Why, hello there. Before we go any further, I want to say thank you for coming to the Suzlyfe and spending some time sifting through my
nonsense awesome thoughts–I hope you enjoy the journey as much as I do!
I want to open this post by deflecting to a post published yesterday by my blog friend Ange of Cowgirl Runs. It is a fabulous illumination of what you gain when you love yourself. But read my piece first, as it will pale in comparison to her.
It’s been a hot second since I gave you all a round up of crazy Suzlyfe recipes. So I thought that I would make up for it (you’re welcome). Thank you to our hostesses, Heather, Kierston, and Laura, for giving me the opportunities to unload my lunacy on you poor unfortunate souls.
5 Favorites for this Week– Retooled Lunches and Kick A$$ Dilla
I admit, I got into a bit of a lunch time food rut for a while: I was just having my salad, cottage cheese/tuna/tvp, english muffin/popcorn/toast, and other odd/end without much thought. It was tasty, comforting, and did the trick as always, but it lacked a certain…schooshzz. You know the word I’m searching for. So, with the expansion of my diet and the arrival of berries (!), I have also been trying to expand certain flavors and actively incorporate some more fun into the mix. You’ll notice that many of the foundational components are the same, but the way they are coming together has gotten retooled and amplified. So how ’bout a little #strangebutgood flavor combination action, shall we?
- Avocado Salad Toasts: Toasted TJ’s Sprouted 7-Grain or Whole Wheat (I’ve had both of late) + Avocado (mashed and spread) + salt + pepper + garlic powder + tomato slices + spinach + red onion + blueberries + honey mustard over top.
All of your favorite components–sweet, savory, sour, spicy; crunch + soft; fat + acid. But super quick, satisfying when accompanied by a little extra salad and a carb, and just different from my normal route. The blueberries + honey mustard + avocado + garlic combo is a WINNER. Trust me. So, so good, and great complexity for something so simple!
- SLATTZ-wich: Toasted TJ’s Sprouted Wheat + Honey Mustard + Mashed Avocado + Spinach + Pan Sauteed Zucchini + Spaghetti Squash + Pan Sauteed Red Onion + Tomato + Smoked Turkey Breast (sprinkled with garlic powder, pepper, and red pepper).
The big tricks to making the sandwich OUTSTANDING rather than just “good” is the following: a) the pan-cooked zucchini (if you haven’t put zucchini in a sandwich yet, do it NOW. I discovered this last summer, and it will transform your sandwich. The most amazing texture, not overwhelming flavor (but enough for positive impact) and great moisture), b) separating the zucchini and the moisture-dense ingredients from the bread by the dryer ingredients (spinach, turkey), c) seasoning the turkey and then ripping it up and then assembling, and another huge point, d) pre-toasting the bread, applying butter/spray butter/oil to one side, mustard and avocado to the other, assembling the sandwich, and then putting the entire sandwich back on the pan, pressed down by a bowl or whatever, to create a crust and meld the flavors. I have found that I find TJ’s sprouted bread not too flavorful and rather spongy in its natural state. However, the toasting and crustifying of it makes the sponginess an asset–slight crust on the exterior but still light and airy on the interior. This has been reprised several times since its inception.
- Ginger TVP Wraps: Flatout Wrap (pan toasted) + Spinach + Tomato + Spaghetti Squash + Pickled Ginger (sushi counter) + Savory TVP + Honey Mustard
For the Savory TVP, combine: Raw TVP + Dash ACV + Worchestershire Sauce + Pepper + Red Pepper/Cayenne + Thai seasoning (if you have it, or just use garlic powder, cayenne, paprika, touch cilantro) + water; can also add bbq sauce. Cook in microwave a la oats (water gone, soft but with some body) then stir in ketchup (about a TBSP per serving of TVP). Season again to taste!
Now, this one was a bunch of nonsense that I threw together and yet it somehow works. I don’t know how or why, but it does. Similar principles as to why the avocado toast works–all of the flavors, including umami this time, all of the right textures. Next time, I think I would add avocado for a bit more fat. But DANG this was good. Ginger and savory TVP and Spaghetti squash and honey mustard–who knew?
- Inverted Pizza: TJ’s “Reduced Guilt” Pizza Primavera + Cottage Cheese + Cholula + Red Onion + Sundried Tomato + Seasonings
Sometimes, for dinner on nights when Alex is going to be late/not there, I like to get the TJ’s “Reduced Guilt” Pizza Primavera and then aggressively mess with it. I like the veggies and such that it comes with, but I always add on. I ate the majority of it the night before (I usually do the whole thing, but I wanted it more as a side item, if I recall properly), and I love a cottage cheese pizza, so thus I went with it. I consider it an inverted pizza because the typical toppings are below and the cheese is on top, but do as you will.
But the whackiest flavor combo of the week goes to my quesadilla from Sunday night.
Remember back in March when I created March Madness Pasta? Well, I realized after the fact that many of the same components exist here, so therefore I am referring to this as
- May Madness Quesadillas: Shrimp (pan cooked) + Cottage cheese + red onion (cooked) + spaghetti squash + blueberries + red pepper flakes, ground mustard powder, black pepper, garlic powder in a whole wheat tortilla
Typically, I use Laughing Cow spreadable cheese for my dillas (tummy can’t do the real cheese thing), but I was out and had gotten the garlic and herb kind (which I like, but not for this), so I went with my other fave dilla filler–cottage cheese. Dudes, I’m telling you. You might knock seafood and cheese, you might knock blueberries and seafood, but just shut up and try it. Just once. And if you don’t like it, then fine. But shut it until you try it. Just fantastic.
And if you are wondering, no, Alex did not have the same thing. I made him a baller BBQ Cheddar Shrimp Dilla in a spinach wrap. It was soooooo tasty, but not great for photos.
Anyone else a fan of cottage cheese in quesadillas or pizza?
Anyone else looking for any excuse to use spring/summer fruit?
Any hilarious eats for the week?