Do you have any random memories that have absolutely no significant impact on your life but for some reason the image has been burned into your memory and it remains there as clear as if it just happened yesterday?
We have lots of those.
We both seem to have impeccable memories for random things that happened in our childhood. Remembering what time we work at tomorrow? No, we should probably check the schedule. Remembering to call and book a hair cut? We think the fact that we both haven’t had a hair cut in 6 months speaks for itself (don’t judge…). But remembering that random and insignificant line from that movie that we don’t even know the name of from when we were 7 years old? Of course!
We won’t get into the details of the film (although you know we could…), but the scene that sticks in our memories went like this:
A little British boy and girl are playing in the nursery in the mansion in which they reside, when their also English-speaking butler comes into the room and announces that dinner is ready.
“Sloppy Sams?!?” they both exclaim (hmmm… the British version of sloppy Joes?)
In his most proper manner, the butler replies, “We will refer to them as ‘Untidy Samuels'”.
As a couple of 7-year-olds, we thought this was the most hilarious thing we had ever heard. Laughter ensued for serveral minutes, and “Untidy Samuels” were requested for dinner that night.
Sloppy Joes were always a favourite meal of ours growing up. It was one of those meals that our mom could make for the entire family and be completely confident that she would get no complaints from anyone. And this holds true to this day. We love anything that’s sloppy and oh-so-saucy ;), and the rest of our family have not outgrown their love for the messy, meaty dish.
So in the spirit of random childhood memories, guess what we made for dinner last night?
With a hearty dose of veggies and the addition of cooked brown lentils, these are the more grown-up version of our childhood favourite. And over a bed of steamed zucchini noodles, we both agree that these are classy enough to be termed “Untidy Samuels”.
And because everything tastes better in a bowl…
Using lean (or extra-lean!) ground beef, and adding a hearty dose of veggies into the mix boost the nutrition of this meal, but what takes it to the next level are the lentils. 1 cup of lentils have only 1 gram of fat and 4 mg of sodium, and boast 16 grams of fibre and 18 grams of protein. They also contribute a great source of iron, folate, and thiamin, as well as a host of other nutrients. (source)
And if you’re like us and have giant zucchinis comin’ out the ying-yang, then you should definitely consider serving this meal over steamed zucchini noodles, because it’s a great way to use up a lot of the tasty summer staple.
Up until now, we have not participated in What I Ate Wednesdays, but we have been considering it for quite some time. And what a better time to start? Like so many of you, we also have zucchinis bursting out of our garden and taking over the produce drawer. We really can’t think of more of a summer staple than the tasty summer squash!
Often when people have an excess of zucchini the first instinct is to hide it in bread or cake, but we ask why? Why hide it? Not that we have anything against zucchini bread (we love it, actually) but we think that zucchini deserves the chance to shine.
So tonight go make you and your family some sloppy… er, unitdy Joesephs!
Beef and Lentil Sloppy Joes
Total time: 25min
1.5 lbs lean ground beef
1/2 c. brown lentils + 1 c. water
3/4 c. peas
3/4 c. corn
2 mushrooms, sliced
1/2 c. bell peppers, chopped
2 cloves garlic minced
1 c. tomato paste
1/4 c. molasses
1/4 c. apple cidar vinegar
1/4 c. worchestershire sauce
1 tsp. ground mustard
1/2 tsp EACH turmeric and paprika
1 tsp steak spice
pepper, to taste
1 Tbsp of chives
1 large and 1 medium zucchini, sliced into match-stick thin “noodles”
Add lentils and water to a pot, bring to a boil and then simmer for 20min
Add ground beef to a skillet and cook until browned, drain.
Put zucchini noodles in steaming basket and steam until tender, about 15min.
Add all other veggies and saute for 2-3min.
Add all other ingredients, excluding the chives. Cook over medium heat for 7-8 min, or until heated through.
Add chives and serve over zucchini noodles.
P.s. A huge congrats goes out to the Men’s 8 for winning the silver medal, our Canadian women’s gymnastics team for a phenomenal showing in yesterday’s team competition, the women’s 4X200m freestyle for advancing to the finals, and to our 3m springboard divers for doing well despite their obstacles in this past 3 months! So proud to be Canadian! 🙂
Did you love sloppy Joe’s as a kid? What meals instantly bring you back to your childhood?