Tag Archives: Couldn’t Be Quicker

Strange But Good~Lentils and Sweet Potato

I haven’t had the chance to participate in Strange But Good lately and I’ve missed it! Sponsored by Laura at Sprint 2 The Table, Strange But Good is great fun and I feel I fit right in with the other strange eaters you’ll find there.  It’s nice to know I’m among friends!

Sprint 2 the Table

I am a great fan of quick and easy.  When I can’t have quick, I’ll take easy. Part of this is quick, both parts easy.  In spite of the crock pot time, I think this still qualifies for Couldn’t Be Quicker.

We had come home from an appointment and I had lots of projects to work on.  I started by making a crock pot of lentils.

Lentils in crock pot

I chop an onion, any size will do.  I add probably 2-3 teaspoons of chopped garlic from a jar.  I then add one cup of rinsed lentils.  I cover with water to about 2 inches above the lentils.  This is my small crock pot which is great for smaller portions.  I’ve been getting into doing that because of my fridge issues which doesn’t allow me to freeze if I make a big batch.  Not sure how long it took.  I was busy and just checked back periodically.  I’d say it was about 3 hours on high.  I did need to add a little water at one point.

Lentils finished


The finished product.  They smelled So good while they were cooking.  Smelled like I was really working hard, but…Not…This makes a lot of lentils.  I have plenty left for another meal or two.

I then scrubbed up a big sweet potato.  I microwaved it for 8 minutes which seems to be perfect if it’s a nice big tater.

Lentils and Sweet Potato


Not the prettiest picture ever but boy was it good.  After the photo, I actually cut the sweet potato into bite size pieces and added more lentils, about three-quarters of a cup total.  Topped of course with pecorino Romano cheese…my favorite.

I had been thinking about this for a while and I was really glad when it turned out being as tasty as I thought.  It was extremely filling too.   Also pretty cheap.  I don’t remember what the sweet potatoes cost.  I need to pay better attention. But the lentils cost $1.38 for the bag.  I cooked half the bag and only ate about a third of what I cooked.  That’s about 23 cents worth of lentils.  I think for the New Year (Yikes! Am I actually talking about plans for the New Year?! Oh, NO!!) I’m going to try to figure the cost of my meals.  Just because I need a project, right?!

Be sure to check out everything over at Sprint 2 The Table.  These Strange people work hard at being Strange and you’ll like what you find there.

Happy Friday!

Strange But Good~November 1

Good Grief!! It can’t be November already, can it?! Well, of course it can. I just have to face the fact.  The important fact to face today is that it’s time for Strange But Good-hostessed by the lovely Laura at Sprint 2 The Table.  For all of us who eat strange things, this is the place to be. Be sure to check out what everyone else is posting today.

Sprint 2 the Table

As I’ve said before, so many times my Strange But Good foods tend to go hand in hand with my own theme, Couldn’t Be Quicker.  They come up when I have neither the time or the ingredients to make anything else.  This seems to be the case this week.

What do you get when you combine a can of diced tomatoes with green chiles, a can of black beans and frozen, microwaved broccoli? A meal in 10 minutes or less.

Strange but Good broccoli, black beans tomatoes.


This is not the best photo because it was dark out AND I was hungry therefore too impatient to fuss with it anymore.  I thought of sautéing up an onion first and adding some garlic, but why bother.  Just added some garlic powder and Mrs. Dash.  Topped it with some Romano cheese and called it dinner.  I was really only expecting this to fill me up, I wasn’t expecting much else from it.  However, this was delicious.  Luckily, it’s easy to have all of the ingredients on hand so I’ll probably be doing it again.

Be sure to check out the other great Strange recipes over at Sprint 2 The Table.  Why not share some of your strange foods there.  It’s fun and you’ll get some surprisingly good ideas.

Happy Friday!

Strange But Good~September 6

I didn’t get to play along with Strange But Good last week and I missed it.  Laura at Sprint 2 The Table is the Queen of Strange…in a good way of course and I love to be part of the Strangeness. So here goes!

