Rachael Ray would call a recipe like this a 30-minute meal. Cooking Light would call it “Superfast.” Gourmet (RIP) would have called it “Gourmet Everyday.” But when I was working on the food pages in magazines, I used to call it a classic Tuesday Night Dinner. Because in my mind, Tuesday is the night when you need the surefire shot of confidence the most. Tuesday is not Monday, when you either have a stash of leftovers to build on from Sunday’s meal or feel pumped up about the idea of dinner since it’s only Day 1 of the 5-day grind. Tuesday is when you need a dinner that is quick-and-dirty, down-home-and-delicious, and if at all possible, universally praised tableside. And then, when you nail Tuesday, the rest of the week is cake.
This is a combo riff on a Cookie and a Real Simple recipe.
In a large skillet set over medium heat, add olive oil and add 1/2 onion (chopped), 1 clove garlic (minced), and a handful of any of the following: zucchini (shredded) red or green bell peppers (chopped). Cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Add 1 pound ground turkey or beef and cook until most of the pink is gone. (I usually drain the fat before proceeding.) Add 1/2 can of tomato paste, 1 tablespoon chili powder, 1 teaspoon oregano, a pinch of cinnamon, salt, and pepper and mix together, adding a bit of water if the meat looks too dry. Lower heat and simmer another 5-10 minutes until meat is cooked through and flavors have melded. Add to toasted whole wheat buns, add slices of sharp cheddar, and put under the broiler for 2 minutes. Top with sour cream if desired.