In a large saute pan over medium high heat, brown ground beef until no longer pink. If there is a lot of residual fat from browning the beef pour off all but 1 tbsp of fat.
Add onion, bell pepper, zucchini, and garlic to pan. Saute together with beef for 4 minutes.
Add ketchup, water, mustard, vinegar, maple syrup, salt and pepper, and stir well to combine. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat to medium-low and allow to simmer for 10 minutes.
Sauce should be thickened, if too thick add a touch more water. Taste for seasoning.
Slice sweet potatoes in half and arrange on a platter. Mash sweet potato flesh and create a pocket for filling. Stuff each sweet potato half with Sloppy Joe mixture, top with shredded cheese and fresh cilantro.
Serve immediately. You can also store Sloppy Joe mixture and baked sweet potatoes sepearately, for quick easy meal prep.
Serving size is one whole sweet potato with Sloppy Joe mixture + cheese.
DIETARY MODIFICATIONS FOR THIS RECIPE:
This recipe is gluten-free and paleo-friendly.
Paleo/Whole30 - Remove the cheese topping (which is totally optional anyway)
Keto – You would technically have to remove the sweet potato which changes the recipe completely. You could make portobello mushroom "buns" for a very low carbohydrate version of this recipe
Vegetarian/ Vegan – I think lentil Sloppy Joe's would be delicious if you try let me know! Obviously remove the cheese for vegan or use a vegan cheese alternative.
Low Fodmap – Remove the onion and garlic, replace with scallion tops.
Any ground protein will work in place of ground beef
You can replace the ketchup in the recipe with crushed tomato
Dry mustard can stand in for dijon mustard (just use less of it)