Sprint 2 the Table


Much strangeness is going on around here in general.  I’ve been scurrying around trying to get ready for our big trip coming up next week (YIKES!!!) and feeling behind.  Then after Ralph’s doctor visit last week he was scheduled for heart catheterization on Tuesday.  He had it before 17 years ago and had stent placement at that time also.  Things have really changed.  The procedure is so much quicker and recovery is easier now as well.  The good news is that the tests that had concerned the doctor seemed to be false positives.  He did not need another stent and all is well.  We’re so grateful for that and grateful for his incredible team of cardiologists.  He’s resting for a few days.  I breathed a really big sigh of relief when it was all over and we had the doctor’s report.

Plumbing issues started on Monday but thank goodness we were able to get them taken care of on Wednesday.  Frustrating and annoying.  That’s all I can say.  But packing needs to get started and that’s going to be my focus today.  Laundry to do (two-step process because of the broken dryer…), suitcases to find, and on and on. It will get done!

But I think we’re supposed to be here for Strange But Good!  A few weeks ago my Weight Watcher leader, Mary Lou talked about a bean dip she’d heard about from another member.  Black Bean Dip from Wegmans.  Alice and I went on an adventure to find it which is another tale altogether!



A quarter cup of it counts as 0 Points!  Sounds good to me!  It’s very tasty and I can think of lots of ways to use it.  But considering fridge issues and trying to get rid of things before the trip, I didn’t have much left to work with.  I did have liquid egg substitute and liquid egg whites.  Mixed a half cup of each together which counts for 3 Points on WW. Cooked them up like an omelette and when it was cooked, put a piece of American cheese on top to melt.


Sprinkled a bit of Romano cheese on top and called it dinner.  The bean dip is only a little spicy and very flavorful. This was a great combination and very filling too.  In fact, I’ve had it several times since then.  It probably qualifies for Couldn’t Be Quicker because it doesn’t take more than about 10 minutes to put together.

That’s it for me for Strange But Good today.  I’ve got to get to those lists plus a lot of things that aren’t On the lists!! Be sure to check out the other Strange people over at Sprint 2 The Table.

Happy Friday!!

Strange But Good~June 28

My head is currently swimming around at the thought that I’m having a Yard Sale on Saturday as part of our community wide yard sale.  I want to and I don’t want to.  I’ve always been wishy-washy this way but I think it gets worse as I get older.  I’ve got a lot of things together and ready.

However, I need to get it all out of the basement and to the back yard.  The issue is that with all of the rain we’ve been having you never know what’s going to happen.  It’s all in plastic containers, or will be when I finish working on it today (Thursday)  My thought is to take it all out tomorrow (Friday) and hope that the plastic bins do their thing and hold back any deluge we get.  Then Saturday, I’ll only have to move out the things that can’t be in bins, like my signs and some small pieces of furniture.  Keep your fingers crossed for me.  I need to get rid of this stuff!  Recap of the yard sale to follow next week!

On to one of my favorite things…Strange But Good hostessed by Laura at Sprint 2 The Table.  As it seems to many times, this meal also qualifies for my own category, Couldn’t Be Quicker.  What do you think?

Sprint 2 the Table

As is the case a lot lately, I’m working with what I’ve got on hand.  Just a few things can easily turn into dinner.



A can of diced tomatoes with green chilies, a cup of home-made crock pot pinto beans and a half cup of cous cous.  Regarding the cous cous, I’m reminded of something my Grandmother used to say…I’m always a day late and a dollar short.  I had bought this cous cous at Big Lots.  They had a 2 pound box for $2.00 which I thought was a great price.  I had originally bought 4 boxes and am now on the last box.  I was so sad when I went there last week to see that they don’t carry it anymore.  That’s the only problem with shopping there, few things seem to last.  I’ll find it somewhere else, I’m sure.

