shredded cheese and jalapenos.

Yum Yum’s
1 1/2 pounds of ground beef
1/4 tsp coarse black pepper
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 can chicken gumbo soup
1 cup ketchup or 1 can tomato sauce
1/2 tablespoon mustard
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

Optional:
1 can chopped green chilies
1-2 drops red pepper sauce

Directions
1. In skillet over medium heat, brown the ground beef along with pepper and onion. Drain grease.
2. Add chicken gumbo soup, ketchup or tomato sauce, mustard, garlic salt, and Worcestershire sauce – as well as optional ingredients. Stir to combine.
3. When heated, turn down to medium low heat and simmer for a few more minutes.
4. Serve over whole wheat buns.
5. Alternatively, for Sloppy Nachos, serve over tortilla chips and top with shredded cheese and jalapenos.





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