Salad Nachos

Adding healthy ingredients takes a snack to a meal

Lunch on Sundays at SuzerSpace is just about always nachos. Good on rainy days, good on sunny days. They pair well with sports, or crafts, or even chores.

You can’t really go wrong with melty cheese and chips, and anything else you add is bonus.

Because I top these with arugula and southwestern salad dressing, I call them “Salad Nachos” and then I feel less guilty about them. Although as long as you keep the fatty items off, and be tight on portion control, nachos don’t necessarily have to be on the bad list anyway.

A quick word about my feature photo – this isn’t a food blog, so I’m showing them exactly how we eat them. I lift them off the baking sheet by the foil, and then wrap that foil around the serving plate.

Classy? Not really. Easy cleanup? You betcha 🙂

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Salad Nachos

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 2

Ingredients

  • Tortilla Chips
  • 1/4 cup Shredded Cheese
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup Black Beans rinsed and drained
  • Salsa
  • Arugula
  • Southwestern Style Ranch Salad Dressing

Instructions

  1. Line a small baking pan with foil
  2. Place a single layer of chips on the foil, keeping them close together so very little foil shows through.
  3. Add a light layer of black beans, and top that with salsa.
  4. Sprinkle with shredded cheese evenly so everything gets a little.
  5. Place this dish in a cold oven, and turn oven to Bake, 350 degrees. *See first note below
  6. Bake until oven hits preheated temperature, switch to broil. *See second note below.
  7. Remove from oven when cheese and chips are browned and crispy.
  8. Top generously with arugula, sparingly with Southwestern style ranch dressing.

Recipe Notes

  1. I call this cooking method "Two-Stage" cooking, which is I'm using the pre-heating of the oven to warm all the ingredients and then switching over to broil to blast them at the last second. I find if I just broil the nachos, the tops are good, but the beans are cold.
  2. When the nachos are in the first stage of cooking, you've got freedom to do something else, since the oven will beep (or in our case play a song) when it's at 350 degrees. However, when you switch to broil, DO NOT LEAVE the oven, not even for a second. These go from "almost there" to carbon in as long as it takes you to look up that just one more thing on the computer.

 

Black and Bleu Wrap

Layers of flavor for an easy meal

The trick to eating with a focus on good nutrition and a tight budget is to think like a restaurant.

Besides frying everything, and using a lot of salt to make everything taste good, restaurants know that layers of flavor are the key to a good dish.

If you take a flatbread wrap, throw on some cheese and black beans and nuke it in the microwave, it’s a little bit soggy and sad.

But if you heat the beans first, and then layer the wrap with cheese, the beans, arugula and top with chunks of bleu cheese, suddenly you have something special.

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Black Beans and Bleu Cheese Wrap

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 minute
Total Time 6 minutes
Servings 1

Ingredients

  • 1 Flatbread (we use low-carb)
  • 1/8 cup Shredded Cheese
  • 1/4 cup Black Beans Rinsed and Drained
  • Arugula Washed and Patted Dry
  • Bleu Cheese Chunks* (see note)

Instructions

  1. In a microwave safe bowl, heat beans in the microwave for about 30 seconds, until really warm but not dried out.

  2. On flatbread, sprinkle cheese in center

  3. Layer on black beans, arugula and black beans. Add salsa on top if desired.

  4. Roll and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

*Note: I don't actually like Bleu Cheese - Mr. SuzerSpace does. I make my version with Feta, but we still call them Black and Bleu Wraps. Sounds fancier that way 🙂

 

Crustless Quiche

A meal made from leftovers

Technically, I’m not sure if this is a crustless quiche that doesn’t have milk, or a frittata that doesn’t start on the stove. We tend to make it heavier on the veggies and lighter on the eggs, but you can vary your ratios to suit your taste.

Either way, it’s a favorite lunch meal at SuzerSpace.

I usually make this on a Sunday afternoon to clean up the leftovers languishing in the fridge.

Couple of eggs? Check.

Some wilty veggies leftover from salads during the week? Check.

Some spinach or arugula that is getting past it’s prime? Check.

Cheese? Are you kidding me? We always have cheese 🙂

This is great slightly cooled from the oven, or cool it completely and refrigerate it and reheat it during the week. Even though it’s already loaded with veggies, I usually serve it with a salad.

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Crustless Quiche

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cup chopped vegetables
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup shredded cheese
  • 1/4 cup spinach or arugula chopped

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.


  2. In a medium bowl, mix the eggs thoroughly. Add water or milk if desired.

  3. Line a small baking dish (mine is 7 x 10) with parchment paper.

  4. Distribute the veggies and spinach or arugula in the dish.

  5. Sprinkle half of the cheese on top of the veggies.

  6. Pour the eggs over the veggie and cheese mixture. Stir lightly with a fork to make sure the eggs get evenly distributed.

  7. Top with remaining cheese.

  8. Bake for approximately an hour, or until the quiche appears set and a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.

  9.  Allow to cool and then cut into slices.

Recipe Notes

  1. Use whatever veggies you have the fridge. I usually go with green peppers, mushrooms and broccoli. Cut everything up bite size so you don't end up with big hunks of something on your fork.
  2. I more than just line my baking dish with parchment - I make sure the sides are protected and I fold up the corners before I add in the veggies so I have a barrier all around. It makes removing the quiche easier when it is baked - you can just lift up the sides of the paper and everything comes up all at once.

Lining the entire baking sheet makes removal easier for the crustless quiche

 

 

Salsa Soup

Soup and a sandwich is a classic meal.

But who really wants to take all that time to make soup? And soup from a can is always a little iffy – many of them are full of sugar (seriously?) or are weirdly oily when you open them.

Enter the magic of salsa soup.

Yup, that’s pretty much the entire recipe right there. A couple of spoonfuls of good salsa, any leftovers you want, and some water. (Jacques Pepin calls water “Chateau Faucet” in his great French accent which makes it sound so much more upscale!

Salsa, water and leftovers combine to make a quick, super tasty soup

Microwave until really hot, top with crushed tortilla chips and cheese if you like, and serve with a half sandwich of your choosing.  It might not be pretty, but it is super (soup-er?) tasty.

This also travels really well for lunch. Put all the ingredients except the water into a microwave safe bowl that has a tight fitting cover. Refrigerate until lunch time, and then add water and stir just before microwaving. Every time I make this at work at least one person comments on how good it smells.

 

Salsa Soup

  • Servings: 1
  • Time: 3 minutes
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 3 Tablespoons Chunky Salsa
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup leftover veggies of your choice.
  • 1 1/4 cup water
  • Dash of Trader Joe’s 21 Salute (or seasoning blend of your choice)
  • Dash of Red Chili Flake (optional
  • Crushed Tortilla chips and shredded cheese for topping if desired

Directions

  1. In a medium microwave safe bowl bowl combine salsa, veggies and spices
  2. Add water. More water makes a thinner soup. Less makes it thicker
  3. Stir together.
  4. Microwave until nearly boiling. Adjust microwave cooking time if using frozen vegetables
  5. Top with shredded cheese and crushed tortilla chips if desired.