So, simple as can be.  I heated the tomatoes and beans in a sauce pan with a little extra water to give the cous cous somewhere to cook.  When it was boiling, I turned it off and stirred in  the the cous cous.  In about 5 minutes…



Topped it with some Romano cheese and I was all set.  This was really good, mildly spicy from the green chilies.  If I’d had some sriracha sauce I would have added it to give it a bit more kick.  Very satisfying, very cheap, very Strange but very Good!

Don’t forget to check out the fun going on at Sprint 2 The Table.  Be sure to leave some comments.

Happy Friday!

Strange But Good~June14

What do you do when you have no fresh food in the house, a freezer that is only really good for making REALLY cold water and you’re starving??  Well, you put your thinking cap on, rummage in the pantry cabinet and come up with dinner!  It also sounds like a perfect excuse to hang out at Strange But Good, sponsored by Laura at Sprint 2 The Table!

Sprint 2 the Table

Searching the pantry can be a challenge and I won’t lie, there are some things in there that are a bit “older” than they should be, but are still usable.  I’ve had my share of disasters with things past their prime (expiration date) in previous posts.  Case in point…very old beans and a very old cake mix.  If I could remember where they are on the blog, I’d link to them but I’d rather let you have the fun of searching around to find them yourselves!!   😉

The ingredients…


Sliced stewed tomatoes (expiration said Feb. 2013-that’s only 4 months ago and hey…they’re canned!), chili garlic sauce from the folks that bring you sriracha sauce (spicy!) and black beans.  Also some pasta that if I read the label is probably past it’s date also.  I really didn’t want to look.

I set the pasta to cooking and mixed the tomatoes, beans and spicy sauce together.  I initially thought I might have added too much (two teaspoons) of the chili sauce but in the end it worked well.


I let this cook down so that it wasn’t so juicy and became more sauce-y.  Basically, until the pasta was ready!!  Actually, now that I think about it, this probably qualifies for Couldn’t Be Quicker.


Topped it with some grated romano cheese…well a Lot of cheese.  This is all of the pasta (I actually made Too much…) and part of the bean/tomato mix.  I ate some of it, then added the rest of the mix to my bowl.  Only after did I figure out that the Points were Very high.  Turns out I was only a few Points over for the day and VERY full.  I didn’t want a single thing later in the evening.  Oh, and how did it taste?  Delicious!!  I’d make it again in a minute which is good because I have what I need to make it again right there in my pantry.  The old things are still as old (the beans are new) but I’ll be making it again soon, so I’m not going to worry.

It seems that many times my Strange But True entries come from making do with what I have.  I guess that’s a good thing!

Be sure to stop by at Sprint 2 The Table to check out what the other “strange” people are posting.

Happy Friday!!!

WIAW~Can You Say,Veggie?

I’m feeling good about the fact that for the last few weeks I have actually had food photos to share when it comes time for What I Ate Wednesday.  Jenn’s link up at Peas & Crayons is great fun and I love seeing what everyone else is eating.  I get so many ideas this way.  Our topic for June is supposed to be Sensible Snacking, but it seems that since I’ve gotten myself really on track with Weight Watchers, I rarely eat snacks except for fruit or veggies.  I always forget to take photos of those.  I’ll have to concentrate on getting a few shots of my snacks in the coming week!    😉

Peas and Crayons


An apple topped with cinnamon, micro-ed for 1 minute and topped with 1/3 cup of fat-free vanilla yogurt and granola.  Great breakfast!


A veggie burger at our favorite diner. I’ve never had one there before and with the provolone cheese added…Delicious!

We went to the Golden Corral before everyone went off to Maine for the summer.  I confess that I had TWO plates from the salad bar, but No dessert so I was pretty proud of myself!



I like to make different combos and when I go back for my second serving it rarely looks like the first.  These photos prove my point!


Saturday brought two splurges.  This was the first-eggplant parmesan sandwich at our favorite pizzeria.  This was so good.  I had been thinking about this and knew that when Ralph asked where we should go for lunch on Saturday that this would be my choice. I’ve never had it here before and it lived up to my expectations!


