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Recipes StrangebutGood Sustenance WIAW

Last Minute Meals (New Protein Bowl, Mac N Cheese, Sweet Potato Hash)

Things have been a bit hectic over here lately (what with all my napping, can’t you tell, lol). Alex may be off of ER (even though Farrah is now on it!), but now that he is back on a in-patient rotation, he is back to long-calls (where he admits new patients until 7) and the good ol’ “I’m hoping to be home at 5” and then he gets home at 7. Between that and my jam-packed social calendar (heh), grocery shopping (much less cleaning) is getting a bit more sporadic. And we are leaving things to the end of the rope a bit more.

Thus, I bring you 3 stellar, scrumptious (yeah, I went there), and creative meal ideas that are good enough to fool yourself into thinking you didn’t literally just pull this out of your ____.


Apart from the onion (which is, like everything else, always optional), all the ingredients in these bowls are freezable, long lasting, and pantry staples. As in, when you are at the point that people think you are cleaning out the fridge before a trip, these are the last things you find.

New Protein Bowl! Gluten Free Harvest Protein Bowl!

harvest quinoa protein bowl suzlyfe

This can be done in as little as 15 minutes (no lie).

  • Start your quinoa (add some salt and garlic powder (if desired) to water) and heat a medium skillet.
  • Season Chicken breasts with salt, pepper, thyme, mustard powder.
  • Cook butternut squash in microwave (steam bag or casserole dish) (about 5 minutes). Remove when done but be careful of steam!
  • Flip Chicken
  • Do the same with the green beans as you did with the butternut squash.
  • Meanwhile, prepare seasoning/sauce: Maple sugar, salt, thyme, red pepper, black pepper, salt, grainy mustard, maple syrup (if desired), olive oil.
  • Remove quinoa from heat and check. Stir in cranberries and almonds.
  • Remove chicken (should be cooked by now)
  • Pan saute onion, then add squash cubes.
  • Toss squash with seasoning/sauce. (the seasonings and sugar will melt with the heat.
  • Season green beans.
  • Dole out! Season everything as desired, drizzle with a bit of honey mustard, and you are off to the races!

5 Minute “Gourmet” Gluten Free Mac N Cheese

kick easy mac n cheese

I like Annie’s Microwaveable White Cheddar Mac N Cheese and Al Fresco Country Sage Chicken Sausage Links. I’m a big fan of the capers, but some frozen peas would be another great option!

  • Heat a small skillet.
  • Pop the frozen sausage in the microwave for 30 seconds, flip, another 15 seconds (I use 2). While still partially frozen, slice as desired. Chop some onion as well.
  • Put noodles into microwaveable bowl, add water, and place on a plate in the microwave (tends to overflow). Turn on for 3 minutes.
  • Spray skillet, add onion, dash of salt, then sausage pieces.
  • Chop tomato and capers.
  • Remove noodles from microwave add cheddar powder, red pepper flake, parsley, pepper. Mix up. Add in sausage and onions, then add in tomato and capers.  Gourmet to go!

 Maple-Mustard-Chili Sweet Potato Sausage Hash with Cornbread Croutons

maple sweet potato sausage hash  suzlyfe

  • Make the sauce: Chili jam + brown sugar + Mustard + olive oil OR Maple Syrup + Srirarcha + Mustard to taste
  • Use my sweet potato trick (ie the microwave to par-bake in a paper towel after piercing it), and the sausage thawing trick (mentioned in the mac n cheese recipe). PS we used chicken apple sausage.
  • While microwaving the others, slice cornbread into cubes.
  • Pan saute onion in skillet. Add in sweet potato and sausage. Sprinkle with salt, red pepper flakes.
  • When seared, remove to bowl. Add seasoning/sauce.
  • Respray pan, add cornbread, and sear.
  • After a few minutes, add sweet potato/sausage/onion back to pan with cornbread, gently folding and allowing the seasoning to further distribute. The heat from the pan and ingredients will melt any brown sugar.
  • Remove to bowl when heated through, and cover.
  • Return pan to heat, grease, and fry an egg.
  • Nuke sweet potato hash if need be to rewarm, transfer egg on top of hash, then sprinkle with salt and parsley.
  • If you want more kick, serve with more hot sauce!

The instructions may seem complicated for some, but trust me, as soon as you have done any of these once, you are a master at it fo’ life.

For more ideas and things to keep stashed in your fridge so that you never run out of options, check out my pantry staples and the original protein power bowls post! Oh, and who can forget this post with new ways to combine fave ingredients.

What easy meals are you digging right now?

What are you tired of eating, but it’s just so easy that you keep coming back to it? 

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