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.
Black Beans and Bleu Cheese Wrap
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 minute
Total Time 6 minutes
Flatbread (we use low-carb)
Rinsed and Drained
Washed and Patted Dry
Bleu Cheese Chunks* (see note)
In a microwave safe bowl, heat beans in the microwave for about 30 seconds, until really warm but not dried out.
On flatbread, sprinkle cheese in center
Layer on black beans, arugula and black beans. Add salsa on top if desired.
*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 🙂
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.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
1/4 to 1/2
spinach or arugula
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
In a medium bowl, mix the eggs thoroughly. Add water or milk if desired.
Line a small baking dish (mine is 7 x 10) with parchment paper.
Distribute the veggies and spinach or arugula in the dish.
Sprinkle half of the cheese on top of the veggies.
Pour the eggs over the veggie and cheese mixture. Stir lightly with a fork to make sure the eggs get evenly distributed.
Top with remaining cheese.
Bake for approximately an hour, or until the quiche appears set and a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
Allow to cool and then cut into slices.
- 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.
- 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.
A quick meal from just a few ingredients
For this dish I like to use veggie pasta (not spiralized veggie noodles – I do love those but here I’m referring to a dry pasta that contains vegetables in the ingredients.
I boil a two-serving size amount of the noodles. We actually use a scale and match the nutrition information on the back of the package for this. Pasta, even with veggies in it, is high in carbs and that is a number with work diligently around for meals since we are a Type 2 Diabetes family. I’ve learned that if I make a whole box of spaghetti, we will eat a whole box of spaghetti, no matter what the suggested serving size is.
When the noodles are close to being done, I add in about a half package of frozen mixed vegetables to the pot and cook until they are tender (usually doesn’t take very long).
I use a measuring cup to remove about a cup of pasta water and then drain the rest of the water from the pasta and veggies, and return the pot to the stove. Turn the burner off – we are just using the residiual heat here (if you somehow have a stove that is instantaneously cool to the touch after turning it off, you might need low heat).
I add about 1/3 cup of good peanut butter to the noodle and vegetable mixture. By “good” I mean not full of sugar. By “about” I mean measuring peanut butter is ridiculously messy, so I just use a knife and carve out a blob that appears to be around 1/3 cup. Add about a tablespoon of soy sauce (we use low sodium) and half that amount of cider vinegar. Stir pretty vigorously to get the peanut butter melting and then add in that reserved pasta water to create a sauce. I like to add a good dash of red chili flake at this point because we like it spicy.
Keep stirring until the sauce is the correct consistency. If it’s too thick, you can add a little more water. If it’s too thin, you might consider being OK with it as the pasta will absorb some sauce as it sits. And it’s slurpy good fun to eat with a thin sauce, and next time you’ll be able to guess better on how much water to put back in.
I dish this out into bowls and add a sprinkle of peanuts on top before serving.
This dish is best served fresh – it kind of keeps, but the noodles nearly completely absorb the sauce so it will be dry if served as leftovers.
One Pot Peanut Sauce Noodles
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
two servings according to package directions
mixed frozen vegetables
Dried Red Chili Flakes
Dry Roasted Peanuts
In a large pot, cook pasta according to package directions.
Add frozen vegetables to boiling pasta when pasta is nearly cooked.
Continuing cooking pasta until veggies are cooked through.
Reserve 1 cup of pasta water, drain pasta and veggies.
Return pasta and veggies to pot, add peanut butter, soy sauce, cider vinegar. Stir to combine.
Add reserved pasta water as needed to thin sauce to desired consistency
Roasted chickpeas (or garbanzo beans) are another one of those recipes that is more of technique than an actual list of steps and measurements.
And it’s been posted in some form or another all over the food blogs.
But I’m going to put it here at SuzerSpace, too, because it’s a staple in our house.
It ticks all the boxes – super simple to make, inexpensive, tasty and good for you.
Continue reading “Roasted Chickpeas”
Tofu isn’t scary. Really.
Tofu is kind of like the opposite of Fight Club.
EVERYONE talks about tofu. I read so much about making tofu that it scared me.
I will confess it took me a few tries to nail down a solid system. My general cooking technique for most food involves skipping any steps I don’t want to do or don’t have a gadget to do it with.
Continue reading “Baked Tofu”