When I posted this evening that we were going to have Joe for supper, I was pretty sure that someone would say, "Joe?!" Sure enough. So here I am to explain.

Joe is one of the easiest and best -- and quickest -- low carb one-dish meals. Based on an old San Francisco favorite called Joe's Special -- I've also seen it called "Casual Joe's Special" -- it's been around for quite a while, and inspired a lot of variations. The immutable basics are:

Ground beef -- I use ground chuck, 1 pound will make about 4 servings
Chopped onion -- remember this is the carbiest part. I use 1 small-to-medium onion, chopped
Garlic -- 2 - 3 cloves, crushed
Spinach -- I use a 10 ounce box of frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained well
Eggs -- for 1 pound of meat, I go with 4-5 eggs
Salt and pepper

In your big, heavy skillet, over medium heat, start browning and crumbling the ground beef. When a little fat has cooked out, throw in the onion and garlic, and keep cooking till the pink is gone from the meat. Drain it if you want, but I didn't tonight. Throw in the spinach -- you could use a bag of fresh baby spinach if you preferred -- and stir it around till it's well-incorporated. Now scramble up the eggs, pour them over the whole thing, and stir till they're set. Salt and pepper it, and serve.

Like I said, there are plenty of variations of this kicking around. Some people add mushrooms, which sounds really good. Others add Parmesan; I did tonight. I've seen recipes that called for various spices; I'll leave that up to you. I've even seen talk of a vegetarian version made with tofu; this is the sort of thing I try very hard not to think about at all.

You can expand this by adding more beef or eggs or both. Since this warms up nicely in the microwave, it's a great leftover to have on hand. Since it is a kind of ad hoc recipe, I can't give you an exact carb count, but figure something like 3-4 grams of usable carb per serving, depending on how big an onion you use.

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That sounds interesting.

That sounds interesting. I'll have to give it a try. Never heard of it before.

Joe's Special!

Wow--I totally forgot about that! Thanks for the reminder! I first heard about this from a former colleague of mine who also happened to be a great cook. He mentioned eating "Joe's special" for dinner and I had never heard of it before. He told me the recipe and it was pretty much exactly as you described it. I used to make it fairly regularly, but for whatever reason I haven't made it in at least a couple of years. Now I see why I never heard of it--I am originally from upstate NY and my friend who gave me the recipe is originially from San Francisco! Now it all makes sense! Thanks for giving me tomorrow's dinner idea! (I will mention that my friend always served it with pita bread. I will, of course, leave that part out)