Hawaiian sloppy joes recipe

Attack of the Dad Tomato-Free Meal

As a stay-at-home dad, I’m all about cooking meals that have high flavor-to-effort ratios. My biggest hurdle: Champ’s mommy¹ can’t eat tomatoes.²

That takes a lot of easy ones off the table: Chili, spaghetti, pizza, BLTs, grilled cheese with tomato soup, mozzarella caprese, junk,³ tomatoes Rockefeller and — easiest of all — sloppy joes.

What the heck can a guy from St. Louis sub for the tomato-based BBQ sauce that gives a joe its signature sloppiness? I found an answer, appropriately, at Trader Joe’s. Here’s what I made:

Hawaiian sloppy joes recipe

1 lb lean ground turkey
½ bottle Trader Joe’s Island Soyaki sauce
½ can crushed pineapple, drained
2-4 tbsp ground flaxseed
1 tbsp extra-virgin coconut oil⁴ (optional)
Lettuce leaves
Whole-wheat hamburger buns (optional)
Sriracha sauce (optional)
Shredded mozzarella cheese (optional)

  • In a large skillet, brown turkey in coconut oil. Drain.
  • Add Soyaki sauce and pineapple. Squirt in Sriracha to your desired level of awesomeness.
  • Simmer over medium-low heat about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add flaxseed to thicken⁵ as you go.
  • Serve mixture on buns or as a lettuce wrap, top with mozzarella.


Writing all these footnotes makes me feel delightfully Hodgmanian.⁶

  1. I really feel like I should have a bloggy nickname for her like MOM DEFENSE FORCE. That’s a work in progress. Just be glad I’m sparing you mommy-blog initialism jargon, even though I’m sure everyone would know right away what I mean by SM.⁷
  2. It’s not a true allergy, but tomatoes give her some wicked muscle inflammation that usually leads to a migraine. Pretty much ruins her night.
  3. From my Polish great-grandmother’s culinary repertoire, “junk” is American cheese-stuffed hamburger patties simmered in tomato sauce.
  4. I’m a little obsessed with coconut oil lately. The expeller-pressed stuff is flavorless and great for baking, but the virgin or extra-virgin stuff tastes and smells like coconut. Gives our joes a little extra island flavor.
  5. I know you kids like ’em nice and sloppy, but try to keep it on the bun. Also, the flax is a natural source of DHA, which mom could pass along to a breastfeeding baby. DHA is good for infant brain development and has been linked to telepathy and world peace in dolphins. In a pinch, you could just use flour. As long as you’re cool with giving your kid diabetes instead of psychic powers.
  6. You haven’t read a footnote until you’ve read ALL OF JOHN HODGMAN’S BOOKS.
  7. Sugar mama.

Cute baby video

Some Champ footage you may have missed:

2 thoughts on “Hawaiian sloppy joes recipe”

  1. Wow! I think that DHA is working like crazy – his psychic powers is making me want to go immediately to Toys R Us and buy all the squishy things!!!

Leave a Reply to Laura Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *