I like cooking, and I want to feed my family healthy meals, but I'm often distracted or pulled in many directions -- away from the kitchen.
It was 4pm. I had an hour to make dinner and I had no idea what to make. So, I did the next logical thing: pulled out my copy of Not Your Mother's Make-Ahead and Freeze Cookbook. The introvert's way of asking a friend to bail her out: read friend's cookbook. (Or friend's blog!)
Not surprisingly, most of the recipes in the book weren't going to help me last-minute like that, even if I had all the ingredients. I was feeling desperate and uninspired. Too many meals of grilled burgers and watermelon and WAY too many homemade tacos in the past few weeks! I got complaints last time I made pollock. All the chicken was frozen and I didn't feel like grilling anything anyway.
I started searching for a recipe that could be made with a still-frozen package of ground turkey. (I buy the 4-packs at Costco and put them in the freezer.) Sloppy joes? I did have buns in the freezer. At any rate, it would be something different and I could have dinner on the table on time.
I made the Sweet and Spicy Joes, with just a few substitutions, and they were a hit! After making the recipe for the first time, we decided to try adding lentils to make the meal more affordable (plus, I'm always about eating a varied diet), and I tried eating mine in romaine lettuce "tacos". The crunchy lettuce was a perfect complement to the spicy meat mixture!
I'm calling my version Spicy Turkey Lentil Joes. I need to start a new, updated list of my favorite quick-and-easy meals for all those days I lack inspiration, and these sandwiches are going on that list! :)
For most of last year, I lost weight by cutting calories, and making lettuce sandwiches, wraps, or "tacos" was one of the ways I kept things healthy and lower-calorie. I do not eat "low carb", because I do eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, and legumes. :)