Don’t get excited…only the one on the right is mine! Butter almond and caramel apple combo. So good.  Ralph’s cherry water ice was such a pretty color I decided it needed to be in the photo also.  Ok…Splurge over!


Sunday found us at the Other pizzeria in town. I’ve had this before and I really enjoy it.  The veggies are what they offer as a side with meals.  I ask for it over penne pasta and it’s so good.  I always get a second meal out of it, too.  You’ll see that in a minute.


Simple and good…two eggs scrambled, sliced tomatoes and dry rye toast which eventually gets some jelly on it.  This is a great breakfast because it’s easy for me to count on Weight Watchers and it’s Good!


Take Two for my pasta dinner from Sunday.  I had three Roma tomatoes left that needed to be used up.  Chopped them, added garlic powder, ground black pepper and dried basil.  Cooked them in the micro for a minute and 30 seconds.  Then added the leftovers cooked for about another minute and 30. I topped with romano cheese and called it dinner…Couldn’t Be Quicker! I love when a small amount of left overs can be stretched into a meal.  This was so good and just right!

That’s WIAW for me for today. Be sure to stop by Peas & Crayons to visit,  look around at all of the great food being offered and of course, leave some comments!

Happy What I Ate Wednesday!!

Strange But Good~Couldn’t Be Quicker~May 10

So with all of this Blogging A to Z Challenge and having no food in the house stuff going on lately, I haven’t had the chance to participate in Strange But Good.  I’ve missed all the fun I have when I link up with Laura and the Gang at Sprint 2 The Table. So I decided I needed to hang out with the cool kids again.  Here goes!

Sprint 2 the Table

Life has been interesting lately what with a less than perfectly functioning fridge/freezer and generally having no food in the house (you heard me whining about this in my What I Ate Wednesday post) but we’re working with it.  Interesting how you can be more creative when you have fewer resources.  Wow…that sounds deep, doesn’t it!

As it turns out, for this particular meal (can’t really call it a dish…) I already had what I needed in the house, so I could have made it at any time.



No scary banana photos today.  Just a cup of couscous and a can of Margaret Holmes tomatoes, okra and corn.  I was very hungry and had no enthusiasm for cooking or preparing this day. Not a good combination if I want to keep myself on track with Weight Watchers.  But I had sufficient Points left to work this in.

Just heat up the t/o/c and when it’s boiling add in the couscous.  Turn off the heat and let it sit for a few minutes (no idea how long…just until you can’t wait any longer!!)



Top it with some Romano cheese and dig in.  Now actually, I didn’t have the cheese in the house prior to shopping and I could have eaten this without it, it just wouldn’t have tasted as good.  This was really tasty and filled the bill.  Also comes under my heading of Couldn’t Be Quicker.  It took longer to measure the couscous and open the can than it did to put it all together.  That’s my kind of meal!

I’m back in the swing of things, there’s a crock pot full of black beans crocking as I type.  I can never go wrong with those!

Be sure to check out the rest of the wonderful strangeness at Sprint 2 The Table.  Leave some comments and consider joining in…I know you all have something strange hiding in your recipe book!!   😉

Happy Friday!

Strange But Good…Couldn’t Be Quicker

I love Strange But Good, the wild creation of Laura at Sprint 2 The Table.  I’ve always thought my food was a little strange, but wouldn’t you know it, since Laura started this, I have been hard pressed to find really good strange things. That doesn’t stop me from participating!!   😉

Sprint 2 the Table

I spent the early part of Thursday evening at my local library.  I was attending a class given by the library technology director and several volunteers on tips for using the library’s e-book collection.  Being a recent Nook owner, I thought this would be very helpful.  It would be very helpful if I could have connected to their Wi-Fi.  Several Nook users couldn’t connect.  I must admit that the director was more than kind, even calling the local Barnes & Noble to try to help us connect.  I never did connect, but was told I should try connecting at home again and that I should also stop at the B & N store and have them do a corrective purge.  I’m not sure if that’s what they called it, but it means a trip to the store.  Depending on the weather, that might be on the agenda today.

Because of being out at around the time I would usually be eating dinner, I was hungry when I got home and decided on one of my Couldn’t Be Quicker meals.



Since I recently discovered that my phone has a stop watch feature (how long have I had this phone?)  I thought it would be fun to time myself.  A can of one of my favorite things, Margaret Holmes tomatoes, okra and corn, frozen green beans, veggie broth and couscous.  Variations on this combo have been working brilliantly for almost a week now, but have gone unphotographed.  Of course this time…

I had less couscous in my container than I thought and since I was timing myself here, didn’t want to take the time to open a new box.  Added more broth than I need and so it ended up being a little soupier than I had intended.



It could also have been that I was hungry, impatient and I was on the clock!  I was also a little bummed out when I realized that I had run out of my usual go-to topper, grated Romano cheese.    😦



Oh, yes, I did add some cottage cheese in when I realized I needed some protein.  In spite of the semi-soupiness and the lack of cheese, it was quite tasty and all accomplished in 17 minutes and 23 seconds.  That actually seemed longer than I thought it should have taken.  I know I can do it faster,, but I worked with what I had available.

Haven’t decided if this qualifies for Couldn’t Be Quicker, but it surely qualifies for Strange But Good.  Be sure to visit Laura over at Sprint 2 The Table, read a few other linky blogs and leave some comments.

It’s raining and ou friends from all over the country are calling to tell us we have a nor’ easter heading our way.  Our local weather reports don’t show it for our area.  I guess we’ll see. I’d better restock that cheese or I’m not going to be happy…    😉

Happy Friday!


Strange But Good~Couldn’t Be Quicker Meals

Ok, so I’m lazy in some ways.  You’ve all seen some of my meals…The less effort, the happier I am.

A lot of my food looks…well, Odd.  I realize that, and I don’t expect others to eat the way I do.

However, there’s a lovely young lady named Laura who writes a delightful blog called Sprint 2 The Table.  She’s started a wonderful weekly link up for Fridays called Strange But Good.  Sounds like she created this for me personally!  So for the first time I’m joining in and I’m Excited!

Sprint 2 the Table

I love the logo and it looks like Laura which is just hysterical!  So Cute.  Anyway, to get back to me…because I guess it really is all about me…Just kidding… 😉  I love to eat but I’m lazy as I said earlier and I always joke about being able to throw something together and at times I actually tell you how long it took.  Some of these easily fit into the Strange But Good group.  I’ve decided I needed to come up with my own little special category.  I’m calling it Couldn’t Be Quicker.  I have no clue how to do a link up so all you get is me, but I think it should be fun.



The meal started with couscous.  My way of cooking it is 1 cup of water and some knock off Mrs. Dash into the microwave for 4 minutes.  When the bell dings, pour in the couscous, stir and put it back in the microwave.  I do that primarily to keep it out of the way and keep it warm so that it can work its magic.

While that was happening I opened the can of Margaret Holmes Tomatoes, Okra and Corn.  This stuff is great!  Added to that was a cup of my previously cooked crock pot lentils and a cup of frozen corn. (My frozen veggies are getting seriously depleted…I need to stock up!) All this was cooked on the stove top and was heated through by the 5 minutes or so it takes the couscous to plump up.

The result…



Topped it with Locatelli cheese and Done!!  Dinner in just about 10 minutes.  It took me longer to decide whether to use the tomato/okra/corn mix or regular diced canned tomatoes.  It was delicious and yes, though strange it was really Good!

I like playing Strange But Good and I plan to check out all of the other bloggers who link up today.  If you can, take a look and leave some comments.  I know Laura and everyone else will appreciate it.

From Couldn’t Be Quicker Headquarters, this is the Head Cookie signing off!

Happy Friday!!